Dec. 13, 2010
Date: Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
Time: 7:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: KWBA/FS Arizona/FCS Pacific (Dave Sitton/Corey Williams)
Game Data: Arizona (8-2, 0-0 Pac-10) plays host to Northern Arizona (7-3, 0-0 Big Sky) Thursday in McKale Center as part of the 26th annual Fiesta Bowl Basketball Classic ... All-time, the Wildcats are 44-2 (.956) in Fiesta Bowl Classic action, including a 3-1 record since the format changed to a one-game showcase in 2006 ... Tonight’s game will be the 120th meeting of the long-time intrastate rivals, the second-most against any opponent in UA history ... The comforts of home might be a good thing for the Wildcats, as the team averages 83.3 points and a .517 field goal percentage in six home games to date ... No opponent has scored more than 70 points against the Wildcats in McKale Center this season.
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 144-64 (.692) and 24-17 (.585) 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 1-0 vs. Northern Arizona as a head coach.
Last Time Out: Jimmer Fredette scored a game-high 33 points to lead BYU to an 87-65 win Saturday at EnergySolutions Arena in
The Series: Today’s game is the 119th meeting of the two schools with
Last Meeting: Arizona 87, Northern Arizona 70, Nov. 15, 2009: This contest was won in the first half, as Arizona shot 58 percent, forced eight Northern Arizona turnovers and limited the visitors to just 38 percent shooting in the opening period in what became a 17-point UA win. Eight different Wildcats scored in the first half, as
Against the Big Sky Conference:
A Brief History of the Fiesta Bowl Classic: Long considered one of the finest in-season events in college basketball, the Fiesta Bowl Basketball Classic is in its 26th year. For the first 21 years, the event was a four-team tournament that regularly featured some of the nation’s best programs. From 1985-2005,
Worth Noting: Lamont Jones led UA last week by averaging 13.0 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists in a pair of games. The sophomore guard connected on 58.8 percent of his field goals (10-of-17) and 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from behind the arc. Jones opened the week by hitting 3-of-6 field goals and grabbing a rebound to finish with six points in a win over Cal State Fullerton. He followed that up with a career-high 20 points (7-of-11 FG), and an assist in Saturday’s loss at No. 18 BYU. Jones scored all of his points in the second half, connecting on 7-of-9 field goal in the period, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Not only was the 20-point half a career best, but it was the most points in a half by a Wildcat player this season. It was the fourth double-figure game for “MoMo” this season (13th career) and his first with 20 or more points. On the year, Jones averages 8.0 points, 1.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, while shooting 44.1 percent (30-of-68) from the field.
Tough to Top:
Setting the Tone: Good starts are key for the Wildcats, as the club is 8-0 this season when leading at the 10-minute mark of the first half.
At the Break: The Wildcat offense output has dipped a bit of late, as the squad averaged 69 points in a pair of games last week. Prior to the games against Cal State Fullerton and BYU,
The Iron Unkind: Perhaps the most obvious reason for
Unable to Connect: Compounding the Wildcats’ recent shooting troubles is an inability to connect on its long-range attempts. In the last two games,
A Bit of a deficit: For just the third time this season, Arizona found itself with a free throw deficit, as BYU attempted 11 more free throws on Saturday (making 24) and outscoring the Cats by seven points from the stripe. The 24 free throws and 31 attempts by BYU were opponent season highs in 2010-11. By comparison, UA opponents connected on a combined 16-of-26 free throw attempts in the two games prior to Saturday. On the season,
20 in 20: Lamont “MoMo” Jones became the third Wildcat this season to register a 20-point game, when he tallied 20 Saturday vs. BYU. But the 6-foot sophomore guard became the first UA player to do so in a single half. Yes, Jones scored all 20 of his career-high point total in the second half on Saturday, a figure that was half of the Cats’ points in the frame. He was 0-of-2 in the opening period before connecting on 7-of-9 shots from the floor after the break, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Jones joins Derrick Williams (4) and Solomon Hill (1) in topping the 20-point plateau to date.
Spreading the wealth, carefully: Sophomore swingman Kevin Parrom continues to move the ball rather efficiently through 10 games, as the Bronx, N.Y., product ranks fourth on the team with 22 assists, but leads the club with a 2.4:1 assist:turnover ratio. He is one of six Wildcat regulars with a positive ratio, but the lone Cats with one at 2:1 or better. Saturday at BYU, Parrom passed out three assists against zero turnovers in 18 minutes of action.
A second-half Club: In averaging 81.0 points per game,
Keeping Possessions Alive:
Early Signees: The
Up Next: Following tonight’s contest, the Wildcats hit the road to face