Wildcats Win 20 Games; Play in 22nd Consecutive NCAA Tournament
Season Data: Arizona (20-13, 11-7 Pac-10) won 20 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd consecutive season, which is the longest active postseason streak in all NCAA divisions ... The Wildcats advanced to the second round of the Minneapolis Region, meaning the program has won at least one tournament game in nine of the last 11 years ... UA won 20 games for the 29th time in school and the 21st time under Lute Olson ... Arizona string of 19 straight 20-win seasons is the longest current streak in the nation.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . just completed his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 761-269 (.739) and 569-177 (.763) 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 (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) 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 22 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 second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 333-35 (.905) in
The Success Continues: The Wildcats tallied 20 wins in 2005-06, marking the program’s 19th straight 20-win season. As mentioned earlier, it is UA’s 29th 20-win season in school history and the 28th for Lute Olson as a collegiate head coach. Olson is one of three coaches to register 28 20-win seasons (Texas Tech’s Bob Knight and
All-America: For the first time in 10 years, no
All-Region: Hassan Adams was named to the United States Basketball Writers Association all-District IX team. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior guard from
Freshman Accolades: Marcus Williams picked up all-freshman kudos from a pair of college basketball web sites. The 6-foot-7 forward was named to the collegeinsider.com freshman All-America team and was a second team all-Rookie selection by collegehoops.net.
Streak Stopped: Seniors Hassan Adams and Chris Rodgers closed their collegiate careers with a four-year record of 98-34 (.742). That ends a UA basketball streak that saw every four-year player to enter the program since the fall of 1985 win at least 100 games in his career, a string that covered the previous 20 senior classes.
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season,
On the Career Charts: Hassan Adams closed his career as one of the most productive players in school history. The senior guard finds himself ranked among the top 10 in seven career categories: second in steals (238), third in field goals made (750) and field goal attempts (1,503), sixth in games played (130), seventh in points scored (1,818), eighth in blocked shots (85) and 10th in games started (100).
Rising to the Occasion: Three Arizona players raised their level of productivity in the postseason. In four games (two Pac-10 and two NCAA Tournament) , UA’s Marcus Williams, Ivan Radenovic and Mustafa Shakur combined to average 49.3 points, 17.6 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. That was an improvement of 13.0 points and 2.9 rebounds over their collective season averages. Williams led all UA scorers in the postseason with 70 points, while Radenovic (28) grabbed the most rebounds and Shakur passed out the highest number of assists (22).
It’s Like Breakfast: A good start is essential to success, and the Cats definitely proved that as the club was 15-1 this season when leading at the half. That’s important because the Cats proved to be a second-half club.
More Tournament Minutia: Lute Olson ranks third in the NCAA Tournament record book with 72 games coached. Only Dean Smith (92) and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (87) rank ahead the UA coach. Additionally, Olson’s 46 career tournament wins place him fourth on the all-time tournament victory list. Kyzyzewski (68), Smith (65) and UCLA’s John Wooden (47) are the only coaches with more NCAA Tournament wins than Olson.
In case You Were Wondering:
Pick Up the Pace:
The Century Mark: Though the team did score 94 points in its NCAA opener vs.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 150-18 (.893) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Off the Mark: To put it simply,
Forcing Turnovers: One thing
Getting to the Line: Junior guard Mustafa Shakur led all Wildcats from the free throw line, posting team-best figures of 108 made free throws, 134 attempts and a .806 percentage. The percentage was a career best, while the FTs made and attempted this year equaled and nearly surpassed his free throw totals from his first two seasons (108-of-141) combined. The effort helped the 6-foot-3 native of
Stepping Up: Mustafa Shakur collected 61 assists over his last 10 games to boost his assists per game average to a career-high 4.7. The junior posted those 61 assists against only 24 turnovers (2.54 assist:turnover ratio) to move his assist:turnover ratio to 1.75, a figure that ranked third in the Pac-10 and was a career best. Shakur closed 2005-06 tied for ninth place on the UA career assists list with 455.
Worth Noting: Hassan Adams finished his career in seventh place on the
20-Point Plateau: Freshman forward Marcus Williams notched his fifth 20-point game of the season in the finale against Villanova, which was
Accepting Charity: Long a staple of the Wildcat attack is the ability to get to the free throw line.
Scheduled to Return in 2007: Seniors Hassan Adams, Isaiah Fox and Chris Rodgers closed their collegiate careers in 2005-06, but the Wildcats are scheduled to return an abundance of talent in 2007. Eleven of 14 squadmen could return next year, which means that 67.4 percent of the points scored (1,641 of 2,433), 78.8 percent of the rebounds (898 of 1,140), 72.2 percent of the assists (355 of 492) and 72.5 percent of the minutes played (4,877 of 6,725) could be back on display.
A Second Half Guy: Forward Ivan Radenovic finished the season as the team leader in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and ranked third on the club with a career-best 12.1 points per game average. The 6-foot-10 Radenovic proved to be very productive after a slow start. Through the first 16 games of the season, Radenovic averaged 9.0 point and 6.2 rebounds while shooting just 36.4 percent (43-of-118) from the floor. Over the last 17 games, he averaged 14.8 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 52.5 percent (94-of-179) from the field. All told, Radenovic averaged only 7.4 FG attempts per game in the first half of the year and 10.5 attempts in the second half.
More From the Middle: UA center Kirk Walters enjoyed his most productive campaign in 2005-06 by averaging 6.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots, while shooting 58.6 percent (82-of-140) from the field. He was the only Wildcat regular to shoot better than 50 percent from the field for the season and ranked fifth in the Pac-10 with his 1.5 blocked shots per game figure. Walters’ 50 blocks this season tied for ninth on the school’s single-season blocked shots list.
A Nice Debut: Forward Marcus Williams enjoyed a fine freshman season by averaging 13.0 points per game. His 13.0 ppg average led all Pac-10 freshmen and his 430 points scored ranked seventh in school in points by a freshman. The 6-foot-7
Player Year GP FG-A Pct. 3FG-A Pct. FT-A Pct. Reb/G A TO Pts-Avg.
S. Elliott 1985-86 32 187-385 .486 -- -- 127-167 .760 5.3 70 68 499-15.6
G. Arenas 1999-2000 34 187-413 .453 38-130 .292 111-148 .750 4.1 71 87 523-15.4
S. Stoudamire 2001-02 34 129-291 .443 73-161 .453 103-114 .904 2.1 38 54 434-12.8
M. Williams 2005-06 33 159-351 .453 30-69 .435 82-113 .726 4.7 61 59 430-13.0
Time To Shine: Since joining the program as a walk-on two years ago, sophomore forward Bret Brielmaier has played his way into the rotation. 2005-06 was his most productive season to date, as the 6-foot-6 native of Mankato, Minn., averaged 1.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 30 appearances (two starts), while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor (16-of-32). He saved one of his best all-around performances for the NCAA Tournament, as he connected on all three FG attempts and all four FT attempts en route to a career-high totals of 10 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes vs.
A Regularity: In its 33-game odyssey,
Always On the Run: Throughout the season,
29-1 run over 10:43 vs.
33-15 run over 10:26 vs.
18-0 run over 6:09 vs.
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
21-6 run over 7:12 vs.
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