Feb. 8, 2013
Date: Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013
Time: 5 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,538), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Corey Williams)
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Ted Robinson/Matt Muehlebach)
GAME DATA: No. 7 Arizona (20-2, 8-2 Pac-12) caps a long weekend at home Sunday by hosting California (13-9, 5-5 Pac-12) in McKale Center ... Five times in the last seven games the Wildcats have held the opposition to less than 40-percent shooting from the field ... In the back-end games of the Pac-12 weekends to date, the Wildcats have limited the opposition to 37.2 percent shooting (83-of-223) and an average of 60.5 points per game ... Four of the last five series meetings have been decided by four points or less; two of those by a single bucket.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked seventh in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in the top 10 in both polls for 12 consecutive weeks, the most by a Pac-12 team in five years.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his fourth season at the University of Arizona and his ninth overall as a college head coach with a record of 209-84 (.713) and 89-37 (.706) at Arizona ... In his eight-plus year career, Miller's teams have won 20 games seven times and captured five regular-season or postseason tournament titles ... He guided UA to 30 wins and the 2011 Pac-10 regular-season championship in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight, earning Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... 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 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 16 trips to the postseason in his 19 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/7 NIT) and has an 9-5 (.643) 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 24 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... Miller has recruited classes ranked in the top-10 nationally in each of the last two seasons ... He is assisted by James Whitford, Emanuel Richardson and Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 4-1 vs. California as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Stanford took a 10-0 lead three minutes into the contest before Arizona methodically clawed its way back for a 73-66 win Wednesday. UA limited Stanford to 29.6 percent shooting and provided just enough offense to trim the deficit to one at the break before connecting on 60 percent of its shots from the field in the second half to pull away. In a one-point game with 3:20 to go, UA outscored Stanford 15-9. Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill combined for 48 points, including 35 in the second half, to lead Arizona.
SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears enters tonight's game with a 13-9 record (5-5 Pac-12) following Thursday's 66-62 loss at Arizona State. On the season, California averages 67.8 points per game, shoots 44.2 percent from the floor (555-of-1,256), 31.3 percent (88-of-281) from three-point range and 70.7 percent (294-of-416) from the line. Opponents average 65.3 points, are outrebounded by 2.6 per game and shoot 40.8 percent from the floor (528-of-1,294). Individually, two Cal players average in double figures, led by Allen Crabbe's 19.3 ppg figure. David Kravish leads the Golden Bears in rebounding at 6.7 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: Today's game is the 84th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 55-28 advantage in the series, which dates back to Feb. 1, 1924. Arizona has won 22 of the last 27 meetings, including the last, a 78-74 decision in Berkeley on Feb. 2, 2012. All-time, Arizona is 28-9 in series games played in Tucson, 24-18 in Berkeley, Calif., and 3-1 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 46 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 78, California 74, Feb. 2, 2012: Trailing 22-9 with 10:43 to go in the first half, Arizona responded with a 36-12 run to close the period and take control of the contest. The Wildcats hit 13 of 14 shots to close the first half en route to 54.9 percent shooting for the game. Cal made a run late, coming from 14 points down to tie the game, but Arizona never lost the lead as Kyle Fogg's trey with 1:23 to go put the Cats ahead for good. Fogg finished with a game-high 23 points, while Jesse Perry added 18 of his own.
20 WINS, AGAIN: After pocketing a seven-point win Wednesday, Arizona now has won 20 games for the third consecutive season and the 34th time in school history. Further, it was UA's 24th 20-win campaign in the last 26 seasons. For Sean Miller, it was his seventh 20-win season in nine years as a college head coach.
SWIFTLY ARRIVING MILESTONE: As mentioned above, Arizona captured its 20th win of the season Wednesday, accomplishing the feat in near-record time. With a 20-2 record, UA equaled the third-fastest run to 20 wins in school history in terms of games played, topped only by the 1947 and 1988 squads, who did so with 20-1 records. In terms of the calendar, Wednesday's Feb. 6 date was the fourth-fastest in UA history, bettered by 1988 (Jan. 30), 1998 and 2011 (both Feb. 5).
ELITE COMPANY: Bolstered by a season-high 23 points and six rebounds, Solomon Hill entered elite Arizona basketball company, as he became the 11th player in school history with more than 1,200 points and 700 rebounds, joining Ernie McCray (1957-60), Al Fleming (1972-76), Bob Elliott (1973-77), Sean Elliott (1985-89), Anthony Cook (1985-89), Michael Wright (1998-2001), Channing Frye (2001-05), Hassan Adams (2002-06), Ivan Radenovic (2003-07) and Jordan Hill (2006-09).
FINISHING STRONG: Look no further than Arizona's senior starters to identify the difference makers in Wednesday's win. Solomon Hill and Mark Lyons combined to score 35 of their 48 points in the second half vs. the Cardinal. In the period, the duo was 9-of-15 from the field, mirroring Arizona 60 percent shooting (15-of-25) as a team. During Pac-12 play, the Wildcats have proven to be a second-half club, connecting on 46.7 percent (136-of-291) of its field goal attempts and outscoring teams by an average of 4.7 points per game in the period. UA's .600 field goal percentage in the second half Wednesday marked the sixth time this season that the Cats had reached that plateau in a half this season - four of those have come after the halftime break.
OFF THE MARK: Buoyed by a .296 (8-of-27) field goal percentage defense effort in the first half, Arizona limited Stanford to just 37.9 percent shooting (22-of-58) for the game. It was the 13th time this season that the Cats have held an opponent under 40 percent for the game, including five times in conference play. Through 22 games, Arizona ranks third in the Pac-12 in that category (.397). In the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 63-4 (.940) when posting a higher field goal percentage than the opposition.
TWO FOR 20: Wednesday's game was the first time this season that Arizona had two players score 20 or more points in the same game. On the year, UA has notched 11 20-point games, led by Mark Lyons, who has six.
COLLECTING CAROMS: Led by Kevin Parrom (9) and Angelo Chol (8), Arizona outrebounded Stanford, 37-33, Wednesday to register its 17th rebounding win of the season. The Cats are a spotless 9-0 at home when out working the opposition on the glass and rank second in the league with a +7.5 rebound margin. To emphasize the effort, all eight Wildcats to see action vs. the Cardinal grabbed at least one rebound, while seven collected multiple caroms.
MAKING THEM COUNT: If you've read these notes previously, you are probably aware that Arizona leads the Pac-12 (and ranks 14th nationally) with a .754 (361-of-479) free throw percentage. But it's not always the percentage that matters as much as when you make them. Wednesday against Stanford, UA connected on just 68 percent of its charity tosses, but sank 14-of-18 (.778) in the second half as the Cats erased a one-point halftime. Through 22 games, Arizona connects on 77.9 percent (226-of-290) of its free throw attempts in the second half.
UPHILL BATTLE: Wednesday's game marked the seventh time this season that Arizona has trailed at halftime, and the squad is 5-2 in those games. Additionally, UA win its third game of the season when trailing with 5:00 to go in regulation (five opportunities. On a tangential note, Arizona has trailed by eight points or more in nine games this season and has come back to win seven of them.
PLAYING TO OUR STRENGTH: In a game in which the 10 starters combined to average 6-foot-5 1/2, Arizona nearly doubled up the Cardinal in terms of points in the paint, posting a 32-18 advantage. Of Arizona's 16 field goals in the paint Wednesday, 11 were either dunks or lay-ups.
MINUTE BY MINUTE: Senior forward Solomon Hill enters today's game just 15 minutes played shy of sole possession of 10th place on the Arizona career minutes played list. Currently, Hill has logged 3,594 minutes in his 126-game career and trails Hassan Adams (3,609 min./2002-06). Hill averages a team-high 32.6 minutes per game in 2012-13.
STEPPING IN: Playing a career-best 24 minutes in place of the injured Grant Jerrett, sophomore Angelo Chol posted six points and a career-high eight rebounds vs. Stanford. The 6-foot-9 forward from San Diego, Calif., connected on 3-of-6 field goals and collected three offensive rebounds. On the season, Chol averages 1.9 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
DO WHAT YOU DO: Senior Kevin Parrom proved to be a factor in multiple areas, registering eight points, a season-high nine boards and three assists in 32 minutes. For the 6-foot-6 swingman, it equaled his best offensive output since scoring 16 in the Pac-12 opener vs. Colorado. Parrom averages 8.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game and leads the UA regulars with a 1.83:1 assist:turnover ratio.
HIGHER LEVELS OF PRODUCTION: As mentioned earlier, Mark Lyons scored a season-high 25 points, the most by a Wildcat this season, and passed out six assists. The senior from Schenectady, N.Y., now has 16 career games with 20 or more points and nine games with six or more assists. He also passed the 1,500 career-point plateau in Wednesday's win.
ALWAYS ON THE RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. Jan. 26 vs. USC, the Wildcats used an 18-4 run to open the game and put things out of reach quickly. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
27-8 run over 6:53 (2nd+ot) vs. Colorado, Jan. 3
21-4 run over 9:07 (2nd) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
23-6 run over 7:55 (1st) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
22-7 run over 8:56 (2nd) at Clemson, Dec. 8
18-4 run over 6:28 (1st) vs. USC, Jan. 26
13-0 run over 4:26 (2nd) vs. UTEP, Nov. 15
14-2 run over 4:10 (2nd) vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 28
22-10 run over 9:27 (1st) vs. Charleston Southern, Nov. 11
11-0 run over 3:38 (2nd) at Arizona State, Jan. 19
11-0 run over 3:13 (2nd) vs. Oral Roberts, Dec. 18
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed two student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Rondae Jefferson (F, 6-7, 215) from Chester, Pa., who preps at Chester H.S.; and Elliott Pitts (G, 6-5, 180) from Dublin, Calif., who preps at De La Salle H.S.; make up a class that is ranked No. 18 nationally by espn.com.
UP NEXT: Following today's game, the Wildcats next will be in action on Thursday, Feb. 14, when the squad plays at Colorado. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. MST and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.