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Cats Host Devils on Saturday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/13/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 13, 2011

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Date: Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011
Time: 12:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Steve Kerr)

Game Data:  Arizona (14-3, 3-1 Pac-10) closes a three-game homestand Saturday by hosting intrastate rival Arizona State (9-7, 1-3 Pac-10) in McKale Center as part of the State Farm Territorial Cup Series ... The Wildcats and Sun Devils meet on the hardwood for the 219th time ... The last three series meetings at McKale Center have been decided by an average of 5.0 points per game – all ASU wins ... Through four Pac-10 games, Arizona is shooting 50.0 percent from the field (98-of-196), tops in the league since conference play opened, and is 7-1 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor ... Sunday’s 67-57 victory over Stanford was the first Pac-10 win of the Sean Miller era when UA scored less than 70 points ... Five of Arizona’s next seven games will be away from home.

 

The Rankings:  Arizona remains unranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.

 

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 150-65 (.698) and 30-18 (.625) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater’s all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 2-2 vs. Arizona State as a head coach.

 

Last Time Out:  Jamelle Horne posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead Arizona to a 67-57 win over Stanford last Sunday.  The Cats used runs of 11-4 and 10-0 to build an 11-point cushion at halftime, eventually extending the lead to as many as 15 in the second half before Stanford cut it to 59-54 with four minutes to go.  Horne hit two treys in the next two minutes to put things out of reach.  Derrick Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds.  The game was postponed a day following a mass shooting in Tucson, whose victims included U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and U.S. Judge John M. Roll.

 

Scouting Arizona State:  The Sun Devils enter today’s game with a 9-7 record (1-3 Pac-10) following a 69-59 non-conference win Wednesday over Tulsa.  On the season, ASU averages 62.6 points, shoots 42.1 percent from the floor (362-of-859), 32.2 percent (115-of-357) from three-point range and 64.7 percent (163-of-252) from the line.  Opponents average 62.4 points, outrebound ASU by 1.9 boards per game and shoot 40.6 percent from the floor (354-of-871).  Individually, two Sun Devil players average in double-figures, led by Trent Lockett’s 13.4 points per game figure.  Kyle Cain leads ASU with a 6.6 rebounds per game average.

 

The Series:  Today’s game is the 219th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 139-79 series advantage. Arizona has won 25 of the last 32 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, but ASU captured the last, a 73-69 decision on Feb. 21, 2010, in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 77-28 in series games played in Tucson, 61-50 in Tempe, and 1-1 in neutral-site games.  For more series information, please see page 42 in the UA media guide.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona State 73, Arizona 69, Feb. 21, 2010:  Fitting of intrastate rivals, Arizona and Arizona State played an intense game from start to finish, where neither squad held more than a five-point lead through the first 29 minutes.  ASU was the sharper squad down the stretch, connecting on 66.7 percent of its field goals and committing just three turnovers in the second half. Three Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Nic Wise’s 18 points, but Arizona had no answer for ASU’s Ty Abbott, who had 28 points.

 

Reaching New Heights: Derrick Williams led Arizona to a weekend sweep of the Bay Area schools by averaging 22.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in UA’s two games last week.  The sophomore forward connected on 70.6 percent of his field goals (12-of-17) and 75.0 percent (3-of-4) of his three-point field goal attempts to go with 16-of-22 (.727) from the line and one steal.  Williams notched a career-high 31 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 12 rebounds to post his fourth double-double of the season in the two-point win over California.  His 22 free throw attempts were a new career high, as well as a new Arizona single-game record, en route to his first career 30-point game.  He followed that up with 14 points (5-of-5 FG), nine boards and a block in a 10-point over Stanford.  The effort boosted Williams’ season per game averages to 19.1 points and 7.1 rebounds to go with a .657 field goal percentage.

 

As Efficient as they Come: Derrick Williams certainly has proven himself to be Mr. Everything for the Wildcats, but according to research done by Jeff Faraudo of the Oakland Tribune, Williams is the most efficient player in the nation.  Simply put, he produces more points per shot attempt than any player in the nation.  The 6-foot-8 junior forward has scored 324 points on 143 field goal attempts, good enough for 2.27 points per shot, an impressive feat when a 1:1 ratio is considered good.  By comparison, Sean Elliott is the most efficient Wildcat to date at 1.46, and Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton of UCLA fame, posted figures of 1.58 and 1.54, respectively.  It’s worth noting that Williams, tallied 45 points on just 17 field goal attempts in two games last week.

 

A Good Start:  By defeating California (73-71) and Stanford (67-57) to improve to 14-3 on the year and 3-1 in conference play, the Wildcats are off to its best 17-game start since the 2004-05 season, when that squad also opened 14-3 en route to a 30-7 final record.

 

The Comforts of Home:  Dating back to last season, the Wildcats have now won 12 consecutive games at McKale Center, the longest such streak since a 13-gamer that covered parts to the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons (Feb. 28, 2004, through Jan. 27, 2005).  In its current streak Arizona simply is doing the things necessary to win games:  outshooting, outrebounding and outscoring (obviously) the opposition.  UA has connected on 49.4 percent of its field goals (309-of-626), while limiting opponents to 40.8 percent shooting (265-of-649); UA has posted a +7.8 rebound margin in those games while limiting foes to an average of just 28.3 rebounds per game; and finally, UA is averaging 79.1 points per game, while holding opponents to only 61.3 points per game.  Six times in those 12 games, opponents have failed to score 60 points.

 

Second Shots Matter:  In a week that saw UA come from behind in both games to win , offensive rebounds – and the subsequent second-chance points – loomed large in the decisions over California and Stanford.  UA outboarded both California (10-9) and Stanford (11-6) on the offensive glass to post a cumulative 32-14 advantage in second-chance points for the week.  It marked the first time that Arizona has posted offensive rebound advantages in back-to-back games since Dec. 8-11, a span of seven games. UA is 7-2 this season when grabbing 10 or more offensive boards.

 

Turn the Game around:  Arizona committed six more turnovers than Stanford on Sunday, bucking a trend that saw the Cats lose three of four previous games when the turnover margin was five or more to the negative side of the ledger.  The similar characteristics shared by Sunday’s win and the Dec. 30 game at Oregon were that Arizona enjoyed a significant advantage in field goal percentage, especially from three-point range, and, perhaps most importantly, in rebounding (+13 at UO/+15 vs. Stanford.

 

For Three:  Three-point shooting also loomed large for the Wildcats last week, as Arizona knocked down 16-of-34 (.471) three-point attempts in its last two wins, outscoring the Bay Area schools by a combined 48-18 from behind the arc.  UA limited its opponents to 27.3 percent shooting (6-of-22) from three-point range this week, and its season-long three-point field goal defense figure of 27.1 percent (65-of-240) leads all Pac-10 schools.  Sunday vs. Stanford, Jamelle Horne (4-of-4) and Derrick Williams (2-of-2) were a combined 6-of-6 from three-point range.

 

A Rebounding Advantage:  Bolstered by Jamelle Horne (12) and Derrick Williams (9), Arizona outrebounded Stanford, 41-26.  It marked the 12th time in 17 games that Arizona has outrebounded the opposition, and the fourth time this year that the rebound margin was +15 or better.  This season, UA is 11-1 when it outrebounds the opposition and its +6.2 rebound margin is tied for the best in the Pac-10 Conference.

 

Consistently Good on the Glass:  Arizona has also proven itself to be a good rebounding club, as the team’s +6.2 rebound margin currently leads the Pac-10 Conference.  To date, UA has tied or outrebounded 10 of 13 opponents, and is allowing opponents to grab an average of just 29.0 boards per game.  Three times this season Arizona has grabbed 40 or more rebounds in a game and seven times the Wildcats have posted a rebound margin of 10 or more.

 

Factoring In Positively:  Jamelle Horne asserted himself in both games this week, averaging 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 9-of-10 (.900) from the field.  The 6-foot-7 senior forward hit two key second-half treys in collecting 10 points Thursday in the win over California, and collected his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds Sunday vs. Stanford (both season-high totals).  As mentioned above, he connected on 4-of-4 shots from three-point range Sunday, it was his work on the glass that really made a difference, as his four offensive rebounds nearly eclipsed the Stanford total (6) and his 12 total rebounds was nearly half of that collected by the Cardinal (26).  On the season, Horne is averaging 7.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.3 percent (45-of-86) from the field.

 

A Well-Rounded Effort:  Forward Solomon Hill continues to do yeoman’s work from his forward position, as the sophomore tallied nine points, seven rebounds and an assist, block and steal in Sunday’s win.  The product of Los Angeles connected on 3-of-6 shots from the floor, including a trey, while three of his seven rebounds were on the offensive end.  Through 17 games, Hill ranks second on the team in scoring (8.4 ppg), field goal percentage (.541) and rebounding (4.7 rpg), while ranking third in steals (16) and fourth in assists (34).

 

Topping 10:  On the strength of stellar long-range shooting by Jamelle Horne (4-of-4) and Derrick Williams (2-of-2), Arizona connected on 10-of-17 (.588) three-point field goal attempts.  It marked the sixth time this season that Arizona has made 10 or more treys in a game and was the first in Pac-10 action.  On the season, the Wildcats average 8.1 treys per game (2nd in Pac-10) and that figure falls to 7.0 treys per game in conference play (3rd).

 

Early Signees:  The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period.  Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., Sacramento High School; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.

Up Next:  Arizona hits the road for five of its next seven games, beginning Thursday, Jan. 20, at No. 17 Washington.  Tip-off in Seattle is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on FSN.

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