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Oregon Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/04/2008
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Game 14:? No. 21 Arizona (10-3, 1-0) vs. Oregon (9-4, 0-1)

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Date: ? Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008

Time: ? Noon MST

Location: ? Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

Radio: ? Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

TV: FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)

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Game Data: ? No. 21 Arizona (10-3, 1-0 Pac-10) closes the opening weekend of Pacific-10 Conference play Saturday against Oregon (9-4, 0-1 Pac-10) in McKale Center ... Todayˇ?s game can be seen in High Definition on Fox Sports Net.? Find the game on the following channels in Arizona:? Comcast 226, Cox 721, DirecTV 649, DISH 365, Qwest 329, and Western Broadband 726.

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The Rankings: ? According to the polls dated Dec. 31, Arizona checks in at No. 21 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.? The Cats have been ranked in seven of nine polling periods this season, including the last five.

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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . will begin his 25th season at Arizona and his 35th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 780-280 (.736) and 589-187 (.759) at Arizona upon his return from a leave of absence, which was announced on Nov. 4 ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson became the 16th coach in basketball history to tally 1,000 career victories (covering all levels) on Dec. 11, 2004 ... Olson recorded his 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizonaˇ?s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLAˇ?s John Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles)?... During his 24-year tenure at Arizona, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1997), played in the national championship game (2001), participated in four Final Fours (1988, 1994, 1997, 2001), won 11 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ˇ®89, ˇ®90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 23 consecutive seasons, which is the longest active and second-longest streak in NCAA history (North Carolina, 27) ... He also led Iowa to the 1980 Final Four ... Olson has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year seven times (1986, ˇ®88, ˇ®89, ˇ®93, ˇ®94, ˇ®98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ˇ®81) and directed the UA program to the nationˇ?s third-best winning percentage over the past 20 years (519-142/.785) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 52 NBA Draft picks, including 31 at Arizona ?C 25 alone since 1990 ... Heˇ?s led UA to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons...Under Olson, the Cats are 344-40 (.896) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 296 home games ... He is assisted by Kevin Oˇ?Neill, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

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Last Time out: ? Arizona needed a second-half comeback to earn its first conference win of the season, downing Oregon State, 76-63, on Thursday.? Trailing 44-38 with 12:59 to go, UA went on a 16-4 run over the next 5:10 to take control of the game.? The Cats shot 61.5 percent from the field after the break and limited OSU to 40.0 percent shooting in the same period to stretch the margin to double figures.? Chase Budinger scored 18 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead four Arizona players in double figures, while Nic Wise added a career-high 17 points and five steals.

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Scouting Oregon: ? The Ducks enter play Thursday with a 9-4 record (0-1 Pac-10) after Thursdayˇ?s 62-54 loss to Arizona State.? Through 13 games, Oregon averages 83.3 points per game, shoots 50.1 percent (390-of-779), and posts a +5.4 rebound margin per game.? Opponents shoot 42.3 percent from the floor and are outscored by an average of 9.5 points per game.? Individually, five Ducks average in double figures, led by Malik Hairston, who averages 17.3 points? per game.? Maarty Leunen leads UO with a 10.2 rebounds per game average.

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The Series: ? Todayˇ?s game is the 61st meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 39-21 series advantage. UA has won eight of the last 11 meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 12, 1979, but the Ducks captured the last meeting, 69-50, on March 8 in Los Angeles. All-time, Arizona is 23-6 in series games played in Tucson, 16-13 in Eugene, and 0-2 in neutral-site games.? See page 100 of the UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ? Oregon 69, Arizona 50, March 8, 2007: ? Oregonˇ?s guard tandem of Aaron Brooks and Tajuan Porter combined for 37 points as the Ducks shot down Arizona.? The duo connected on 9-of-14 three-point attempts in the effort as Oregon held the lead for the final 39:41.? UA had no answer from the field, connecting on only 35.0 percent of its attempts to finish with a season-low 50 points.? Jordan Hillsˇ?s 15 points and 14 rebounds were not enough to prevent UAˇ?s worst loss in Pac-10 Tournament history.

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A Different Look on the Sidelines: ? Prior to the Nov. 4 exhibition game, it was announced that UA head coach Lute Olson would be taking a leave of absence due to a personal matter.? It was announced on Dec. 7 that Olson would not return this season.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.? Oˇ?Neill, who was tabbed as Olsonˇ?s successor on Dec. 18, has 11 seasons of experience as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.? During Olsonˇ?s leave of absence all games will be credited to Oˇ?Neillˇ?s coaching record.

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Offensive Efficiency: ? Jordan Hill (8-of-11) and Nic Wise (7-of-9) combined to hit 75 percent from the field against Oregon State, almost the combined 78 percent mark they hit with 11-for-14 against San Diego State in another double-digit scoring day for the pair. One might guess it strictly an inside-outside twosome, but Wise had three layups against the Beavers to go with Hillˇ?s 14 points in the paint. Hill and reserve Jamelle Horne posted the best double-digit scoring shooting percentage for a pair with their combined 13-of-14 from the field for 32 points against Adams State. Hill was 7-of-7 and Horne hit 6-of-7 shots in that game.

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Stepping In, Stepping Up: ?? UA interim head coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill, who took over this season during Lute Olsonˇ?s leave of absence, became the second Arizona mentor to notch a victory in his Pac-10 debut. Three predecessors ˇ? Fred Snowden in 1978-79, Ben Lindsey in 1982-83 and Olson in 1983-84 ˇ? each lost their respective league openers. Only Jim Rosborough, who served as interim head coach during the 2000-01 season when Olson took a leave of absence surrounding the passing of his first wife, won his first Pac-10 Conference game, a 78-75 win over California on Jan. 5, 2001. UA joined the league for Snowdenˇ?s 1978-79 season.

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On Target: ? Arizona is 6-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field, as it did (.531) against Oregon State. The Cats have outshot all but five opponents and the three losses factor in that group ˇ? against Virginia (48% to 51%), at Kansas (44% to 50%) and at Memphis (46% to 47%).? More succinctly, Arizona is a spotless 8-0 when outshooting the opposition this season.

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Stolen Moments: ? The five steals by Nic Wise in the league opener were the same or more than Arizona has turned in as a team in six games this year. He had four at Memphis and Daniel Dillon had four against Northern Arizona to post the previous individual high this year. The effort gave Nic 21 thefts for the year, including a total of nine in his last two outings. That figure surpasses to his total of seven last year as a spot player.

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Paging Wally Pipp: ? Nic Wise has played 39 and 40 minutes in the past two games with Jerryd Bayless sidelined. The added time on the floor (24 average for the season) has helped him also average well above his season figures in scoring ˇ? 14.5 to 6.8. Heˇ?s also taken over the team lead in assists with 50 (to 46 by Bayless), although Jerryd (4.2) still has the edge over Nicˇ?s 3.8 per game figure.? Wise gets another day in the spotlight Saturday vs. the Ducks as Bayless is not expected to play.

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Myopic: ? After a trio of contests where the three pointers werenˇ?t dropping at eye-opening rates (16-of-50/.320), Arizona knocked down five of its nine shots from behind the arc against OSU. That was the second-best percentage of the year behind the 7-of-12 effort (.583) vs. Texas A&M.? Daniel Dillon came off the bench to nail his only three pointer and give UA its first lead (47-44) in the game with 11 minutes left, and two minutes later Arizona took the lead for good. Nic Wise was perfect on three trey tries.

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Thatˇ?s more Like It: ? Arizona got itself back to the free throw line with more frequency against Oregon State than it had in the previous month of play. The Cats scored 19 points from the line on 22 tries, its season best (.864) in percentage. In four previous games Arizona had scored a combined 30 points from the line after opening the year averaging 19 points on charity shooting in the first eight games. Coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill cited Chase Budingerˇ?s re-energized effort to work his way into bonus shooting with aggressive play against OSU in the second half ˇ? and the sophomore forward hit 9-of-10 free throws in the period. That was Budingerˇ?s career-high in made free throws and tied his previous high in attempts (10 vs. Illinois last year).

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The Comforts of Home: ?The home floor apparently offers Arizona players one thing ˇ? familiarity with where oneˇ?s teammates are in the passing lanes. Arizona has averaged 19 turnovers in its four games away from McKale Center, while booting the ball an average of 11 times per game at home. The Cats have been turnover-prone at the start of a number of games, but seem to have found some more comfort in the new system, with only nine turnovers ˇ? both at home ˇ? in two of the past three games.? Three times this season Arizona has turned it over less than 10 times in a ballgame and all three have occurred at home.

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Finding the Open Man: ? A game after UA had a season-low 10 assists (on 25 buckets) at Memphis, it followed with 16 helpers on 26 hoops against Oregon State. The 60 percent-assisted field goal ratio in the latter contest is more like Arizonaˇ?s season figure of 65.5 percent than the slip against the Tigers. Arizona has a total of 224 handoffs on 342 field goals this year. The season best was a 22-assist effort on 25 made field goals against Missouri-Kansas City on Nov. 19.

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Halftime Adjustments: ?? Arizona interim head coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill must be pushing the right buttons at halftime.? UA trailed by six at the break Thursday and came back to win.? It was the sixth time the team had trailed at the half and the Cats have rallied to win four of those games.? Led by Chase Budingerˇ?s 18 second-half points, UA raced to 50 points in the second half, a season best.? All told, Arizona shot 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the floor in the second half.

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Double-Doubles: ? Jordan Hill notched his team-leading fourth double-double of the season Thursday with 20 points and 14 rebounds vs. Oregon State.? In fact, Hill is the only Wildcat to post a double-double in 2007-08.? The output continues a streak that has seen the 6-foot-10 sophomore average 17.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots over his last six games, while shooting 66.7 percent (42-of-63) from the field.? Hill is averaging 14.1 points and 7.7 rebounds through 13 games.

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Two Topping 20: ? By combining to score 32 points in the second half against Oregon State, Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill each finished with a game-high 20 points.? It marked just the second time this season that Arizona has had two players score 20 or more points in a single game.? The last time came Dec. 8 vs. Illinois when Hill (23) and Jerryd Bayless (20) each topped 20 points.

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Early Signees: ? The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.? Brandon Jennings (G, 6-0, 170) from Lakewood, Calif., Oak Hill Academy; Brendon Lavender (G, 6-4, 180) from Mesa, Ariz., Mountain View High School;? Emmanuel Negedu (F, 6-7, 230) from Bloomington, Ind., Brewster Academy; Jeff Withey (C, 6-11, 240) from San Diego, Calif., Horizon High School, will join the squad next fall.? According to rivals.com, this class was ranked as the seventh-best nationally.

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Up Next: ? Following this matinee, Arizona hits the road for its next four games.? UA plays at Arizona State on Wednesday, Jan. 9.? Tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MST and will be televised on FSN Arizona.

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