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Memphis Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/22/2007
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Game 12:? No. 17 Arizona (9-2) at No. 2 Memphis (10-0)

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Date: ? Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007

Time: ? 9 p.m. CST

Location: ? FedEx Forum (18,400), Memphis, Tenn.

Radio: ? Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

TV: ESPN2 (Dave Oˇ?Brien/Steve Lavin)

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Game data: ? No. 19 Arizona (9-2, 0-0 Pac-10) hits the road for the last time in this calendar year for an intriguing match-up Saturday at No. 2 Memphis (10-0, 0-0 CUSA) ... The high-scoring Tigers, averaging 80.5 points per game, face the newly defensive-minded Wildcats, allowing just 52.3 points per game over the last three ... Arizona is 75-40 (.652) all-time against teams that currently reside in Conference USA.

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The Rankings: ? Following the win on Dec. 16, Arizona rose in the polls dated Dec. 17, checking in at No. 19 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . will begin his 25th season at Arizona and his 35th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 780-280 (.736) and 589-187 (.759) at Arizona upon his return from a leave of absence, which was announced on Nov. 4 ... 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizonaˇ?s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLAˇ?s John Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles)?... During his 24-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, ˇ®89, ˇ®90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 23 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, ˇ®88, ˇ®89, ˇ®93, ˇ®94, ˇ®98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ˇ®81) and directed the UA program to the nationˇ?s third-best winning percentage over the past 20 years (519-142/.785) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 52 NBA Draft picks, including 31 at Arizona ?C 25 alone since 1990 ... Heˇ?s led UA to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons...Under Olson, the Cats are 344-40 (.896) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 296 home games ... He is assisted by Kevin Oˇ?Neill, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

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Last Time out: ? Jerryd Bayless and Nic Wise combined for 25 second-half points to lead Arizona to its sixth consecutive win in a 74-58 decision Saturday over San Diego State.? The backcourt duo hit 11-of-16 field goal attempts in the second period as the Cats shot 59.4 percent from the field, while limiting the visiting Aztecs to just 32.4 percent shooting.? Jordan hill notched his second straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Jawann McClellan earned game MVP honors with a seven-point, nine-rebound, nine assist game.

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Scouting Memphis: ? The second-ranked Tigers enter play Saturday with a 10-0 record after an 85-71 win over No. 5 Georgetown on Dec. 22.? Through 10 games, Memphis averages 80.5 points per game, shoots 47.2 percent (293-of-621), and posts a +5.3 rebound margin per game.? Opponents shoot 39.0 percent from the floor and are outscored by an average of 16.4 points per game.? Individually, two Tigers average in double figures, led by Chris Douglas-Roberts, who averages 17.4 points? per game.? Joey Dorsey leads UM with a 9.8 rebounds per game average.

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The Series: ? Tonightˇ?s game marks the seventh meeting of the two schools with deadlocked at three win apiece.? Arizona has won the last three meetings with the last being a 79-71 win in Tucson on Dec. 20 of last season.? All-time, Arizona is 2-1 in series games played in Tucson, 1-2 in Memphis, Tenn., and 0-0 in neutral site games. See page 100 of the UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ? Arizona 79, Memphis 71, Dec. 20, 2006: ? Trailing by five points at the half, Arizona responded with a 22-8 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to take control in the eight-point win.? Mustafa Shakur equaled a career high with 23 points to go with six boards and five assists, while Chase Budinger tallied 15 of his 18 points in the final 20 minutes.? Memphis shot 43.1 percent from the field for the game, including just 15.4 percent from three-point range in the second half.

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Nothing But the Best: ? When Arizona steps on the court tonight against No. 2 Memphis, it will be the teamˇ?s third game this season against a nationally ranked opponent.? The Wildcats havenˇ?t shied away from marquee match-ups, as the team has already faced No. 4 Kansas (L, 76-72 ot) and No. 9 Texas A&M (W, 78-67).? Over the last seven years, Arizona is 29-31 (.483) against ranked opponents.? All-time, the Wildcats are 4-10 against the nationˇ?s second-ranked team with the last time being an 80-77 loss to Stanford on Feb. 7, 2004.

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A Different Look on the Sidelines: ? Prior to the Nov. 4 exhibition game, it was announced that UA head coach Lute Olson would be taking a leave of absence due to a personal matter.? It was announced on Dec. 7 that Olson would not return this season.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.? Oˇ?Neill, who was tabbed as Olsonˇ?s successor on Dec. 18, has 11 seasons of experience as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.? During Olsonˇ?s leave of absence all games will be credited to Oˇ?Neillˇ?s coaching record.

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Doubling Up: ? In leading Arizona to a pair of wins last week, Jordan Hill averaged 15.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.? The sophomore from Atlanta, Ga., shot 63.2 percent from the field (12-of-19), collected three assists, two steals and a blocked shot, while posting consecutive double-doubles.? He opened the week with a monster effort at UNLV where he tallied 16 points and a career-high 19 rebounds (11 defensive), which equaled the most in the Pac-10 this season and tied Arizonaˇ?s highest single-game rebounding total in seven years.? He followed that up with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds Saturday vs. San Diego State, where he hit 6-of-7 field goal attempts and passed out two assists.? On the season, Hill averages 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, while shooting .637 (58-of-91) from the field.

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Streaking: ? UA knocked off a pair of Mountain West Conference foes this week to extend its winning streak to six games.? In the two contests, UA limited UNLV and San Diego State to a combined average of 53.5 points per game and a cumulative 31.6 (37-of-117) field goal percentage.? Arizonaˇ?s defensive effort held those teams to more than 20 points below their combined season scoring averages prior to playing the Wildcats.

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Very Valuable: ? Senior Jawann McClellan earned Fiesta Bowl Classic Most Valuable Player honors with a seven-point, nine-rebound, seven-assist performance against San Diego State.? The nine boards and seven assists were career highs for the 6-foot-4 guard from Houston.? Long celebrated as Arizonaˇ?s glue guy, he was exactly that in 38 minutes against the Aztecs.? McClellan, who is averaging 9.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, has a team-high 14 assists in his last three games.

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Four for Ten: ? The Wildcats placed four players in double figures in Saturdayˇ?s win (Bayless 15, Hill 15, Budinger 13, Wise 12), marking just the third time this season that UA has accomplished the feat.? Interestingly, two of those players (Bayless/Wise) had to score at least 10 points in the second half in order to do so.

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Chalk it up to Balance: ? As mentioned above, forward Jordan Hill notched double-doubles in both games this week, boosting his season total to three (six career), and making Hill the only Wildcat to register one this season.? Perhaps thatˇ?s due to Arizonaˇ?s balance across the board ?C six players are averaging more than five points per game, six are averaging three rebounds or more and four players have 30 or more assists on the season.

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Not Quite Right: ? Arizonaˇ?s free throw shooting has been off kilter of late, as the Cats are shooting only 56.8 percent (21-of-37) from the stripe over the last three games.? Through the teamˇ?s first eight games, their free throw percentage was .771 (155-of-201).? Not just is the percentage down, but more importantly so are the attempts.? UA is averaging 12.3 FT attempts per game in that span, a figure that is 12.8 fewer on average than in the first eight games, which is leading to seven fewer makes per game as well.? Against SDSU, Arizona made a season-low five free throws.

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Helping Hands: ? UA tallied 21 assists in Saturdayˇ?s win, which was the sixth time this season with 20 or more assists in a game.? Through 11 games, Arizona leads the Pac-10 Conference with an average of 18 assists per game.? As further testament to its ball-moving ability, the Wildcats on 68 percent of its field goals (198 of 291) this season.? UA has a 1.3:1 assist:turnover ratio as a team in 2007-08.

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Hard to Score: ? The Wildcats have allowed an average of just 52.3 points per game to the opposition over the last three games.? In that span, opponents are shooting a combined 32.4 percent (56-of-173) from the field.? Additionally, Arizona has held those three opponents to fewer than 20 field goals and less than 24 percent shooting in each of those games.? On the year, UA opponents are shooting 41.2 percent (260-of-631) from the field.

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Wise Up: ?? Sophomore Nic Wise is enjoying a strong run of late, averaging 8.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game over his last five appearances.? Saturday against San Diego State, the 5-foot-10 guard from Houston, Texas, knocked down a career-best five field goal en route to a career-high 12 points, three boards and four assists.? The productivity of late has pushed his season averages to 5.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

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On Target: ?? Arizona shot 54.2 percent (32-of-59) from the field against San Diego State, which upped the Catsˇ? record to 5-0 this season when shooting better than 50 percent from the floor.? That effort, when combined with 32.2 percent (19-of-59) shooting by SDSU means that Arizona is 7-0 this season when shooting better than the opposition.

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Final 20: ?? The Wildcats outscored San Diego State, 42-32, in the second half on the way to victory last Saturday.? That continues a season-long trend that has seen UA outscore the opposition by a substantial margin in the final 20 minutes.? The Cats average 35.9 points and a +4.0 scoring margin in the first half and 37.2 points and a +7.1 scoring margin in the second half.

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Get After It: ?? In the last four games forward Chase Budinger is averaging 10.8 points per game, 4.8 points less than his season scoring average.? He hasnˇ?t let the decline affect the rest of his game, as he is averaging 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in that span.?

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Scoring 80: ? Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 165-19 (.897) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.? Arizona is 3-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.

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Early Signees: ? The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.? Brandon Jennings (G, 6-0, 170) from Lakewood, Calif., Oak Hill Academy; Brendon Lavender (G, 6-4, 180) from Mesa, Ariz., Mountain View High School;? Emmanuel Negedu (F, 6-7, 230) from Bloomington, Ind., Brewster Academy; Jeff Withey (C, 6-11, 240) from San Diego, Calif., Horizon High School, will join the squad next fall.? According to rivals.com, this class was ranked as the seventh-best nationally.

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Up Next: ? Pacific-10 Conference play is next on the docket as Arizona returns home to face Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 3.? Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST and will be televised by FSN Arizona.

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