Jan. 11, 2002
Date: Saturday, Jan. 12, 2002 Time: 7 p.m. PST Location: Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmunson Pavilion (10,000), Seattle, Wash. Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen) TV: KWBA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
GAME DATA: No. 20 Arizona (10-4, 3-2 Pac-10) enters the Emerald City of Seattle looking for riches in the form of a two-game road win streak Saturday at Washington (7-8, 1-4 Pac-10) ... Arizona has yet to win two consecutive conference road games this year ... Interestingly, Arizona has a better record away from home this season (7-2) than at McKale Center (3-2) ... Since the start of the 1998-99 season, Arizona is 5-2 on the Washington/Washington State road swing ... Over the past 19 seasons, Arizona is 200-112 (.641) on the road in Pac-10 play, best in the league ... In its last five games, Arizona is averaging 86.6 points per game ... On their home courts, opponents are shooting .442 (138-of-312) from the field.
THE RANKINGS: After splitting a pair of Pac-10 games last week, Arizona slipped to No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Cats were unranked in both preseason polls. Arizona has been ranked in 244 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH LUTE OLSON . . . is in his 19th season at Arizona and his 29th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 649-229 (.739) and 457-137 (.769) at Arizona ... He recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona during the 2000 campaign and has the fourth most Pac-10 wins (253) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75), Oregon State's Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) and Washington's Hec Edmundson (266, 1921-47) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74) ... During his 19-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 nine Pac-10 Conference titles and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 17 years in a row, which is the 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 six times (1986, '88, '89, '93, '94, '98), 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 14 years (377-87/.813) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 35 NBA Draft picks, including 20 at Arizona - 15 alone since 1990 ... A Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame finalist in each of the last two years, Olson has led UA to 14 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 23 overall in his career, making him one of only seven head coaches in NCAA history to record 23 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 274-28 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 202 of its last 215 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Jay John ...Olson is 31-15 vs. Washington, including a 11-7 mark at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT: In an ebb-and-flow performance, the Wildcats took turns building a lead and holding on in a 92-85 win Thursday at Washington State. Arizona used a 15-3 run midway through the first half to build a 12-point lead before letting it dwindle to just two at the break. The Cats then opened the second half on a quick 9-0 run to open the second half before that lead was cut to two with 1:33 remaining. Jason Gardner's three-point field goal at the 1:02 mark put the game out of reach, as the junior guard scored a team-high 23 points. Luke Walton, playing for the first time in 13 days due to an injury, posted his fourth double-double of the year with 15 points and a season-high 11 rebounds to go with seven rebounds. Using a balanced scoring attack, UA placed five players in double figures and shot a season-best .557 from the floor.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies enter play tonight with a 7-8 record (1-4 Pac-10) after Thursday's 81-68 win over Arizona State. Entering the week, UW averaged 71.8 points per game, shot .438 from the field and had made 20 more three-point field goals than the opposition. Conversely, the Huskies were being outscored (74.6-71.8) and committed nearly five more turnovers per game than the opponent. Doug Wrenn, who scored 23 points in the win over Arizona State, entered the week leading the Huskies with a 16.6 points per game average.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game marks the 48th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 32-15 series advantage. The Wildcats have won the last four games in the series, including last year's 89-64 victory on Jan. 13 in Seattle. All-time, Arizona is 18-4 in series games played in Tucson, 13-11 in Seattle, and 1-0 in neutral-site games.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 82, Washington 62, Feb. 8, 2001. Arizona scored the first six points of the first half and opened the second with a 10-2 run to take control and build as much as a 24-point second-half lead in the Cats fifth straight home win. Michael Wright led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds to notch his seventh double-double of the year, while Gilbert Arenas scored 12 of his 17 points after the break. UA shot 55 percent from the floor in the second half and collected a season-high 15 steals.
HITTING BIG SHOTS: As he has seemingly done all season, Jason Gardner once again hit the big shot that enabled UA to claim Thursday bight's win at Washington State. With UA's lead reduced to just two points with less than two minutes remaining, Gardner buried a trey with 1:02 to go that essentially put the game away. For good measure, Gardner hit all four of his free throws in the last 24 seconds to put the game out of reach. This has been a season-long trend for the guard from Indianapolis, who, for example, hit just four field goals all game on Dec. 30 vs. Valparaiso, but each one either tied the game or gave UA the lead in the Fiesta Bowl Classic championship game.
DEADEYE: The Wildcats shot a season-best .557 (34-of-61) from the field Thursday night to improve to 4-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Included in the effort was a 19-of-32 (.594) first-half effort, which was the team's best shooting half of the year. Thursday's game in Pullman also marked the first time this season that the team has shot better than 50 percent from the floor in a true road game, and just the third time this season that the squad had managed to shoot better than 50 percent in both halves. Incidentally, Arizona has managed to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor in just nine of 28 halves this season.
SHARP INSIDE: The inside rotation was key to Arizona's season-high field goal percentage on Thursday, as Luke Walton, Rick Anderson, Channing Frye and Isaiah Fox combined to hit 19-of-27 (.704) shots from the field. Anderson and Frye were each 5-of-6 from the floor to set a new UA individual season high for FG percentage in a game. Incidentally, Anderson, who raised his season field goal percentage to .500 on the year Thursday, and Frye are the only two UA regulars with a season FG percentage of 50 percent or better.
A RARITY: One of the reasons that Washington State was able to keep the game close was its abiltiy to parlay 26 Arizona fouls into 35 free throws of which it made 23. Until late in the game, the Cougars held a double-figure scoring lead from the line (it was 15 at halftime). WSU's +13 FT attempt advantage was the largest of the year and just the second time in the last two seasons that an opponent had shot more than 10 more free throws than Arizona (41-21, Feb. 1, 2000 at Oregon).
ON TARGET: The Wildcats did make the most of its charity attempts in Thursday's win, connecting on 19-of-22 (.864) for the game, including 16-of-17 (.941) in the second half. In fact, Arizona made its last 14 free throw attempts of the game.
WELCOME BACK: It didn't take long for Luke Walton to get back into form. After sitting out the last three games with a strained right Achilles' tendon, Walton returned to the lineup and posted his fourth double-double of the near, and was three rebounds shy of a triple-double. Walton totaled 15 points, a season-high 11 assists and seven rebounds in 38 minutes of action. It was the second time this season that Walton has flirted with a triple-double, as he tallied 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists on Dec. 1 vs. Kansas.
A FACTOR ONCE AGAIN: Freshman Isaiah Fox turned in one of his best performances of the year at Washington State, as he hit 5-of-6 shots from the floor en route to a 10-point,six-rebound, two-blocked shot performance. For Fox, it was his second double-figure game of the year and his first since a 12-point outing vs. Illinois on Dec. 4.
MAYBE THE REST WAS HELPFUL: Maybe the time off did Luke Walton some good. After rehabilitating an injury for the last 13 days, Walton returned to action and equaled a career high with two three-point field goals. Not only did his 2-of-2 effort from behind the arc double his output on the year, but it raised his three-point shooting percentage 98 points to .222.
MOVING UP: Jason Gardner enters play tonight with 1,130 career points, which ranks 25th on the UA career scoring list. Just ahead of the guard from Indianapolis is Jud Buechler, who scored 1,144 points from 1987-90.
SPREADING IT AROUND: Bolstered by Luke Walton's season-high 11 assists, Arizona collected 21 assists Thursday at Washington State. It marked just the second time this season that the Cats have totaled 20 or more assists. Incidentally, freshman guard Will Bynum also equaled a season high with four assists.
SCORING 90: The Wildcats topped the 90-point plateau for the second consecutive game and third time in the last five outings. Since the start of the 1997-98 season, Arizona is 35-1 (.972) when scoring 90 points or more.
FOUL TROUBLE: Junior forward Rick Anderson has been mired in foul trouble of late, as he has fouled out of two of his last three games. Anderson, who scored 13 points in just 16 minutes Thursday due to foul trouble, leads the team with 56 fouls and six disqualifications this season. In case you were wondering, the UA record for fouls in a season is 113 by Leo Johnson in 1949-50, while the record for disqualifications is 13 by Bill Reeves in 1957-58.
TOP-10 LIST: Jason Gardner continues to move himself up various career top-10 lists. In addition to being the career leader in minutes per game (35.0), he also ranks second in career three-point field goals (195), second in three-point FG attempts (525), and eighth in steals (146).
LEADER OF THE PAC: Freshman Salim Stoudamire went 4-of-4 from the line Thursday to improve his season his free throw shooting to .971 (33-of-34), a figure that leads the Pac-10 Conference. Jason Gardner's 22.1 points per game average and 3.5 three-point field goals per game also leads the league.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: Arizona is 5-0 in games decided by five points or less. Last year's NCAA runner-up went just 4-4 in the close games. The Cats are also 7-2 this year in games decided by 10 points or less.
SCORING 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 50-5 (.909) since the start of the 1998-99 season when scoring at least 80 points. Last year, the Cats were a spotless 17-0 when scoring at least 80 points, but just 5-2 this year.
EARLY SIGNEES: Coach Olson and his staff signed two student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November Early Signing Period. Hassan Adams (G, 6-4, 205) from Los Angeles, Calif., Westchester High School and Chris Rodgers (G, 6-4, 190) from Portland, Ore., Woodrow Wilson High School will join the squad next fall.
UP NEXT: Following today's contest, the Cats return home to face USC on Thursday, Jan. 17. That game tips-off at 8:30 p.m. MST and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.