Game 24: No. 12 Arizona (19-4, 9-2) at USC (9-13, 2-9)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (16,409), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
All-Access Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, ArizonaAthletics.com's premium audio/video service, can watch a delayed video webcast of the FSN Arizona production (with Dave Sitton and Bob Elliott calling the action) beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday. ArizonaAthletics.com will also provide live and postgame coverage of the game, including:
Postgame Story and Statistics (Free)
Postgame Video Highlights (All-Access Video)
Game Data: No. 12 Arizona (19-4, 9-2 Pac-10) packs its bags for Southern California as the team takes on USC (9-13, 2-9 Pac-10) Thursday in Los Angeles ... The Wildcats had better get used to the road as five of its last seven regular season games are away from home ... The last time UA closed the season with five of seven on the road was in 2000-01, and that club posted a 6-1 mark in that stretch ... Arizona is averaging 72.8 points per game in six road games this season.
The Rankings: After a pair of wins last week, Arizona rose to No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25 and remained at No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 298 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 22nd season at Arizona and his 32nd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 730-253 (.743) and 538-161 (.770) 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 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the second-most Pac-10 wins (299) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.777/299-86) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 22-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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, 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 17 years (449-111/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 47 NBA Draft picks, including 28 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 26 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 26 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 320-33 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 248 of its last 265 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 37-11 against USC.
Last Time Out: Four different Wildcats scored in an 18-4 run early in the second half as Arizona built a 16-point lead and never looked back in Saturday’s 90-72 win over Stanford. Channing Frye collected his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds to go with four blocks, while Salim Stoudamire finished with a game-high 26 points as the Cats snapped a four-game home losing streak to the Cardinal. Chris Rodgers came off the bench to spark UA with eight first half points that enabled Arizona to take control after a seesaw battle early on.
Scouting USC: The Trojans enter Thursday’s game with an 9-13 record (2-9 Pac-10) after a 61-53 loss Saturday at Washington State. USC shoots 44.7 percent from the field (603-of-1349), posts a +0.6 rebound margin and is outscored the opposition by 4.6 points per game. Individually, three Trojans average in double figures, led by Lodrick Stewart, who averages 13.9 points per game. Jeff McMillan leads the team by averaging 6.6 rebounds per game.
The Series: Thursday’s game marks the 85th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 51-33 series advantage. UA has won 12 of the last 15 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1922, including the last get-together, a 77-68 win in Tucson on Jan. 13. All-time, Arizona is 26-8 in series games played in Tucson, 22-25 in Los Angeles, and 3-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 104 of the UA basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 77, USC 68, Jan. 13, 2005: Four players finished in double figures, led by Chris Rodgers (22) and Salim Stoudamire (21), as Arizona posted a nine-point win. The Cats forced 23 turnovers, grabbed four more offensive rebounds to offset 44.8 percent shooting and defeat USC for the 20th consecutive time in McKale Center. UA was good when it had to be, committing just four second-half turnovers and stretched the lead to as many as 12 points. Hassan Adams added 15 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Keep an Eye Out: Arizona seniors Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire were among 30 players nationally selected to the midseason watch list for the Naismith Player-of-the-Year award. Frye, who averages 15.0 points and 7.7 rebounds, and Stoudamire, who averages 17.4 points and leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage, are among four Pac-10 players on the Naismith watch list.
Milestones: A win today would help Olson achieve two more milestones. First, a win would give Arizona its 18th consecutive 20-win season and the 28th in school history. Furthermore, it would be Olson’s 27th career 20-win season, which would tie him with Texas Tech’s Bob Knight and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim for second most in NCAA history. Secondly, a win would give Olson 300 career Pac-10 victories, ranking him behind only UCLA’s John Wooden (304) on the league’s career victories list.
Good Effort: Channing Frye led Arizona to a spotless 2-0 week with wins over California and Stanford by averaging 17.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots. The senior center also connected on 60.0 percent (15-of-25) of his field goal attempts, shot 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from the free throw line and added two steals and an assist. He opened the week with a 20-point, seven-rebound effort in Thursday’s win over California, one in which he hit 8-of-14 shots from the floor in only 28 minutes. He followed that up with a dominating 15-point, 13-rebound, four-block effort in Saturday’s win over Stanford. It was his fifth double-double of the season.
Straight Shooters: In two games this week, Arizona shot a combined 59.0 percent (72-of-122) from the floor, marking just the second time this season that the Wildcats have shot 50 percent or better from the field in back-to-back games. UA opened the week with a season-best 63.5 percent shooting (40-of-63) against California and followed that with 54.2 percent shooting (32-of-59) against Stanford. Last week, the Arizona starters combined to shoot 61.8 percent (55-of-89) from the field.
The Tables have Turned: The improved field goal accuracy for the Wildcats of late has finally reversed the field goal percentage numbers in UA’s favor. By outshooting California by 20 percentage points in Thursday’s win, Arizona finally managed to post a better season field goal percentage than the opposition. As it stands right now, Arizona has a .453 field goal percentage (648-of-1429) through 23 games, a figure that is 12 percentage points higher than the opposition (584-1323/.441).
Piling Up Points: The improved accuracy obviously helped the scoring totals, as Arizona scored 90 or more points in back-to-back games for only the second time this season. In fact, the Wildcats’ 187 points scored against Cal and Stanford was its highest offensive output in consecutive games this year. Over the last five games, Arizona is averaging 86.6 points per game, a figure that is nearly eight points higher than its season average (78.8 ppg), and has scored 90 or more points four times.
700 and Counting: Thursday’s game will be the 700th for Lute Olson as the Arizona head coach. Since taking over the program in March of 1983, Olson has amassed a 538-161 (.770) record on the UA sideline. He is the winningest coach in school history.
Team Leader: Hassan Adams continues to put up solid numbers game in and game out. Against the Bay Area schools, Adams averaged 14 points and 4.5 rebounds, while totaling seven assists, seven steals and two blocked shots. Over his last five games, the 6-foot-4 guard is averaging 11.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals, while shooting 59.1 percent (26-of-44) from the field. Adams leads the team with 51 steals, ranks second on the club in rebounds (5.7 rpg), assists (65) and blocked shots (11), and ranks third with a 12.2 points per game average.
On Target: Arizona set a school and McKale Center record for free throw percentage by hitting all 18 free throws Saturday against Stanford. The previous school record of 13-of-13 was set on Dec. 7, 1972, against USC. Arizona is shooting 78.4 percent (359-of-458) from the free throw line, a figure that ranks second nationally.
Last Line of Defense: Boosted by Channing Frye’s season-high four blocked shots, Arizona posted a season-high eight blocked shots Saturday against Stanford. In addition to Frye, Hassan Adams collected two, while Ivan Radenovic and Kirk Walters each tallied one. Arizona is averaging 3.3 blocked shots per game this season.
From the Point: Perhaps lost in the shuffle of this week’s stellar performances was that of Mustafa Shakur. The 6-foot-3 sophomore point guard may have averaged 7.0 points and 3.5 rebounds, but he also passed out 14 assists in the two games and added two steals and a blocked shot. In Thursday’s win over Cal, the Philadelphia native hit 5-of-8 FG attempts en route to 10 points, while passing out eight assists, which was his second-highest total of the season. In his career, Arizona is 24-4 when Shakur passes out five or more assists.
Comforts of Home: It’s obvious that Hassan Adams like to play close to home, as the junior from Los Angeles tallied 12 points and nine rebounds Dec. 5 vs. Mississippi State in Anaheim, Calif. In eight career games in the Los Angeles area, Adams is averaging 16.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and shooting 48.5 percent from the floor.
High Impact: Chris Rodgers proved to be a difference maker in Saturday’s win with 13 points off the bench. The junior from Portland, Ore., hit 5-of-9 FG attempts, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc, to notch his fifth double-figure scoring effort this year. He also added two assists and two steals against the Cardinal. Rodgers is averaging 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in just over 20 minutes per game this season.
Productivity: Sophomore Ivan Radenovic continues to be a productive cog in Arizona’s frontline rotation, as witnessed by his 10-point, eight-rebound, two-steal effort Saturday against Stanford. The 6-foot-10 native of Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, is averaging 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds over his last five games, while shooting 58.3 percent (14-of-24) from the field in that span.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Eleven times during the 2004-05 season UA has posted a scoring run of more than 15 points. Here is a look at the list:
21 points ?- 29-8 run over 8:58 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
19 points ?- 27-8 run over 8:10 vs. Wright State, Nov. 18
19 points ?- 22-3 run over 8:49 vs. Richmond, Dec. 30
18 points ?- 20-2 run over 8:11 vs. San Diego, Nov. 16
18 points ?- 22-4 run over 7:50 vs. California, Feb. 3
17 points ?- 25-8 run over 10:15 vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 28
16 points ?- 18-2 run over 5:00 vs. Wyoming, Nov. 30
16 points ?- 23-7 run over 5:59 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
16 points ?- 21-5 run over 5:12 vs. Arizona State, Jan. 2
16 points ?- 16-0 run over 4:24 at Oregon, Jan. 20
16 points ?- 29-13 run over 10:56 vs. Stanford, Feb. 5
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 134-16 (.893) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 10-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Fendi Onobun (F, 6-7, 215) from Houston, Texas, Alief Taylor High School; J.P. Prince (G, 6-6, 183) from Memphis, Tenn., White Station High School; and Marcus Williams (F, 6-6, 190) from Seattle, Wash., Roosevelt High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: The Cats close this road swing Saturday evening at UCLA. The Feb. 12 contest is scheduled to tip-off at 5 p.m. PST and can be seen on Fox Sports Net.