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2005-06 Men's Basketball Season-In-Review
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 13, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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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.


The Rankings:  Arizona finished 2005-06 unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.  It is the first time since the 1985-86 season that Arizona finished the season unranked in both major college basketball polls.  The Cats saw its string of 312 consecutive regular-season AP poll appearances end on Dec. 19.


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 McKale Center and have won 261 of its last 280 home games ... He was assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.


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 Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim are the others).  Arizona has the nation’s second-best winning percentage over the last 19 years at .792 (499-131).  In 102 season of intercollegiate competition, Arizona has a cumulative record of 1,508-818 (.652).


Arizona IN the National Statistical Rankings:  As a team, Arizona ranked 11th nationally in steals per game (9.8 per game).  In fact, UA’s 322 steals and 9.8 per game figures each are the third best in school history.  Individually, Hassan Adams ranked 16th nationally in steals per game (2.6) and 93rd in points per game (17.5), while Mustafa Shakur ranked 67th in assists per game (4.7) and Chris Rodgers ranked 53rd in steals per game (2.2).


All-America:  For the first time in 10 years, no Arizona player garnered All-America accolades. The last time this occurred was 1995-96, and in the last decade a total of 19 Wildcats earned All-America distinction


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 Los Angeles, Calif., was one of 11 players selected to the District IX team after averaging 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Adams has scored in double figures 27 times In 2005-06, including 14 games with 20 or more points.


All-Conference:  Three Arizona players earned all-Pac-10 honors in voting released March 6 by the league’s head coaches.  Hassan Adams was an all-conference honoree, Ivan Radenovic was an honorable mention pick, and Marcus Williams was an all-freshman selection.  Adams moved up to first team honors after being an honorable mention selection in each of the previous two seasons.  Previously, Radenovic was an honorable mention all-freshman selection in 2004.


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 freshman All-America team and was a second team all-Rookie selection by


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, Arizona has a 47-19 (.712) record in the month of March.  In that span, Arizona has advanced to the Final Four twice (1997, 2001), the regional final three times (1998, 2003, 2005), and conversely, been knocked out in the first round twice (1999, 2004).


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.  Arizona’s first half scoring average was just 0.9 points per game better than the opposition (33.3 ppg-32.4 ppg), but the scoring margin jumps to 4.2 points after the halftime break (40.5-36.3).


Streaking:  Arizona’s 2006 NCAA Tournament appearance was the 22nd consecutive for the Wildcats and head coach Lute Olson.  It is the second-longest streak in NCAA history, trailing only North Carolina (27, 1975-2001).  Individually, Olson’s 22-year streak of appearances trails only UNC’s Dean Smith in tournament history.  The legendary Tar Heel mentor appeared in 23 consecutive tournaments from 1975-97.


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:  Arizona closed 2005-06 with a 20-13 record.  That’s the most losses for a UA club since the 1983-84 team went 11-17 in Olson’s first season in Tucson.  Over Olson’s 23-year tenure in Tucson, Arizona has averaged 24.9 victories per season.


Pick Up the Pace:  Arizona averaged 73.7 points per game during the season, a figure that ranked second in the Pac-10 but was the lowest UA scoring average since the addition of the three-point field goal in 1986-87.  In fact, Arizona proved more likely to score fewer than 70 points (11 times) than it was to top 80 (eight times) this season.  It was an interesting adjustment for a program that averaged more points per game (83.3) than any team in the country in the previous four seasons (2002-05).


The Century Mark:  Though the team did score 94 points in its NCAA opener vs. Wisconsin, the Cats finished 2005-06 without scoring 100 points in a game.  The last time Arizona went an entire season without posting at least one 100-point game was 2001-02, and it happened just five times previously in the Lute Olson era (1984, ?'90, ?'99, 2000, ?'02).


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.  Arizona was 8-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points.


Off the Mark:  To put it simply, Arizona struggled with its shooting this season.  UA’s 44.6 field goal percentage (909-of-2,037) was the program’s lowest since 1982-83 (43.8 percent), while it’s three-point shooting percentage (31.9 percent) and 142 made treys were the program’s lowest since the shot was added in 1986-87.  Field goal percentage proved to be important when determining Arizona’s success, as the team was 14-3 when outshooting the opposition.  Additionally, UA was 6-2 when shooting 50 percent or better in 2005-06.


Forcing Turnovers:  One thing Arizona was good at was its ability to force the opposition into turnovers.  In 33 games, Wildcat opponents turned the ball over 629 times, or an average of 19.1 times per game.  Fifteen times in 2005-06, Arizona forced 20 or more turnovers and led the Pac-10 in turnover margin (+5.82).


Stolen Moments:  Arizona averaged 9.8 steals per game, a figure that led the Pac-10 and ranked 11th nationally.  The Cats collected 10 or more steals in 18 of 33 games in 2005-06.  All told, five Wildcats had 30 or more steals this season, and Hassan Adams’ 82 pilfers were the third-highest single-season mark in school history.


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 Philadelphia, Pa., average a career-best 11.2 points per game.


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 Arizona career scoring list at 1,818 points.  Adams is the only player in Pac-10 history to record 1,800 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals in a career.


20-Point Plateau:  Freshman forward Marcus Williams notched his fifth 20-point game of the season in the finale against Villanova, which was Arizona’s 27th 20-point game this year.  Williams, who notched 24 points in that contest, ranked second on the club with five 20-point games, trailing only Hassan Adams (14).  Ivan Radenovic (4), Chris Rodgers (2) and Mustafa Shakur (2) also topped the 20-point plateau for the Cats in 2005-06.


Accepting Charity:  Long a staple of the Wildcat attack is the ability to get to the free throw line.  Arizona connected on 70.9 percent (473-of-667) of its free throw attempts.  That’s the fewest number of made free throws since 1986-87 (468).


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.


Doubling Up:  Arizona players notched a total of six double-doubles in 2005-06.  Junior Ivan Radenovic led the way with four, equaling the total from his freshman season, and Mustafa Shakur posted the first two double-doubles of his career, one of which that was bolstered by a career-high 12 assists vs. Stanford on Jan. 19 (13 points).


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 Seattle product certainly held his own across the board statistically when compared to four of the top six freshman scorers in school history.

Player                 Year    GP        FG-A    Pct.    3FG-A    Pct.       FT-A   Pct.   Reb/G       A     TO     Pts-Avg.

C. Norman       1972-73     24    242-476    .508           --        --    92-111   .829        5.3      33       --     576-24.0

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. Wisconsin on March 17.


A Tough Road:  Historically, Arizona has never shied away from playing a tough schedule and this season was no different.  The UA schedule was ranted as the seventh-toughest nationally in the final RPI rankings.  Additionally, Arizona’s non-conference schedule was rated as the nation’s toughest.


A Regularity:  In its 33-game odyssey, Arizona used eight different starting lineups in 2005-06.  That number is equal to the previous two seasons combined.


Always On the Run:  Throughout the season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  The Wildcats posted 15 scoring runs of 11 or more points this season and here are the six best:

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)


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.

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