Game 16: No. 17 Arizona (12-3, 2-1) vs. USC (7-8, 0-4)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005
Time: 8:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
All-Access Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, ArizonaAthletics.com's premium audio/video service, can watch a delayed webcast of the FSN Arizona broadcast and the McKale Center video production (with Brian Jeffries and Ryan Hansen calling the action) of the USC game, beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14. ArizonaAthletics.com will also provide live and postgame coverage of the game, including:
Postgame Story and Statistics (Free)
Postgame Lute Olson and Player Interviews (All-Access Video)
Game Data: No. 17 Arizona (12-3, 2-1 Pac-10) returns home to McKale Center to host USC (7-8, 0-4 Pac-10) ... The Wildcats open a stretch of the schedule where six of its next eight games are at home ... Over its last five games, UA is averaging 84.6 points per game, a figure bolstered by 47.0 percent shooting (47-of-100) from three-point range ... Arizona’s success this season can be directly tied to shooting percentage as the squad is 8-0 when outshooting the opposition and 4-3 when it doesn’t.
The Rankings: After splitting two games last week, Arizona slipped to at No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25 and to No. 16 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 294 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 22nd season at Arizona and his 32nd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 723-252 (.742) and 531-160 (.768) 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 second-most Pac-10 wins (292) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.775/292-85) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only 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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, 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 17 years (449-111/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 47 NBA Draft picks, including 28 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 26 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 25 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 315-32 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 243 of its last 260 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 36-11 against USC.
Last Time Out: Dan Grunfeld, Chris Hernandez and Rob Little combined to score 68 of Stanford’s 87 points in leading the Cardinal to the 87-76 win last Saturday. The trio connected on 24-of-34 field goal attempts in the game propelling the team to 58.2 percent shooting for the game. A 14-2 run midway through the second half put this game out of reach. Channing Frye (20 pts./13 reb.) and Hassan (19/10) each tallied double-doubles for the Wildcats.
Scouting USC: The Trojans enter Thursday’s game with a 7-8 record (0-4 Pac-10) after a 69-52 loss Saturday to Washington State. USC shoots 44.3 percent from the field (412-of-930), posts a -0.1 rebound margin and is being outscored by 1.5 points per game. Individually, two Trojans average in double figures, led by Lodrick Stewart, who averages 14.7 points per game. Gregg Guenther leads the club by averaging 6.4 rebounds per game.
The Series: Thursday’s game marks the 84th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 50-33 series advantage. UA has won 11 of the last 14 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1922, including a 79-76 decision in Los Angeles on March 11, 2004. All-time, Arizona is 25-8 in series games played in Tucson, 22-25 in Los Angeles, and 3-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 104 of the Arizona basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 79, USC 76, March 11, 2004: Mustafa Shakur’s three-pointer as time expired gave Arizona a hard-fought 79-76 victory in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinal. His heroics ended a very entertaining game that included eight ties and 12 lead changes. Arizona shot just 39.7 percent from the field, but held a 28-12 free throw advantage and outrebounded USC, 50-48. Hassan Adams led all players with game-high totals of 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Continues to Shine: Channing Frye averaged 20.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots in a pair of games last week. He connected on 57.1 percent (16-of-28) and added three assists. Frye opened the week with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 1-of-1 from three-point range, eight rebounds and three blocks in the 87-67 win at California and followed that with 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the loss at Stanford. It was his fourth double-double of the season and was his third straight 20-point game. On the season, Frye is averaging 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds, while shooting 48.8 percent from the field.
Late Starts: Tonight’s game is the second of what will be at least five 8:30 p.m. MST starts during the regular season. Including Arizona’s defeat of California last week in the 2004-05 late night debut, the Wildcats are 15-8 (.652) since the start of the 2000-01 season in games that tip off at 8:30 p.m. MST or later.
Heating Up: The Wildcat offense has increased its productivity in Pac-10 play by averaging 86.7 points in the first three games. Additionally, Arizona is shooting 46.7 percent (93-of-199) from the field in that span, a figure that is 35 points higher than its overall field goal percentage of 43.2 percent. Incidentally, UA is 4-0 this year when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
And Cooling Off: While the Wildcat offense has picked up the pace of late, the Arizona “D” has lost a bit of intensity since opening Pac-10 play. In those three games, opponents are averaging 77.7 points per game, 11.1 points more than the season scoring average, and shooting 51.5 percent (88-of-171) from the floor, 756 points higher than the season FG percentage.
Making Shots: Stanford tattooed Arizona Saturday on the strength of 58.2 percent (32-of-55) shooting. In fact, the Cardinal set UA opponent highs of 58.2 percent shooting for the game, 58.6 percent (17-of-29) shooting in the first half and 87 total points in the win. Stanford’s Rob Little, Chris Hernandez and Dan Grunfeld combined to shoot 24-of-34 (.706) from the floor, while the rest of the Cardinal roster went 8-of-21 (.381).
Two and ?'Cue: Arizona has shown a strong ability to bounce back from a loss, as the Wildcats have lost two consecutive games just seven times in the last six-plus seasons (since the start of the 1999-2000 campaign). Incidentally, four of those two-game streaks happened last year.
Topping 20: Channing Frye posted his third straight 20-point scoring game this year with 20 points Saturday at Stanford. The 6-foot-11 senior from Phoenix is the first Wildcat to score 20 or more points in three consecutive games this season. It marks the second time in Frye’s career that he’s tallied 20 or more thrice consecutively, joining the last three regular season games of last season (25 vs. Washington, 20 vs. Washington State and 20 vs. Arizona State).
Double-Doubles: Saturday’s game at Stanford marked the first time this season that two UA players posted a double-double in the same game as Hassan Adams (19 points/10 rebounds) and Channing Frye (20/13) each accomplished the feat. For Frye, it was his fourth double-double of the season and 25th of his career, while it was the first of the year for Adams and the seventh in his career. Additionally, Frye has 30 games with 10 or more rebounds in his 111-game career.
Milestones Approaching: A pair of Wildcats enter Thursday’s game with the chance of reaching impressive career milestones. Senior Salim Stoudamire is four points shy of becoming the 11th player in UA history to score 1,500 career points. Stoudamire enters play with a career scoring average of 14.0 points per game. Additionally, Hassan Adams is 10 points from becoming the 39th player in Arizona history to score 1,000 career points. The 6-foot-4 junior carries a 12.9 ppg average into Thursday’s game against USC. Should Adams reach the 1,000-point plateau, it would mark the first time since the 2000-01 season that UA had three active players with 1,000 or more points in a career (Michael Wright/Gilbert Arenas/Loren Woods).
On Target: Salim Stoudamire continues to be very efficient offensively. In his last five games played, the 6-foot-1 senior is averaging 12.6 points per game on an average of just five field goal attempts per game. Stoudamire is taking good shots and making them. In that span, Stoudamire has connected on 64.0 percent (16-of-25) of his attempts, including 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from three-point range. The improved accuracy has raised his season field goal percentage to 51.7 percent (61-of-118), including 56.2 percent (41-of-73) from behind the arc.
Controlling the Glass: Arizona is 10-1 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and five times the squad has posted at least a +10 rebound margin. UA has outrebounded 11 of 15 opponents in 2004-05, though the Stanford game was the first time UA has outrebounded an opponent (42-32) this season and lost. Last season, Arizona was 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition.
Collecting Caroms: Arizona equaled a season high with 23 offensive rebounds in Saturday’s loss to Stanford, a figure that isn’t surprising when one sees that the Wildcats missed 45 field goal attempts in that game. Similarly, it’s not surprising that the 23 offensive rebounds have been posted in three of Arizona’s four worst shooting games of the year. Cumulatively, UA shot 33.8 percent (75-of-222) from the field in those games. Incidentally, Arizona leads the league with an average of 16.00 offensive rebounds per game, but no team in the Pac-10 has missed as many field goal attempts as Arizona (545).
Commonplace: Junior Chris Rodgers passed out four assists against no turnovers Saturday at Stanford marking the third consecutive game in which the guard has played 20 or more minutes and not committed a turnover. He currently ranks second on the team with 38 assists and has just 10 turnovers in 312 minutes played. Rodgers’ 3.8:1 assist:turnover ratio would easily lead the Pac-10, but his assists per game average of 2.5 per game falls 0.5 shy of the 3.0 apg qualifier. Five times this season Rodgers has played 20 or more minutes in a game without a turnover.
From Long Range: When Arizona and USC meet Thursday be prepared for a lot of long distance opportunities as the two clubs rank first and second in the league when it comes to three-point field goals made per game. USC (7.53) and Arizona (7.33) combine to average nearly 15 treys per game and are two of only three Pac-10 teams (Washington) to have made more than 100 three-point field goals this season.
Similar Features: The similarities between the Cats and Trojans don’t end with a proclivity for three-point field goals (see above). Both UA (9.27) and USC (9.13) also rank 1-2 in the conference in steals per game. Perhaps its the make up of rosters with long, athletic players who enjoy long range jumpers, but whatever the reason, the clubs also rank near the bottom of the league (8-9) in blocked shots per game.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 130-16 (.890) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 6-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Fendi Onobun (F, 6-7, 215) from Houston, Texas, Alief Taylor High School; J.P. Prince (G, 6-6, 183) from Memphis, Tenn., White Station High School; and Marcus Williams (F, 6-6, 190) from Seattle, Wash., Roosevelt High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Following tonight’s game, Arizona hosts UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. MST and can be seen on ABC-TV.