March 6, 2013
Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Time: 2:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,538), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach) [Sirius/XM: 91/91]
TV: FSN (Justin Kutcher/Marques Johnson)
GAME DATA: No. 18 Arizona (23-6, 11-6 Pac-12) hosts the last game of the regular season Saturday vs. Arizona State (20-10, 9-8 Pac-12) in McKale Center ... The Wildcats and Sun Devils meet on the hardwood for the 224th time ... The last five series meetings at McKale Center have been decided by an average of 8.6 points per game ... Over the last 29 years, Arizona is an impressive 25-4 (.862) in regular season home finales, and Sean Miller is a spotless 3-0 in such contests, winning those games by 12 total points.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked 18th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll, its lowest ranking of the season. The Wildcats are one of 11 teams nationally to have been ranked in every AP poll this season.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 6-3 vs. Arizona State as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Slow starts at the beginning of each half spelled doom for the Wildcats in what was a 74-69 loss at UCLA last Saturday. UA was a combined 2-of-10 from the floor and was outscored 20-6 in the first four minutes of each period. UA managed to fight back and had possession with 24 seconds to go with a chance to tie the game, but failed to convert. Grant Jerrett led four Wildcats in double figures with 14 points, while Kaleb Tarczewski added 10 rebounds.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils enter today's game with a 20-10 record (9-8 Pac-12) following Saturday's 57-56 loss at USC. On the season, Arizona State averages 70.7 points per game, shoots 45.6 percent from the floor (772-of-1,693), 33.4 percent (211-of-632) from three-point range and 72.2 percent (330-of-457) from the line. Opponents average 65.5 points, are outrebounded by 0.3 per game and shoot 40.6 percent from the floor (723-of-1,781). Individually, three ASU players average in double figures, led by Jahi Carson's 17.8 ppg figure. Carrick Felix leads the Sun Devils in rebounding at 8.4 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: Today's game is the 224th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 143-80 series advantage. Arizona has won 29 of the last 37 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, including the last, a 71-54 decision on Jan. 19, in Tempe. All-time, Arizona is 79-28 in series games played in Tucson, 63-51 in Tempe, and 1-1 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 46 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 71, Arizona State 54, Jan. 19, 2013: Mark Lyons scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half as Arizona pulled away for the 17-point win. The Cats shot 56 percent from the field - nine of its 14 FGs in the half were dunks or lay-ups - and outscored the Sun Devils, 42-28, in the closing period. UA outrebounded ASU by six, forced 17 turnovers and held them to less than 40 percent shooting. Nick Johnson added 19 points, while Solomon Hill chipped in with 13 points, six rebounds and a game-high five assists.
SENIOR CLASS: Arizona's senior class, which includes players Kevin Parrom and Max Wiepking and floor managers David Buchanan, Margarito Najera and Preston Fawcett makes its final appearance in front of the home fans this weekend. Over the last four years, the Cats have won 92 games, including a 55-11 (.833) record in McKale Center, won more than 20 games in each of the last three seasons, including 2010-11's 30-win season, advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice (to date), made one trip to the Elite Eight, claimed the 2011 Pac-10 championship and advanced to back-to-back Pac-12 Tournament finals.
STEPPING UP: Despite being swept last week, Kevin Parrom averaged 13.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, while shooting 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from the field to go with a block and a steal while in Southern California. He opened the week with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, four boards and an assist and steal Wednesday at USC and added 11 points four rebounds an assist and steal Saturday at UCLA. It marked his third straight game in double figures, a streak that equals a career long. Parrom is shooting 49.4 percent from the field (86-of-174) and averages 8.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.
BOARD WORK: Led by Kaleb Tarczewski, who pulled down a game-high 10 boards, Arizona outrebounded UCLA, 34-29, Saturday and enjoys a +6.0 rebound margin this year. The Cats have outboarded 21 of 29 opponents to date and its current +6.0 rebound margin is the best for the program since 2002-03, when that team - ranked No. 1 in the nation for 13 weeks - posted a +6.4 margin. Interestingly, The UCLA game was only the second in 2012-13 in which UA outrebounded a foe and lost.
10 OR MORE: The Wildcats connected on 45.5 percent (10-of-22) three-point field goal attempts Saturday at UCLA. It was the sixth time this season that the Cats have reached double figures from behind the arc, and the fourth time in Pac-12 play. Presently, Arizona leads the Pac-12 with an average of 7.6 made treys per game, and connects on 36.3 percent (221-of-608) of its shots from long range. Five different Wildcats are averaging 1.0 made treys per game or better this season.
WITH REGULARITY: In its two games in Southern California this week, Arizona managed to get to the free throw line with greater frequency than the opposition, as the Cats combined to outscore USC and UCLA 34-26 from the line and made two more free throws than the SoCal schools attempted. On the year, UA averages 3.9 more points from the free throw line than the opposition and attempts 4.4 more charity tosses.
73.4 AND RISING: Through 29 games, Arizona is averaging 73.4 points per game, a figure that is the second-highest scoring average of the Sean Miller era, topped only by the 2010-11 squad that averaged 76.4 points per game.
HEATING UP: Over last three games, senior swingman Kevin Parrom has enjoyed as productive a stretch as any in his career, averaging a team-leading 15.3 points to go with 5.0 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-6 native of the Bronx, N.Y., has connected on 71.4 percent (15-of-21) of his field goal attempts and 66.7 percent (10-of-15) from three-point range. In that span, Parrom is averaging 29.0 minutes per game, about 5.5 minutes per game above his season-long average of 23.9 mpg.
ON THE MARK: Freshman forward Grant Jerrett put forth a solid effort in Los Angeles, averaging 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in the two games last week. The 6-foot-10 native of Chino Hills, Calif., connected on 61.5 percent (8-of-13) of his field goal attempts, including 6-of-10 from three-point range. Jerrett finished in double figures in both games this week, his fifth of the season, and tallied 14 points and five rebounds Saturday at UCLA. In that contest, Jerrett connected on 4-of-5 attempts from three-point range and three of his five boards were offensive. He currently leads Arizona with a .424 (28-of-66) three-point field goal percentage.
A SORT OF HOMECOMING: Junior Jordin Mayes made a re-emergence in his native Los Angeles, scoring 11 points and adding a pair of assists, including a seven-point effort Saturday at UCLA. Mayes connected on 4-of-7 shots (.571) from the floor, including 2-of-3 from three-point range. The 11 points scored were more than the 6-foot-3 guard had tallied in the 12 games prior to the road trip. In fact, Mayes' seven-point outburst in Westwood his second-best offensive night of the season, bettered only by a 10-point outing in the season opener vs. Charleston Southern on Nov. 11. On the year, Mayes is averaging 2.5 points and 0.8 rebounds per game.
A SOLID MIDDLE: Freshman Kaleb Tarczewski averaged 9.0 rebounds per game last week, including 10 Saturday at UCLA. It was the third game this season that the 7-footer from Claremont, N.H., has pulled down 10 or more rebounds, equaling the team high. On the year, Tarczewski is averaging 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game to go with a .511 (68-of-133) field goal percentage. Over the last 10 games, the UA center is averaging 7.8 points, 5.8 boards and carries a .556 (25-of-45) field goal percentage. Currently, he ranks 13th in the league in offensive rebounds, averaging 2.2 offensive boards per game.
TWO SCORE: In terms of 40-point halves, Arizona has outperformed the opposition by 50 percent, posting 15 such halves compared with 10 for UA's opponents. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the squad has accounted for seven 40-point halves in Pac-12 play when compared to nine by opponents since conference action started in January.
IN MARCH: Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 63-34 (.649) record in the month of March. In that span, 40 of those games have been played in the NCAA Tournament and UA is 28-12 (.700) in them. In the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 11-7 (.611) in March.
BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. February 23 vs. Washington State, the Wildcats used a 21-9 run in the first half that game UA a double-figure lead it would not relinquish. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
30-8 run over 12:57 (1st+2nd) vs. Washington, Feb. 20
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
21-9 run over 11:02 (1st) vs. Washington State, Feb. 23
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 Hollis-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 at the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Seedings and match-ups will be announced once the regular season is complete. First-round games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.