Arizona Hosts Sonoma State in Final Exhbition Game
Date: Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004
Time: 7 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)
Game Data: No. 10 Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) makes its final in-game preparations for the 2004-05 season with an exhibition game against NCAA Division II Sonoma State (0-0, 0-0 CCAA) ... Expect a contrast in styles as Arizona averaged a nation’s best 87.1 points per game last season, while Sonoma State averaged 67.6 ppg in 2003-04.
The Rankings: Arizona will open 2004-05 ranked 10th in the preseason edition of the Associated Press Top 25 poll and 11th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. It marks the 17th time in the last 18 seasons in which the Cats have been nationally ranked, including 10 times in the top 10. UA has been ranked in 286 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . begins his 22nd season at Arizona and his 32nd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 711-249 (.741) and 519-157 (.768) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... 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 (290) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.775/290-84) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 21-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 16 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 307-32 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 235 of its last 252 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner.
Last Time Out: Bolstered by 52.6 percent shooting in the first half, Arizona jumped out to a 58-38 halftime lead and coasted to a 110-78 victory, Nov. 7, in an exhibition game against Team Georgia. Channing Frye scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the first half and added 16 rebounds in leading four Wildcats in double figures. Arizona limited Team Georgia to just 33.3 percent shooting for the game (27-of-81) and outrebounded the visitors, 57-42.
Scouting Sonoma State: Eight lettermen return from last season’s 11-16 club (10-12 CCAA) for head coach Pat Fuscaldo. The Seawolves averaged 67.6 points per game in 2003-04, shot 41.9 percent from the floor (604-of-1440) and outrebounded the opposition by a +1.0 margin. Senior guard Ryan Hensel averaged a team-high 15.4 ppg last year, while J.T. Tipton chipped in with per game averages of 12.5 points and 6.9 rebounds. SSU opens the regular season Nov. 19 against Western Oregon.
The Series: Arizona and Sonoma State have never met on the hardwood, though Arizona is a combined 8-5 (.615) all-time against current members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Arizona last played a CCAA member on Dec. 15, 1985, a 107-75 win over San Francisco State in McKale Center.
Against NCAA Division II Competition: Though only an exhibition, tonight’s game marks the first time UA will have played an NCAA Division II opponent since defeating Chaminade, 97-57, in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 20, 2000. All-time, Arizona is 56-29 (.659) against NCAA Division II teams.
Retirement Party: Following tonight’s game, the University of Arizona Department of Athletics will retire the jersey of former All-American and current NBA standout Mike Bibby. A product of Phoenix’s Shadow Mountain High School, Bibby averaged 15.4 points and 5.5 assists per game in 69 appearances for the Wildcats from 1996-98. The 1997 national Freshman of the Year, Bibby helped the Cats to the 1997 national championship and followed that a year later with consensus All-America honors and Pac-10 Player-of-the-Year kudos. The second overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, Bibby is in his seventh year in the league and his fourth with the Sacramento Kings.
Seniors Step Up: Seniors Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire both posted strong performances Sunday against Team Georgia, as the duo combined for 44 points, 18 rebounds, while connecting on 15-of-28 (536) field goal attempts. Frye tallied game-high totals of 23 points and 16 rebounds, while Stoudamire added 21 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range.
Picking up Where they Left off: Last season, Arizona ranked second nationally with a school- and Pac-10-record 78.6 free throw percentage (511-of-650). The Wildcats didn’t seem to let the accuracy slide during the offseason as the team hit 24-of-29 (.828) free throw attempts vs. Team Georgia. Counting the Pepsi Red-Blue Game, Arizona is shooting 82.4 percent (61-of-74) from the line.
Preseason Recognition: A nation’s-best four Wildcats were included on the preseason Naismith Award watch list. Hassan Adams, Channing Frye, Mustafa Shakur and Salim Stoudamire were all on the list of 50 top college basketball players. The Naismith Award, presented annually since 1969, goes to the nation’s player of the year. Frye and Stoudamire were also included on the preseason John R. Wooden Award list, and Frye was also selected as a preseason All-American by Playboy magazine.
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. The Cats received 19 of a possible 26 first-place votes and 253 points overall. Washington (237), Stanford (194) and Oregon (167) rounded out the top four places. It is the 10th time since 1989-90 that UA has been the predicted winner in the preseason poll.
The Next Level: With the 2004-05 NBA regular season underway, no fewer than eight former Wildcats are on active NBA rosters. Only three other schools (Kentucky, 13; Connecticut and Duke, 9) have more players in the league. Here is the complete list: Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers; Richard Jefferson, New Jersey Nets; Damon Stoudamire, Portland TrailBlazers; Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks; Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers; and Loren Woods, Toronto Raptors. Incidentally, six of those former Cats were in the starting lineup on opening night.
More NBA Notes: Bolstered by four schools with seven or more players each in the league, the Pac-10 Conference ranks third overall in terms of putting players on NBA rosters. As of opening night, no fewer than 40 Pac-10 alums were in the NBA. The "Conference of Champions" ranks behind only the Atlantic Coast Conference (49) and the Southeastern Conference (44) in terms of developing NBA-caliber talent.
Efficient: Junior guard Hassan Adams put forth another efficient performance in the win over Team Georgia, collecting 14 points, four rebounds and two steals in just 21 minutes. The Los Angeles native hit 7-of-10 shots from the floor and added an assist. Last season, Adams ranked second on the team with a 54.2 field goal percentage.
Production in the Paint: Sophomore Ivan Radenovic earned the starting nod against Team Georgia due to his efforts on the glass, and that certainly continued during the game as well. Radenovic, a 6-foot-10, 221-pound forward from Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, grabbed 10 rebounds (seven defensive) in the 32-point win, which topped his 2003-04 season high of nine. He also added nine points (4-of-11 FG) and a pair of assists in 24 minutes of action.
From the Point: Granted it’s only the exhibition season, but the numbers put up by Mustafa Shakur have been impressive. Against Team Georgia, the 6-foot-3 native of Philadelphia tallied seven points, three rebounds, 11 assists and two steals. Combined with the Pepsi Red-Blue Game, Shakur is averaging 10.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 3.5 steals over the two games. Perhaps most impressively, he’s passed out 21 assists against only four turnovers in 58 total minutes.
Defense and Rebounding: Two areas that needed improvement since the close of last season have shown signs of progress. In its first action against outside competition, Arizona limited Team Georgia to just 33.3 percent shooting (27-of-81), posted a 57-42 rebound advantage, forced 17 turnovers and collected nine steals.
Super Sub: Junior guard Chris Rodgers made the most of his 14 minutes off the bench vs. Team Georgia, collecting 14 points, three assists and three steals. He connected on 5-of-9 shots from the floor and led the team with those three pilfers.
A Nice Addition: Freshman walk-on Bret Brielmaier definitely performed admirably in his exhibition debut. While the totals for the 6-foot-6 forward from Mankato, Minn., were modest (three points, two rebounds and an assist), he played well enough in 14 minutes to warrant some consideration in a backup role.
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: Arizona opens the 2004-05 regular season in the first round of the Preseason N.I.T. on Tuesday, Nov. 16, against San Diego. Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and can be seen live on ESPN2.