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Men's Basketball Faces Team Georgia in Final Exhibition Game
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 16, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Date:  Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2005

Time:  7 p.m. MST

Location:  Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

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

TV: webcast only


Game Data:  No. 10 Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) closes the 2005-06 exhibition schedule with a contest against Team Georgia ... Team Georgia is a collection of former college players from the Atlanta area.  Following tonight’s game, Arizona opens the 2005-06 season with four of its first five games away from McKale Center.


The Rankings:  Arizona will open 2005-06 ranked 10th in the preseason edition of the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls.  It marks the 18th time in the last 19 seasons in which the Cats been nationally ranked to start the season.  UA has been ranked in 303 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.


Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . begins his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 741-256 (.743) and 549-164 (.770) 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 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (305) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.778/305-87) 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 22-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 21 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 best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 322-33 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 250 of its last 267 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.


Last Time Out:  Arizona flexed its collective muscle at both ends of the court in a 103-63 exhibition win over Sonoma State on Nov. 9.  Chris Rodgers hit all five of his three-point field goal attempts en route to a game high 19 points as the Wildcats rolled up 103 points.  At the other end of the court, Arizona held the Seawolves to 33.3 percent shooting, forced 23 turnovers and collected 14 steals.


Locked Down:  While the 103 points scored last Thursday may have looked good, it might have been the defensive effort that was more impressive.  In all, Arizona limited Sonoma State to 33.3 percent shooting (20-of-60) from the floor, including just 21.1 percent from three-point range, forced 23 turnovers and had 14 steals.  Trailing 13-9 three minutes into the contest, Arizona held SSU without a field goal for the next nine minutes.  In the process, UA outscored the Seawolves, 22-2, and never looked back.


The Password is “Balance”:  Even before practice began on Oct. 15, Lute Olson was trumpeting balance as the key to the UA offense.  With a pair of exhibitions under the belt (counting the Red-Blue Game), Arizona has seen 13 players score in double figures and shot a cumulative .495 (101-of-204) percent from the floor, while averaging 88.3 points per game.


Rodgers Leads the Way:  Bolstered by 5-of-5 shooting from three-point range, Arizona shot better than 57 percent from behind the arc last week vs. Sonoma State (8-of-14).  In addition to Rodgers, who tallied a game-high 19 points in the effort, Mustafa Shakur, Hassan Adams and Daniel Dillon each knocked down a trey as well.


Balance Works there, Too:  Arizona also displayed a bit of balance on the boards against Sonoma State, as five players grabbed at least five rebounds.  All 13 players to see action grabbed at least one rebound in helping UA to a 47-31 rebound advantage.


Production from the Point:  Arizona’s point guard rotation of Mustafa Shakur and J.P. Prince proved to be productive, as the duo combined for 18 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists and three steals.  Shakur tallied 10 points and three assists in only 16 minutes, while Prince registered eight points and 10 assists in 24 minutes of action.


A Nice Adjustment:  In 17 minutes of play against Sonoma State, senior guard Hassan Adams tallied 13 points, two boards, six assists and a steal to continue a nice adjustment to the perimeter.  The 6-foot-4 Adams hit 6-of-9 shots from the field (with no dunks) and committed just one turnover.  During the preseason, Adams is shooting 15-of-24 (.625) from the field.


Stepping Up:  Freshman forward Marcus Williams has made the most of his preseason, connecting on 15-of-28 (.536) of his field goal attempts in the two exhibitions, and averaging 19.0 ppg.  In addition to his scoring, the 6-foot-7 Seattle native is averaging 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals. 


Tops in the Pac-10:  In the annual poll of media members who regularly cover the Pac-10 Conference, Arizona was selected as the team to beat for the league title for the fourth year in a row and 10th time in the last 16 seasons.  The Cats received 23 of a possible 34 first place votes and 325 points overall.  Stanford (294), UCLA (263) and Washington (238) rounded out the top four spots.  It is the 11th time in the last 16 seasons that Arizona has been tabbed the preseason Pac-10 favorite.  Arizona has gone on to win the league title eight times in that span.


Movin’ Up:  With the 2005-06 National Basketball Association regular season underway, no fewer than 10 former Wildcats are on active NBA rosters.  Only one school (Duke, 11) has more alumni in the league.  Here is the complete list:  Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings; Channing Frye, New York Knicks; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers; Richard Jefferson, New Jersey Nets; Damon Stoudamire, Memphis Grizzlies; Salim Stoudamire, Atlanta Hawks; Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks; Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers, and Loren Woods, Toronto Raptors.  Incidentally, the Pac-10 ranks third among the NCAA Division I conferences with 38 former players in the NBA, trailing only the Big East (50) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (49).


Preseason Kudos:  Arizona’s Hassan Adams was named to the 2005-06 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team, it was announced by the award’s national preseason selection committee.  The 6-foot-4 senior guard is included among a list of 50 student-athletes who are under consideration for the 2006 John R. Wooden Award, which is given annually to college basketball’s player of the year.


Up Next:  Following tonight’s exhibition game, Arizona opens the 2005-06 regular season Nov. 21 against Kansas in the EA Sports Maui Invitational.  The game will tip-off at 4 p.m. HST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.

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