Game 6: No. 16
Date: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2006
Time: 3:15 p.m. MST
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (
TV: ESPN (Dave O’Brien/
Game Data: No. 16 Arizona (4-1, 0-0 Pac-10) plays away from home for the first time in three weeks when it travels to Phoenix, Ariz., to take on Illinois (7-1, 0-0 Big Ten) as part of the 2006 Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge ... The Arizona-Illinois match-up is the second half of a doubleheader that begins with Gonzaga-Texas at 1 p.m. MST ... Since the start of the 2000-01 season, the Wildcats and Illini have met a total of five times ... UA will cover a total of 5,210 miles to play its next three games.
The Rankings: Arizona slipped to No. 16 in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll after winning its lone game last week. The Wildcats have been ranked in each poll this season.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 765-270 (.739) and 573-178 (.763) at Arizona ... 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 750th collegiate victory on Dec. 31, 2005, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLA’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, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 22 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, ?'88, ?'89, ?'93, ?'94, ?'98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ?'81) and directed the UA program to the nation’s second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 337-35 (.906) in
Last Time Out:
The Series: Today’s game is the 13th meeting of the two schools with the series deadlocked at six wins apiece. Arizona has won four of the last six meetings, but Illinois captured the last ?- a 90-89 overtime triumph on March 26, 2005, in the 2005 NCAA Chicago Regional final. As mentioned earlier, the two schools have met five times since November 2000. All-time,
The Last Meeting:
Against the Big Ten:
Don’t Read this If you believe in the Sanctity of Streaks: As a conference, the Pac-10 teams have combined to win 28 consecutive games entering play on Saturday. Of those victories, three have come against nationally ranked opposition.
At Both Ends:
Remarkably Consistent...at least Offensively: In averaging 93.6 points per game so far this season, Arizona has averaged 47.2 points in the first half and 46.4 points in the second. In all five games to date,
Board Work: Through five games,
Extend the Defense: Through the first five games, UA opponents have averaged 10.8 made threes per game against the Cats. In fact, 38.5 percent of the opposition’s field goals this season (54 of 140 total) have been treys. What’s been good, especially of late, is that the opponent’s three-point field goal percentage has been falling. Over the last two games, opponents have shot just 30.7 percent (23-of-75) from behind the arc, which has dropped the season three-point FG percentage to its current 38.0 figure.
That’s Why They Start: The UA starting five has been the driving force behind the squad’s improved field goal percentage. As a team, the Wildcats are shooting 53.5 percent from the field (168-of-314), which is nearly 100 points better than last year’s .446 figure. All told, the UA starting five combines to shoot 56.5 percent (147-of-260) as a group with four topping the 50 percent plateau. The quintet also shoots a respectable .431 (31-of-72) from three-point range.
Ascension: Bolstered by his career-best 8.4 assists per game average, Mustafa Shakur enters play Saturday just three assists shy of 500 for his career. The 6-foot-3 senior from
He’s Dinar: He’s like Serbian currency, i.e. money, and his name is Ivan Radenovic. The 6-foot-10 forward from
More From Marcus: Sophomore forward Marcus Williams posted his best performance of the year in Tuesday’s win with season-high totals of 24 points and nine rebounds. The 6-foot-7 product of
Because it’s never too early for comparisons: Forward Chase Budinger tallied his first career double-double against UNLV with 15 points and 11 rebounds, which was UA’s third of the season. The 6-foot-7 freshman from
In Reserve: Guard Daniel Dillon set a new season high with six points in 18 minutes vs. UNLV. The sophomore connected on 2-of-4 three-point field goals, establishing a new career high. The
Sharing the Ball: One of the reasons that
Always On the Run: Early this season,
25-0 run over 7:45 vs.
34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern
28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)
18-3 run over 4:15 at
23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)
Preseason Prognostications: According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference,
Preseason Kudos: Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams were named to the 2006-07 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team, the award’s national selection committee announced Oct. 17. Shakur, a 6-foot-3, senior guard from
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed five student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Jerryd Bayless (G, 6-3, 193) from Phoenix, Ariz., St. Mary’s High School; Jamelle Horne (F, 6-7, 205) from San Diego, Calif., San Diego High School; Alex Jacobson (C, 7-1, 223) from Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School; Zane Johnson (F, 6-6, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird High School; and Laval Lucas-Perry (G, 6-1, 191) from Grand Blanc, Mich., Powers Catholic High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Following today’s tilt,