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Men's Basketball 2006-07 Season-In-Review
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/04/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Season Recap:  Arizona (20-11, 11-7 Pac-10) won 20 games and earned a berth in its 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament ... The Cats have now won 20 games in each of the last 20 seasons, which is the longest active streak in the nation ... UA’s 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest active streak in all NCAA divisions and is the second-longest streak in Division I history ... Along the way, the Wildcats posted a 12-game win streak, which equaled the program’s longest win streak in nine seasons ... UA went 6-3 on the road in Pac-10 play, the Cats’ second-best road mark in the last four season ... It was Arizona’s 30th season with 20 or more wins and the 22nd time under Lute Olson in his 24 seasons as the Wildcat mentor.

 

The Rankings:  Arizona finished the 2006-07 campaign unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.  It marks the second straight season in which the Cats have ended the year without a national ranking ... However, Arizona was nationally ranked in 15 of 20 polling periods during the 2006-07 season, reaching as high as No. 7 in both polls.

 

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . completed his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 781-280 (.736) and 589-188 (.758) 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) 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 23 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 third-best winning percentage over the past 20 years (519-142/.785) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 344-40 (.896) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 296 home games ... He was assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

 

A Remarkable Run:  As mentioned above, Arizona won 20 games in 2006-07, marking the Cats’ 20th straight 20-win season.  It was also the 29th 20-win season in 34 years for Lute Olson as a collegiate head coach.  That extends an NCAA record he shares with Bob Knight (Army, Indiana, Texas Tech) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) for most career 20-win campaigns.  Over the last 20 seasons, Arizona has the third-best winning percentage in the nation at .785 (519-142).

 

Arizona in the National Statistical Rankings:  As a team, Arizona ranked in the top 30 nationally in six statistical categories:  personal fouls per game (13.7/3rd), free throw percentage (.750/20th), rebound margin (+5.6/23rd), assists per game (16.5 apg/25th), scoring offense (78.0 ppg/26th) and field goal percentage (.478/29th).  Individually, UA players ranked in the top 100 of four categories:  Mustafa Shakur, assists per game (6.9 apg/3rd); Ivan Radenovic, free throw percentage (.872/20th), rebounds per game (7.6 rpg/94th); and Chase Budinger, free throw percentage (.845/52nd).

 

All-America:  For the second consecutive season, no UA player earned All-America honors.  Prior to last year, UA had a total of 19 All-America accolades earned since the start of the 1996-97 season.

 

All-Region: Three Arizona players earned all-region honors in voting released by the NABC and the USBWA. Marcus Williams was a first team all-District 15 pick by the NABC, while Ivan Radenovic and Chase Budinger claimed second team honors.  Additionally, Williams was an all-District 9 selection by the USBWA.

 

All-Conference: Four Arizona players earned all-Pac-10 honors in voting released March 5 by the league’s head coaches. Marcus Williams was a first team all-conference honoree, while Ivan Radenovic and Mustafa Shakur were honorable mention picks, and Chase Budinger was named Freshman of the Year. Williams moved up to first team honors after being an all-freshman selection last year. Previously, Radenovic was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2006.

 

Freshman Accolades:  Chase Budinger picked up a pair of freshman All-America honors, as the Encinitas, Calif., product was a second team selection by both collegehoops.net and rivals.com.

 

Leading the Pac: Arizona is riding a streak of 23 consecutive seasons with 11 or more Pac-10 Conference wins. The longest current streak by another Pac-10 foe is UCLA with three.

 

A Top-10 Guy:  Mustafa Shakur closed his Arizona career having firmly dented the UA record book.  The 6-foot-3 guard from Philadelphia, Pa., finished his career ranked 22nd on the UA career points scored list (1,318), second in assists (670), third in games started (129), fourth in minutes played (4,070), fifth in games played (131), seventh in average minutes per game (31.1) and 10th in steals (156).  Additionally, his 215 assists as a senior was the fourth-highest single-season total in school history.

 

Better than Most:  Ivan Radenovic capped his career in Tucson by scoring 1,300 points (No. 23 on the UA career scoring list), grabbing 704 rebounds and passing out 192 assists.  His .872 (150-of-172) free throw percentage in 2006-07 ranked sixth on the UA single-season list, while his .803 (342-of-426) career FT percentage ranks ninth all-time.  Over his last two seasons, Radenovic shot 48.4 percent from the field (287-of-593), while averaging 13.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

 

Scheduled to Return:  Seniors Ivan Radenovic and Mustafa Shakur ended their collegiate careers in 2006-07, and sophomore Marcus Williams opted to make himself available for the National Basketball Association draft, but the Wildcats are scheduled to return quite a bit of talent in 2007-08.  Ten of 13 squadmen should return next year, which means that 44.6 percent of the points scored (1,080 of 2,417), 51.4 percent of the rebounds (595 of 1,158), 30.5 percent of the assists (153 of 502) and 49.7 percent (3,104 of 6,250) of the minutes played could be back on display in McKale Center.

 

Streaking:  The 2007 NCAA Tournament appearance was the 23rd consecutive for Arizona and head coach Lute Olson.  It is the second-longest streak in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina (27, 1975-2001).  Individually, Olson’s 23-year streak of appearances is tied with UNC’s Dean Smith as the longest consecutive appearance streak in tournament history.  The legendary Tar Heel mentor appeared in 23 consecutive tournaments from 1975-97.

 

Atop this one, Too:  Counting his time as the Iowa mentor, 2007 marked Olson’s 28th career NCAA Tournament appearance.  Olson joins Texas Tech’s Bob Knight with the most career appearances in tourney history.  No other active coach has more than 25 career appearances.

 

More Olson Minutia:  Lute Olson ranks third in the NCAA Tournament record book with 74 games coached.  Only Dean Smith (92) and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (87) rank ahead the UA coach.  Additionally, Olson’s 46 career tournament wins rank fourth on the all-time tournament victory list.  Krzyzewski (68), Smith (65) and UCLA’s John Wooden (47) are the only coaches with more NCAA Tournament wins than Olson.

 

In March:  Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 49-21 (.700) record in the month of March.  In that span, 34 of those games have been played in the NCAA Tournament and UA is 24-10 (.706) in them.

 

On the Right Foot:  Over the course of the 31-game season, Arizona displayed an ability to get out to an early lead.  The Wildcats outscored opponents by an average of 4.6 points in the first half of those games and just 0.9 points more in the second half.  Just how much does a good start mean?  UA was 12-6 in games where it led at the 10-minute mark of the first half and 15-4 when leading at halftime.

 

Elite Company:  Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chase Budinger’s team-high 15 points in the NCAA Tournament elevated him among some elite company.  The 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif., is one of just 10 freshmen in Arizona history to score more than 400 points in his debut season.  He finished the season with 484 points scored in 31 games (15.6 ppg).  Here is the list:  1.) Coniel Norman (1972-73), 576; 2.) Gilbert Arenas (1999-2000), 523; 3.) Sean Elliott (1985-86), 499; 4.) Eric Money (1972-73), 492; 5.) Chase Budinger (2006-07), 484; 6.) Mike Bibby (1996-97), 458;  7.) Salim Stoudamire (2001-02), 434; 8.) Marcus Williams (2005-06), 430; 9.) Bob Elliott (1973-74), 429; and 10.) Michael Wright (1998-99), 404.

 

Five for Five: Chase Budinger was the fifth Wildcat to be named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.  Each of those five are included in the freshman scoring list above (Elliott, Budinger, Bibby, Stoudamire and Wright).  All five of those players went on to score more than 1,000 points in their respective Arizona careers.

 

Board Work: One figure that uniformly displayed itself during the 2006-07 season was Arizona’s ability to control the boards. The Wildcats outrebounded 23 of 31 opponents this season, including 15 of 18 Pac-10 foes.  It didn’t always lead to success, as the club was 15-8 when it happened. On the year, UA posted a +5.6 rebound margin, a figure that ranked 23rd nationally.  It was UA’s best rebound margin since the 2002-03 club posted a +6.4 figure.

 

Dubious Distinction:  Including a conference championship and four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, Mustafa Shakur and Ivan Radenovic have been part of UA teams that have posted a combined record of 90-41 (.687). That’s winning basketball, yet also puts them on a strange perch.  They’re atop the Lute Olson-era teams for the most losses by Wildcat regulars, just eclipsing Steve Kerr, who played on Olson teams that recorded a 90-39 (.698) record from 1984 to 1988. Had Kerr not been injured and redshirted in 1986-87 when the Cats finished 18-12, instead of sticking around for the 1988 35-3 Final Four squad, he would have left with a 73-48 (.603) mark.

 

Better than the Magic 8-Ball:  If you were looking for predictors of Wildcat success, look no further than these two statistics:  field goal percentage and turnovers.  This season, Arizona was 18-3 when outshooting the opposition, 2-8 when not.  Secondly, the Wildcats were 12-1 when committing the same or fewer turnovers than its opponent, and 8-10 when posting more.

 

A Seedy Predicament:  Since seeding was introduced to the entire NCAA Tournament field in 1985, Arizona’s average seed in those 23 events is 4.1.  But that number has trickled higher of late.  Over the last five seasons, UA’s average seed is a 5.8.  The only five-year period that produced a lower average seed (higher number) was 1985-89, when the average seed was 6.2.

 

Assisting the Cause:  Mustafa Shakur closed the 2006-07 campaign ranked third nationally with a 6.9 assists per game average, and finished the season with 215 assists, which was the fourth-highest total in school history.  Shakur finished his career with more assists (670) than any other player in the Lute Olson era, which was the second-most in school history and No. 6 in Pac-10 annals.  Incidentally, UA was 60-19 (.759) during Shakur’s career when he passed out five or more assists, a feat he accomplished in 29 of 31 games this season.

 

Double-Doubles:  Arizona players totaled 18 double-doubles in 2006-07, 12 more than in the previous season.  Chase Budinger led the way with five, while Ivan Radenovic and Marcus Williams each tallied four.  Interestingly, Jordan Hill collected three double-doubles and each of them came in the last 12 games.  No Wildcat had as many double-doubles in than span as the freshman from Atlanta, Ga.

 

Legendary Comparison:  Lute Olson set a high standard when he favorably compared Chase Budinger to Arizona standout Sean Elliott (1985-89) long before Budinger even played his first collegiate game. Budinger handled the comparison well. Here is a look at both players’ freshman-year statistics:

Player       GP-GS    Min        FG-A  Pct.     3FG-A  Pct.       FT-A   Pct.  Reb.    A  Stl  Pts.-Avg.

Elliott          32-32     1079    187-385  .486             --      --  127-167   .760    171   70   22    499-15.6

Budinger    31-31     1024    176-363  .485     50-136  .368      82-97   .845    179   62   34    484-15.6

 

Out of Nowhere:  There haven’t been many players that have enjoyed the kind of productivity that Jordan Hill produced in the second half of the season, especially after sparse contributions early on.  In UA’s first 18 games of the season, the 6-foot-9 forward made 16 appearances (0 starts/7.4 minutes per game) and averaged 2.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.  In the last 12 games of the season, Hill made 12 appearances (11 starts/21.6 mpg) and averaged 7.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.  In that closing push, Hill finished in double figures six times and shot 69.0 percent from the field.

 

On Target:  Guard Jawann McClellan led all Wildcats in three-point field goal percentage at 37.8 percent (37-of-98), and his 37 treys were a career high.  In his three-year career, the 6-foot-4 guard from Houston, Texas, hit 61-of-161 (.379) field goal attempts from behind the arc.  On Nov. 19, McClellan set a UA record for three-point FG percentage in a single game when he sank 7-of-7 in the 102-87 win over New Mexico State.

 

From the Line:  Not only did Arizona finish 20th nationally with its 75.0 free throw percentage, but the Cats managed to make 171 more free throws (553) than the opponents attempted (382).  Over the 31-game season, Arizona averaged 11.5 more free throw attempts per game than the opposition and outscored them by an average of 9.4 points per game from the line.

 

Good and Bad:  The 2006-07 Wildcats averaged 13.8 turnovers per game, which was the second-lowest turnovers per game figure for the program in the last 10 seasons.  Only last season’s 13.2 topg figure tops it.  However, UA’s -1.6 turnover margin in 2006-07 was the worst for the program in that span.  In fact, it was just the second time (2001-02) in those 10 seasons that Arizona had failed to force more miscues than it committed.

 

Hand in hand:  If you saw the note above, you know that Arizona had trouble forcing turnovers this year.  Here are two numbers which often go hand-in-hand when it comes to basketball statistics.  Arizona collected only 186 steals this season.  That’s the fewest number of steals for the program in a single season since 1984-85 (173).  Additionally, UA opponents turned the ball over 379 times in 2006-07, which is the lowest total on record since turnovers became an officially kept statistic in 1974-75.

 

Steady:  Junior Daniel Dillon proved to be a key reserve, ranking seventh on the team in minutes played.  But the 6-foot-4 guard also proved worthy by ranking second on the club with a 1.53 assist:turnover ratio.  Furthermore, Dillon averaged a turnover every 21.2 minutes played ?- the stingiest figure on the team.  His 1.9 points per game average was also a career high for Dillon.

 

Scoring 80:  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 162-19 (.895) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.  Arizona was 12-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points.

 

Always On the Run:  Early this season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  Here are the ones of note to date:

25-0 run over 7:45 vs. New Mexico State, Nov. 19 (UA went 11-of-16 during run: NMSU 0-of-10)

34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 15 (UA went 12-of-16 during run: NAU 3-of-16)

31-9 run over 7:54 vs. California, Dec. 28 (UA went 11-of-13 during the run; Cal 4-of-14)

28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)

20-2 run over 5:59 vs. Louisville, Dec. 5 (UL went 1-of-10; UA 7-of-8 during the run)

21-4 run over 8:08 vs. Illinois, Dec. 2, 2006 (UA 8-of-12 FGs during run)

25-8 run over 9:01 vs. Washington, Feb. 3, 2007 (UW 4-of-12 FG with five turnovers during run)

24-8 run over 9:17 at San Diego State, Dec. 9, 2006 (SDSU 4-of-18 FG with five TO during run)

18-3 run over 4:15 at Virginia, Nov. 12 (UA went 6-of-8 during run: UVa 1-of-8)

23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)

22-7 run over 9:10 at Stanford, March 3 (Stanford 2-of-12 FG during the run, UA 8-of-12)

15-0 run over 2:28 at Washington, Jan. 4 (McClellan 3-of-3 from three-point range, UA 6-of-6 FTs)

 

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.

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