Game 28: Arizona (17-10, 10-6) vs. Washington State (11-14, 4-12)
Date: Thursday, March 2, 2006
Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
ONLINE: Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium multimedia service, can watch a delayed webcast of the McKale Center production of the game with Brian Jeffries and Ryan Hanson calling the action beginning at 10:30 p.m. (MST). Due to Pac-10 television restrictions, ArizonaAthletics.com can not post video immediately following the conclusion of the game. Live audio is also available to subscribers.
Live Stats (Free)
Live Courtside with the Cats Chat (Free)
Game Data: Arizona (17-10, 10-6 Pac-10) opens the final homestand of the regular season against Washington State (11-14, 4-12 Pac-10) Thursday in McKale Center ... The Cats enter the contest having won three of its last four games overall and six consecutive home games ... In 12 home games this year, UA averages 3.0 more points (76.9 ppg), shoots 14 points better from the field (347-of-758/.458) and holds the opposition to 4.2 fewer points (63.9 ppg) than its season-long per game averages.
The Rankings: For the seventh 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 758-266 (.740) and 566-174 (.765) 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 (315) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.772/315-93) 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 332-34 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 260 of its last 278 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 42-3 against Washington State.
Last Time Out: Arizona limited Arizona State to one field goal in the first 11 minutes then started an 18-0 run two minutes later to put away what would become a 68-47 win on Saturday. Ivan Radenovic led the way for the Wildcats with 14 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Arizona forced 26 ASU turnovers, including a season-high 16 steals, which helped UA hold a 30-8 points off turnovers advantage.
Scouting Washington State: The Cougars enter tonight’s game with an 11-14 record (4-12 Pac-10) following Saturday’s 39-37 loss at Stanford. As a team, WSU shoots 43.3 percent from the field (540-of-1247), including 34.1 percent (114-of-334) from three-point range, while averaging 58.3 points per game. Opponents shoot at a 38.5 percent clip and are averaging 56.6 points per game. One Cougar averages in double figures, Josh Akognon’s 10.9 ppg mark.
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 59th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 47-11 series advantage. Arizona has won 40 of the last 41 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 22, 1959, including the last meeting, 70-52, on Dec. 29 in Spokane, Wash. However, the Cougars did win the last game in McKale Center, 70-63, on Jan 29, 2005. All-time, Arizona is 22-6 in series games played in Tucson, 20-5 in Pullman, Wash., and 5-0 in neutral-site games. Please see page 104 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 70, Washington State 52, Dec. 29, 2005: Hassan Adams scored a game-high 25 points to lead Arizona to the 18-point win. During one 2:45 stretch of the second half Adams scored 10 straight points as the Wildcats pushed the lead to 17 points. UA limited WSU to a season-low 33.3 field goal percentage, including 28.6 percent in the second half, and posted a 47-27 rebound advantage. Marcus Williams added 15 points, while Kirk Walters added nine points and seven rebounds.
A Contrast in Styles: Much has been made of the fact that UA and WSU have such contrasting playing styles. The fact that Arizona scores an average of 15.6 more points per game than the Cougars, or that Washington State allows 11.5 points less per game than the Wildcats, is fairly obvious. Where the game may ultimately be decided is in another category that features quite a disparity: field goal percentage defense. Entering Thursday’s game, Washington State leads the league with an opposing FG percentage of 38.5 percent (493-of-1281), while Arizona ranks last in the Pac-10 with a 44.8 percentage mark (656-of-1463). The team that makes it more difficult to score generally has the advantage regardless of tempo.
Follow Him: In leading Arizona to a decisive win over in-state rival Arizona State Saturday, Ivan Radenovic scored a game-high 14 points, grabbed seven rebounds and collected a career-high six steals. He connected on 6-of-13 field goal attempts, both free throws and added two assists in the effort. Radenovic’s six steals were a UA season high. It was also his team-leading seventh consecutive game in double figures. On the season, Radenovic is averaging 11.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field.
Take Note: Arizona has won 10 or more Pac-10 games in 22 consecutive seasons. No other league team has an active streak of more than 12.
On the Right foot: After slow starts in its two previous games, the Wildcats came out with a more focused effort in Saturday’s win over Arizona State. UA held Arizona State to just one field goal in the first nine minutes of the game and led 12-3 at that point. Arizona limited the Sun Devils to just 25 percent shooting (5-of-20) and a UA opponent-low 13 points in the first half of a 68-47 victory.
Off and Running: One of the keys to such a strong first half for the Wildcats on Saturday (UA led 38-13 at the break) was an 18-0 run over 6:09 of the first half that grew the lead to 25 points. It was Arizona’s 14th run of 11 or more points this season, but the first in which it reached a double-figure margin without the opponent scoring a point. The run also helped the Wildcats improve to 13-0 this season when leading at the half.
Under 50: Saturday’s defensive effort saw Arizona hold Arizona State to 47 points. It marked the third time this season that UA has held an opponent to less than 50 points this season, and the eight time with less than 60 points. On the year, UA opponents are averaging 68.1 points per game.
Change in Tempo: As has been the case for much of the season, Arizona used the steal to affect tempo. Led by Ivan Radenovic, who tallied a career-high and equaled a UA individual season-high with six, the Wildcats collected a season-high 16 steals Saturday vs. Arizona State. It marked the 17th time in 27 games that UA has collected 10 or more steals per game. On the year, UA leads the Pac-10 with an average of 10.1 steals per game.
Multiple Miscues: UA’s 16 steals Saturday went a long way towards Arizona State committing 26 turnovers. It was the 14th time in 2005-06 that UA has forced an opponent into 20 or more turnovers. Through 27 games Arizona opponents have committed 541 turnovers (20.0 per game), which is an average of 6.1 more than Arizona commits (13.9 per game). The Wildcats are 17-7 this season when forcing more turnovers than it commits.
Tough on “D”: Arizona also held its in-state rival to just 36.0 percent shooting (18-of-50) on Saturday. It was the ninth time that Arizona has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting as a team this season, and its first in eight games. The Wildcats last accomplished the feat on Jan. 25 at Arizona State. The ability to out-shoot the opposition has helped UA amass a 12-2 record in 2005-06 when doing just that.
Take Note again: All of the defense mentioned above helped Arizona post a 21-point win on Saturday. UA is 5-0 this season in games decided by 20 or more points.
Among the Best: Hassan Adams continues to cement his place in the Arizona record book. His four steals Saturday moved him into second place on the school’s career steals list with 228, trailing only Jason Terry (1995-99), who tallied 245 pilfers in his collegiate career. The 6-foot-4 senior guard also moved into a tie for 10th place with 96 career starts, and he enters the final week of the regular season five rebounds shy of 700 for his career. In 126 career games played, Adams is averaging 5.5 rebounds per game.
Ever Improving: Junior forward Ivan Radenovic may be playing his way onto the all-Pac-10 team, as he is averaging 13.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists, while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor, in conference play. The 6-foot-10 native of Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro has been even better in the last five games, posting averages of 18.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists to go with a 61.7 field goal percentage.
Off the Bench: Freshman Fendi Onobun continues to show great promise since he came out of redshirt on Jan. 19. Since making his collegiate debut against Stanford, the 6-foot-6 forward is averaging 4.0 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11 games, while shooting 71.4 percent (20-of-28) from the field. Saturday against Arizona State, Onobun hit all four field goal attempts and equaled a season high with nine points in a season-best 18 minutes played.
Productivity: The UA bench was productive in Saturday’s win, outscoring Arizona State’s reserves, 26-18. In 78 total minutes, the Wildcat bench also added 13 rebounds, five assists and six steals.
Certain Signs Indicate Success: Mustafa Shakur tallied five assists Saturday against Arizona State, and has now notched five in each of his last three games. The 6-foot-3 guard has 115 assists in 27 games this season (4.3 apg). Arizona is 37-9 (.804) in Shakur’s career when he passes out five or more assists, including 9-4 this year.
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: The Wildcats close the regular season Saturday against No. 14 Washington. Tip-off on March 4 is scheduled for 4 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.