Jan. 31, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
Date: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
Time: 6 p.m. PST
Location: Maples Pavilion (7,329), Palo Alto, Calif.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: KWBA/FSAZ (Dave Sitton/Corey Williams)
Game Data: Twenty-first-ranked Arizona (18-4, 7-2 Pac-10) opens the second half of the Pac-10 schedule at Stanford (11-9, 4-5 Pac-10) Thursday at Maples Pavilion ... The contest opens a stretch in which five of UA's next seven games are on the road ... Arizona is 4-2 in true road games this season, including a 2-2 mark in conference play ... The Wildcats average 73.3 points per game in those six road games and enjoy a +6.6 scoring margin and .478 field goal percentage (150-of-314) in those games ... Four of Arizona's last five games at Maples Pavilion have been decided by five points or less, and UA is 3-2 in those contests ... Derrick Williams is shooting .611 from the field (33-of-54) in road games this year.
The Rankings: Arizona is ranked 21st in this week's Associated Press poll and 22nd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. It marks the first time the Wildcats have been ranked in both national polls simultaneously since Dec. 31, 2007.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 154-65 (.703) and 34-18 (.654) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 3-0 vs. Stanford as a head coach.
Last Time Out: Led by Derrick Williams and Lamont Jones, Arizona got a balanced and accurate effort in securing an 82-73 win Saturday over USC. Williams and Jones combined for 12-of-12 shooting and 37 points, spearheading a Wildcat effort that saw the team shoot 61 percent from the field and had 10 players score points. Holding a 40-31 lead at the break, UA opened the second half with a 12-4 run to push the lead to 17, eventually reaching 20 points twice. Arizona staters were 20-of-29 from the field.
Scouting Stanford: The Cardinal enters tonight's game with a 11-9 record (4-5 Pac-10) following a 70-56 win Saturday over Oregon State. On the season, Stanford averages 63.5 points, shoots 41.6 percent from the floor (448-of-1078), 33.0 percent (112-of-339) from three-point range and 65.5 percent (262-of-400) from the line. Opponents average 60.7 points, are outrebounded by 2.1 boards per game and shoot 40.8 percent from the floor (418-of-1025). Individually, two Cardinal players average in double-figures, led by Jeremy Green's 14.2 points per game figure. Josh Owens leads Stanford with a 6.8 rebounds per game average.
The Series: Tonight's game marks the 82nd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 52-29 series advantage. Arizona has won 10 of the last 14 in the series, including the last, a 67-57 triumph in Tucson on Jan. 9. All-time, Arizona is 28-8 in series games played in Tucson, 20-18 in Palo Alto, Calif., and 4-3 in neutral site games. For more series information, please see page 44 in the UA media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 67, Stanford 57, Jan. 9, 2011: Jamelle Horne posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead Arizona. The Cats used runs of 11-4 and 10-0 to build an 11-point cushion at halftime, eventually extending the lead to as many as 15 in the second half before Stanford cut it to 59-54 with four minutes to go. Horne hit two treys in the next two minutes to put things out of reach. Derrick Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds. The game was postponed for a day following a mass shooting in Tucson, whose victims included U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and U.S. Judge John M. Roll.
Follow that Guy: Lamont Jones led Arizona to a home sweep last week by averaging 17.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in Arizona's two games this week. The sophomore guard connected on 70.6 percent of his field goals (12-of-17), including all three of this treys, to go with 70.0 percent shooting (7-of-10) from the line, while collecting three steals. Jones opened the week by connecting on 6-of-11 field goals en route to 17 points, three assists and a career-high three steals vs. UCLA. He was even more efficient against USC, knocking down all six attempts from the floor, including three treys, to finish with 17 points, three boards and two assists. "MoMo" has now scored in double figures in four straight games and his 17.0 ppg figure this week was nearly double his season scoring average. The effort boosted Jones' season per game averages to 8.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists to go with a .462 field goal percentage. He earned Pac-10 Player-of-the-Week honors for his efforts.
Deadeye: Arizona enjoyed its best shooting day of the season Saturday, as UA's .612 shooting (30-of-49) vs. USC topped its effort in the season opener against Idaho State when the Wildcats hit 31-of-52 shots (.596). The 30 made FGs (49 attempts) was the fourth time this year Arizona has put more than 30 shots through the net. Arizona's current .483 field goal percentage (561-of-1161) would rate as its best in seven seasons if it held up through the rest of the year.
On Target: Saturday's stellar shooting by the Wildcats marked the first time this season that UA had shot 60 percent or better in both halves of a game. Arizona connected on 15-of-25 attempts (.600) in the first half and 15-of-24 attempts (.625) in the second against USC. Additionally, it was certainly a team effort, as the UA starters combined to shoot 69.0 percent (20-of-29) from the floor, while the reserves hit 50.0 percent (10-of-20) of their shots.
Consistency Matters: UA's pair of wins last week also clinched for the program its 27th consecutive winning season on the hardwood, as the Cats have a minimum of 10 games remaining on the schedule. Arizona's roster of players have weathered a myriad of coaching changes and managed to maintain the ability to consistently win games, as the program's worst record in that span was last season's 16-15 mark. By comparison, some of the country's elite programs have struggled to maintain such a streak under similar conditions. Here is a quick look:
School Record Year
Duke 13-18 1994-95
Georgetown 13-15 2003-04
Indiana 6-25 2008-09
Kentucky 13-19 1988-89
Louisville 12-19 2000-01
North Carolina 8-20 2001-02
UCLA 10-19 2002-03
He can Score from Anywhere: Arizona's season-best .612 figure from the field against USC included its third successive game above 50 percent from three-point range, with the Cats hitting 10-of-19 (.526) from beyond the arc. In its last three games, UA has made 27 three-pointers on 47 tries, a whopping 57.4 percent from deep. Derrick Williams, with his inside power game shelved to some extent by a wrapped shooting hand, hit all three of his long-range shots against the Trojans to give him a 5-for-7 weekend from behind the arc. He led an assault that gave Arizona its eighth game this year with 10 or more made threes. The best overall effort to date was an 11-for-16 outing against Oklahoma on Dec. 5. Williams, meantime, improved his personal three-point FG percentage to .705 (24-of-34), a figure that would easily lead the nation if he had enough makes to qualify.
Positivity is Beneficial: Arizona passed out 15 assists against 12 turnovers in Saturday's win for a modest 1.3:1 assist:turnover ratio. Interestingly, it was just the 12th time in 22 games this season that the Wildcats have posted a positive ratio, and the second in conference play. UA has yet to lose a game this season when posting a positive assist:turnover ratio. On the season, Arizona has a 1.1:1 ratio (323:304).
Help From Everyone: The Wildcats used a total team effort to offset the two top individual rebounders in the Pac-10 Saturday. Every Cat who played against USC grabbed at least one rebound, helping UA win the rebounding battle, 31-28. Arizona has outrebounded 15 of 22 opponents this season and is 14-1 when accomplishing the feat. Incidentally, it was the fourth game this year that every UA player to see action collected at least one carom (Rice, Oregon State, Arizona State).
Heating Up: Lamont "MoMo" Jones has proven to be a much more productive player of late, as the 6-foot sophomore is averaging 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his last five outings. MoMo has connected on 19-of-36 field goal attempts (.528), carries a 2.1:1 assist:turnover ratio, and has finished in double figures in four of those contests. He and Derrick Williams are the only Wildcats to average in double figures in that span.
Quiet Contributions: Don't overlook the contributions of Kyle Fogg in Saturday's win, as the junior guard tallied eight points, three boards and six assists against USC. While seemingly modest totals, Fogg was certainly the most assertive Wildcat at the outset, scoring six of Arizona's first 11 points and assisted on three other buckets in the game's first seven minutes. On the season, the 6-foot-3 native of Brea, Calif., averages 7.8 points and a team-leading 2.9 assists per game.
Sorry to See January Go: For the second straight season, Arizona put together a 6-2 record in January, certainly a good trend in the opening of league action. Last year UA was 6-3, and this season the Cats are a game better. In case you are wondering, the best month to date of the Sean Miller era is this campaign's 7-1 December.
On the Rise: UA point guard Lamont Jones has enjoyed a boost in productivity of late, averaging 12.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Thursday vs. UCLA, the sophomore from Harlem, N.Y., scored 17 points, passed out three assists and collected a career-high three steals. The recent effort has bumped Jones' assist:turnover ratio to a modestly positive 1.2:1 (54:46).
Chipping In: As has been the case all season, Jesse Perry just seems to make contributions across the board, as witnessed by seven points, three rebounds, two assists and a block vs. UCLA. In Pac-10 play, the junior forward averages 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Scoring 80: Arizona scored 82 points Jan. 29 vs. USC, topping the 80-point plateau for the 10th time this year (10-0). Arizona has scored 80 in eight of 13 home games this season. Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 196-19 (.912) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona was 6-0 last season when topping the 80-point plateau.
Early Signees: The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period. Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., who preps at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.
Up Next: Following today's game, Arizona travels across the San Francisco Bay to face California on Saturday, Feb. 5. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. PST and can be seen on KWBA-TV and FOX Sports Arizona.