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.
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
A Remarkable Run: As mentioned above,
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.
Freshman Accolades: Chase Budinger picked up a pair of freshman All-America honors, as the Encinitas,
Leading the Pac:
A Top-10 Guy: Mustafa Shakur closed his
Better than Most: Ivan Radenovic capped his career in
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
Streaking: The 2007 NCAA Tournament appearance was the 23rd consecutive for
Atop this one, Too: Counting his time as the
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,
On the Right Foot: Over the course of the 31-game season,
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
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
Board Work: One figure that uniformly displayed itself during the 2006-07 season was
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,
A Seedy Predicament: Since seeding was introduced to the entire NCAA Tournament field in 1985,
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.
Legendary Comparison: Lute Olson set a high standard when he favorably compared Chase Budinger to
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
From the Line: Not only did
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
Hand in hand: If you saw the note above, you know that
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.
Always On the Run: Early this season,
25-0 run over 7:45 vs.
34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern
31-9 run over 7:54 vs.
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.
21-4 run over 8:08 vs.
25-8 run over 9:01 vs.
24-8 run over 9:17 at
18-3 run over 4:15 at
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
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.