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Men's Basketball Game Notes at Pac-10 Tournament, 3/9/2006
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/07/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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No. 4 Seed  Arizona (18-11, 11-7) at Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament

 

Date:  Thursday, March 9, 2006

Time:  12:20 p.m. PST

Location:  Staples Center (19,282), Los Angeles, Calif.

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

TV:  FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)

 

Game Data:  No. 4 seed Arizona (18-11, 11-7 Pac-10) travels to Los Angeles for the 2006 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament and opens play in the quarterfinals Thursday against No. 5 seed Stanford (15-12, 11-7 Pac-10) ... Arizona 15 wins and four titles (1998-90, 2002) in this event are league bests ... Since the event was reincarnated in the Staples Center, the Wildcats are 6-3 in tournament play ... UA is 1-2 this season in neutral-site games.

 

The Rankings:  For the eighth consecutive week, Arizona remained unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.  The Cats saw its string of 312 consecutive regular-season AP poll appearances end on Dec. 19.

 

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 759-267 (.740) and 567-175 (.764) 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 23-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 21 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 best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 333-35 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 261 of its last 280 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 45-25 against Stanford and 15-4 in Pac-10 Tournament action.

 

Last Time Out:  Arizona led for the first 39:27 before giving up the lead courtesy of a turnover and ensuing dunk with 33 seconds remaining in what turned out to be a 70-67 Washington win.  UA’s Marcus Williams, who led all scorers with 20 points, missed a pair of free throws with 20 seconds to go that could have given the Wildcats the lead.  Chris Rodgers finished with 11 points and Mustafa Shakur added 10 points and 10 assists.

 

Scouting Stanford:  The Cardinal enter today’s game with a 15-12 record (11-7 Pac-10) following Saturday’s 75-54 loss to UCLA.  As a team, Stanford shoots 42.2 percent from the field (604-of-1431), including 35.2 percent (131-of-372) from three-point range, while averaging 66.4 points per game.  Opponents shoot at a 43.1 percent clip and are averaging 65.3 points per game.  Three Stanford players average in double figures, led by Matt Haryasz’s 16.6 ppg mark.

 

The Series:  Today’s game is the 71st meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 45-25 series advantage. Stanford has won five of the last nine meetings in the series, which dates back to 1937, but Arizona has won the last three, including the last meeting, a 76-72 triumph in Palo Alto on Feb. 19.  All-time, Arizona is 24-7 in series games played in Tucson, 18-16 in Palo Alto, Calif., and 3-2 in neutral-site games. Please see page 102 in the UA media guide for more series information.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona 76, Stanford 72, Feb. 19, 2005:  Trailing by two points at halftime, Arizona responded with a 12-1 run in the first 3:36 of the second half to take control of the game and never surrendered the lead as the Cats snapped a four-game road losing streak.  Ivan Radenovic and Hassan Adams each scored 23 points to lead UA.  Radenovic was especially good in the second half, tallying 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists after the break.  Arizona shot 52.6 percent from the field and outrebounded Stanford, 33-27.

 

Cats and Cardinal:  Arizona and Stanford meet in the Pac-10 Tournament for the first time since 1990.  In fact, this is the first time that the Cats and the Cardinal have been on the same side of the bracket since 1990.  Arizona is 3-0 against Stanford in Pac-10 Tournament play, as the two teams collided in 1988, 1898 and 1990.

 

Speaking of Seeds:  The Wildcats enter the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 4 seed.  That is Arizona’s lowest seed in the tournament’s nine-year history.  Previously, Arizona has been a No. 1 seed four times (1988, ?'89, 2003, ?'05), No. 2 three times (1987, ?'90, 2002) and No. 3 once (2004).

 

All-Conference:  Three Arizona players earned all-Pac-10 honors in voting released March 6 by the league’s head coaches.  Hassan Adams was an all-conference honoree, Ivan Radenovic was an honorable mention pick, and Marcus Williams was an all-freshman selection.  Adams moved up to first team honors after being an honorable mention selection in each of the previous two seasons.  Previously, Radenovic was an honorable mention all-freshman selection in 2004.

 

Developing Nicely:  In helping Arizona to a split of a pair of games last week, Marcus Williams averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists.  He connected on 13-of-26 field goal attempts (.500), including 2-of-4 from three-point range, while adding a block and a steal in the effort. He opened the week with game-high totals of 17 points and six rebounds Thursday vs. Washington State and followed that up with 20 points, three assists and two rebounds on Saturday against Washington.  On the season, Williams is averaging 12.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, while shooting 47.9 percent from the field.

 

Streaking:  Arizona is riding a streak of 22 consecutive seasons with 11 or more Pac-10 wins.  No other Pac-10 program has as many as 11.

 

From Long Range:  Bolstered by 3-of-3 shooting by Chris Rodgers from behind the arc, Arizona shot a season-best 62.5 percent (5-of-8) from three-point range.  Counting Saturday’s effort, UA shot 50 percent or better from three-point range three times this year.  Through 28 games, UA shoots 31.4 percent (126-of-401) from behind the arc.

 

Shooting Woes:  UA’s starting guards struggled from the floor in Saturday’s loss, as Hassan Adams (4-of-12) and Mustafa Shakur (3-of-10) combined to make only 7-of-22 field goal attempts (.318).  The other five Wildcats to see action and attempt at least one field goal combined to hit 20-of-37 (.541) attempts from the floor.

 

Bucking a Trend:  Arizona dropped Saturday’s game to No. 14 Washington despite posting a better field goal percentage than the Huskies (.458-.456).  That reversed a season-long trend that had seen the Wildcats largely successful when outshooting the opposition, as UA is 13-3 this year when accomplishing the feat.

 

20-Point Plateau:  Marcus Williams notched his third 20-point game of the season Saturday vs. Washington, which was Arizona’s 21st 20-point game this year.  Williams and junior Ivan Radenovic are tied for second on the club with three 20-point games apiece, trailing only Hassan Adams (12).  Chris Rodgers (2) and Mustafa Shakur (1) have also topped the 20-point plateau for the Wildcats this season.

 

Clamping Down:  In its two games this week, Arizona held Washington State and Washington to an average of 65.5 points.  Saturday’s defensive effort against Washington saw Arizona force 16 turnovers and limit the Huskies to .456 shooting (26-of-57), which was 20 points below its season FG percentage entering the contest.  Arizona also held Washington to 70 points, a figure that was its lowest in six games and 13.2 points per game less than UW’s scoring average entering Saturday’s game.

 

Back at It:  Senior guard Chris Rodgers hit 4-of-6 field goal attempts Saturday en route to 11 points, which was his first double-figure effort since Jan. 14.  The 11 points were nearly as many as he had scored in the four previous games (14) since he rejoined the team on Feb. 13.  In the five games since his return, the 6-foot-4 Rodgers is averaging 5.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals, while shooting 33.3 percent (9-of-27) from the field.

 

That’s More Like It:  Mustafa Shakur collected 10 assists in Saturday’s game against Washington, which was his third career game with 10 or more assists.  Over the last five games, the 6-foot-3 junior from Philadelphia, Pa., is averaging 6.4 assists per game with a 2.67 assist:turnover ratio, and each of those numbers is a significant improvement over his 29-game marks of 4.6 assists per game and a 1.69 assist:turnover ratio.  The recent increase in productivity has moved Shakur into second place among the Pac-10’s assists leaders.

 

Double-Doubles:  Shakur also added 10 points against Washington to notch his second double-double of the season.  All told, it was Arizona’s fifth double-double this season.  Shakur joins Ivan Radenovic (3) as the only two Wildcats to post a double-double in 2005-06.

 

Strong to the Finish:  Junior forward Ivan Radenovic posted a strong finish to the regular season, as he averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while shooting 50.6 percent (86-of-170) from the field in Pac-10 play.  In those 18 games, he finished in double figures 15 times and grabbed five or more rebounds 13 times.  He’s been even better in his last 10 games, posting averages of 14.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game to go with a 57.3 (59-of-103) field goal percentage.

 

Almost There:  A pair of Wildcats enter the Pac-10 Tournament close to helping the team reach a statistical milestone.  Chris Rodgers and Kirk Walters are two and 11 points shy, respectively, of reaching the 200-point plateau for the season.  If they are able to do so, Arizona will have had at least six players score at least 200 points for the fourth consecutive season.  Entering the season, no team in the country had scored more points over the past four seasons (2002-2005) than Arizona.

 

Always On the Run:  Throughout the season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  The Wildcats’ have 14 scoring runs of 11 or more points this season:

29-1 run over 10:43 vs. Virginia, Nov. 27 (UVa went 0-of-12 with seven turnovers during the run)

33-15 run over 10:26 vs. Sam Houston State, Dec. 19 (UA 13-of-20 in run)

18-0 run over 6:09 vs. Arizona State, Feb. 25 (ASU 0-of-7 with six turnovers in run)

24-7 run over 9:53 at UCLA, Feb. 4 (UA 9-of-13 FG, 6-of-6 FT in run; UCLA 3-of-10 FG)

22-6 run over 8:19 at Oregon State, Jan. 12 (Seven TO and just 7 OSU FG attempts in run)

21-6 run over 7:12 vs. Michigan State, Nov. 23 (no MSU field goals in last 5:44 of regulation)

20-4 run over 9:10 vs. Kansas, Nov. 21 (KU hits 3-of-first-12 FG attempts with nine TO)

21-5 run over 7:57 at Houston, Dec. 3 (two UH FGs in last eight minutes of first half)

21-9 run over 12:23 vs. Connecticut, Nov. 22 (UA hits 7-of-11 FG in run)

25-11 run over 9:27 vs. USC, Jan. 7 (USC 4-of-13 FG, eight turnovers during run)

26-13 run over 13:04 vs. Saint Mary’s, Dec. 10 (nine SMC turnovers during run)

16-3 run over 5:47 at Stanford, Feb. 19 (Stanford 1-of-12 FG with 6 turnovers in run)

38-27 run over 13:52 at Washington, Dec. 31 (UA makes 10-of-first-14 FG to ignite 2nd half run)

 

Early Signees:  Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.  Chase Budinger (F, 6-7, 190) from Carlsbad, Calif., LaCosta High School; Jordan Hill (F, 6-8, 210) from Atlanta, Ga., The Patterson (N.C.) School;  and Nic Wise (G, 5-10, 180) from Kingwood, Texas., Kingwood High School, will join the squad next fall.

 

Up Next:  Following today’s game, Arizona will either advance to Friday’s semifinal at 6:20 p.m. PST, which will be televised by Fox Sports Net, or return to Tucson and await Sunday’s announcement of the NCAA Tournament participants.

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