Nov. 27, 2001
Date: Saturday, Dec. 1, 2001 Time: 12:30 p.m. MST Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz. Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls) TV: CBS (Kevin Harlan/Billy Packer)
Arizona Probable Starters No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG APG F 4 Luke Walton 6-8 241 Jr. San Diego, Calif. 10.3 9.7 5.0 F 33 Rick Anderson 6-9 213 Jr. Long Beach, Calif. 11.7 6.7 1.7 C 52 Isaiah Fox 6-9 265 Fr. Santa Monica, Calif. 6.0 6.0 0.3 G 20 Salim Stoudamire 6-1 176 Fr. Lake Oswego, Ore. 12.7 2.0 0.0 G 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 181 Jr. Indianapolis, Ind. 24.7 4.3 5.0 Reserves G 3 Will Bynum 5-10 183 Fr. Chicago, Ill. 7.3 2.0 0.3 G 10 Anas Fellah 5-10 165 Fr. Tucson, Ariz. -- -- -- G 11 Jason Ranne 6-4 204 So. Tulsa, Okla. -- -- -- G 12 Fil Torres 6-2 185 Jr. Lisle, Ill. -- -- -- F 13 Andrew Zahn 6-9 254 Fr. Redondo Beach, Calf. 0.0 0.5 0.0 F 14 Peter Hansen 6-8 241 Sr. Palo Alto, Calif. -- -- -- F 21 Mike Schwertley 6-5 229 So. Phoenix, Ariz. -- -- -- F 34 Dennis Latimore 6-8 254 Fr. Halstead, Kan. 0.0 2.0 0.0 C 45 Channing Frye 6-10 222 Fr. Phoenix, Ariz. 5.3 4.7 1.3
Game Data: It's the rookies vs. the veterans as No. 4 Arizona (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) returns home after a highly-successful three-game road swing to host Kansas (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) in a nationally-televised game on CBS in the McKale Center home opener ... Kansas returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's club, while Arizona returns just one starter and five returnees ... No. 8 Kansas is UA's fourth consecutive ranked opponent this year and the eighth straight dating back to last season ... The Cats return to regular-season action after last Sunday's 89-83 exhibition win over Nike Elite.
The Rankings: Arizona continued its climb in both polls, rising to No. 4 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and to No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Cats were unranked in both preseason polls. Arizona has been ranked in 238 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 19th season at Arizona and his 29th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 642-225 (.740) and 450-133 (.772) at Arizona ... He recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona during the 2000 campaign and has the fourth most Pac-10 wins (250) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75), Oregon State's Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) and Washington's Hec Edmundson (266, 1921-47) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74) ... During his 19-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 nine Pac-10 Conference titles and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 17 years in a row, which is the 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 six times (1986, '88, '89, '93, '94, '98), the Big 10 Coach of the Year twice (1979 & '81) and directed the UA program to the nation's best winning percentage over the past 14 years (377-87/.813) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 35 NBA Draft picks, including 20 at Arizona - 15 alone since 1990 ... A Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame finalist in each of the last two years, Olson has led UA to 14 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 23 overall in his career, making him one of only seven head coaches in NCAA history to record 23 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 271-26 (.912) in McKale Center and have won 199 of its last 210 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Jay John ... Olson is 1-3 vs. Kansas.
Last Time Out: Salim Stoudamire scored all 19 of his points in the second half as the Wildcats erased a 12-point deficit in the come-from-behind victory over No. 23 Texas on Nov. 17. UA trailed 51-39 with 18:28 remaining when Stoudamire and Jason Gardner sparked a 30-9 run over the next 10 minutes to take control of the contest. Arizona limited Texas to just .278 shooting and outrebounded the 'Horns, 29-20, in the second half. Gardner finished with a career-high 28 points and six assists, while Rick Anderson and Luke Walton combined for 15 points, 18 rebounds and six assists.
Scouting Kansas: The No. 8 Jayhawks enter play this week (KU plays Pittsburg State on Nov. 28) with a 2-1 record after opening the year at the Maui Invitational. KU sports a balanced offensive attack, as at least four KU players have players have finished in double figures in all three games to date. The Jayhawks shoot .513 from the floor (101-of-197) and are outrebounding the opposition by 9.0 rebounds (45.0-36.0) per game. Junior All-America candidate Drew Gooden leads the squad with averages of 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.
The Series: Today's game marks the sixth meeting of the two schools with Kansas holding a 4-1 series advantage. KU won the last meeting, 90-87, on Dec. 2, 1997, at the Great Eight in Chicago. It is just the third homecourt meeting in the series, as the last three games have been played on neutral courts. All-time, Arizona is 0-1 in series games played in Tucson, 0-1 in Lawrence, Kan., and 1-2 in neutral-site games.
Last Meeting: Dec. 2, 1987, Chicago, Ill., Kansas 90, Arizona 87. Arizona got off to a slow start and trailed by as many as 20 points (72-52) with 9:58 remaining before a 19-9 run got the Cats back in it. A Mike Bibby trey cut the lead to 82-80 with 1:59 to go, but Kansas was able to push the lead back to six. After Jason Terry trimmed the lead to 88-87, KU's Kenny Gregory provided the winning margin with a layup with two seconds left. Bibby's potential game-tying trey drew only iron at the final buzzer. KU's Raef LaFrentz tallied a career-high 32 points.
Expect a Close One: The average margin of victory through five series meetings is 13.5 points, but that figure is a bit misleading. Since the series was rekindled in 1996, each of those three games have been decided by three points. KU won the first meeting, 83-80, in the 1996 NCAA West Regional Semifinal, while Arizona answered with an 85-82 win in the 1997 NCAA Southeast Regional Semifinal before Kansas' victory in the last meeting.
Calendar Change: Perhaps no two programs are as unhappy to see November come and go as UA and KU. Under Lute Olson and Roy Williams, these two programs have combined to go 88-10 (.898) in the month of November. Arizona is 43-7 (.860) since 1983-84 under Olson, while Kansas is 45-3 (.938) since '88-89 under Williams.
Against Ranked Opponents: Arizona is 3-0 this season and all three wins have come against ranked opponents. The Cats have knocked off No. 2 Maryland, No. 6 Florida and No. 23 Texas...all away from Tucson. Dating back to last season, Arizona has played seven straight games against ranked opponents and is 6-1 in that span. Since the start of the 1999-2000 campaign, UA is 18-6 vs. ranked opponents.
Milestone Win: The win over Texas was Lute Olson's 450th at Arizona. Now in his 19th year, Olson has a 450-133 (.722) record as the Wildcat mentor. He ranks second on the UA career victory list, trailing only Fred A. Enke, who posted a 497-324 (.605) record in 36 years at Arizona.
Leading the Way: Junior guard Jason Gardner continued his run of strong play at Texas, posting a career-high 28 points to go with five boards, six assists and two steals. He was 7-of-15 from the floor in Austin at played all 40 minutes for the second time in three games. On the season, Gardner is averaging 24.7 points, 5.0 assists and shooting .524 from the floor (.481 from three-point range). Arizona is 26-5 in Gardner's career when he tallies at least five assists in a game. He was named Pac-10 Player-of-the-week on Nov. 26 for his season-opening efforts.
Stepping Up: Freshman Salim Stoudamire scored a career-high 19 points and added three rebounds and a steal in UA's 88-74 win at Texas. The freshman was 5-of-10 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the line in the effort. Stoudamire was key in helping Arizona erase a 12-point second half deficit by scoring all 19 of his points in the second half, including both three-point attempts. Stoudamire scored 11 of his points in a 30-9 run that enabled UA to take control of the game before he added eight points in the final five minutes to clinch it.
20-20-20: Gardner's 28-point game was his third consecutive 20-plus point of the season and the 11th of his career. It is the first time in his 73-game career that he has topped the 20-point plateau in three straight games. Only once before in his career (Jan. 20-22, 2000) had Gardner scored 20 or more in two consecutive games.
Out of a Hole: The Nov. 17 win at Texas, in which the team erased a 12-point second half deficit, marked the first time Arizona has erased a second half double-figure deficit and won a game since March 7, 1998, when UA defeated UCLA, 91-87, in Los Angeles. In that game, Arizona trailed 57-43 with 17:42 remaining before Michael Dickerson scored 22 of his game-high 30 points over the final 14:03. Please note that twice since that game, March 23, 2001 vs. Mississippi (12) and Jan. 9, 1999 vs. Washington (14), Arizona overcame double-digit deficits in the first half and came from behind to win.
UA Advantages: In addition to the fact that Arizona outscored Texas 51-31 in the second half of Saturday's win, UA limited Texas to just .278 shooting from the floor (10-of-36) in the second half and outrebounded the Longhorns 29-19 after the break. Arizona outscored Texas 34-30 in the paint, had more points off turnovers (12-11) and second chance points (13-8). At one point in the second half, Texas missed 12-of-13 field goal attempts. Arizona held Texas' front line of Chris Owens, Brian Boddicker, and James Thomas to a combined 7-of-16 shooting.
College Boards: In posting its third rebound advantage of the year (48-43 vs. Texas), five different Arizona players grabbed at least five rebounds. Luke Walton and Rick Anderson led the way with nine boards each.
Well Rounded: With each passing minute, junior Luke Walton continues to shine some light on his outstanding all-around game. Two weeks ago at Texas, Walton totaled 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in 37 minutes. He also committed zero turnovers, marking the fourth time in his career that Walton has played at least 20 minutes without a turnover.
Anderson Rolls On: Rick Anderson scored a season-high 14 points at Texas, including his first two treys of the season. The junior from Long Beach, Calif., also added a career-best nine rebounds and a blocked shot in 37 minutes.
Unselfish Play: The Wildcats collected 21 assists in Sunday's win over Nike Elite. Interestingly, 14 of those assists came from the frontline (Walton 8, Anderson 5, Latimore 1), while the guards tallied 7 (Gardner 4, Bynum 2, Stoudamire 1).
From the Line: For the second straight game, UA's edge at the free throw line contributed to victory. The Cats connected on 26-of-31 attempts (.839) and outscored Texas 26-10 from the line. Once again, Arizona made more free throws (26) than the opponent attempted (21). That also holds true for the season, as UA has made 51 charity attempts compared with 44 attempts by the opposition.
Scoring 80: Arizona topped the 80-point plateau for the first time this season in the win at Texas. Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 46-3 (.939) since the start of the 1998-99 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Frye Guy: Freshman Channing Frye certainly made the most of his 13 minutes of action at Texas. In that span, the 6-foot-10 center notched season highs in points (8), rebounds (6), field goals (3), FG attempts (7), free throws (2) FT attempts (2), blocks (2, tied) and steals (1). In the exhibition win over Nike Elite, Frye connected on 9-of-11 FG attempts to finish with 21 points, while collecting five rebounds.
Farsighted: Arizona connected on .571 of its three-point attempts (8-of-14) vs. Texas to continue a season-long trend of accuracy behind the three-point arc. Through three games, Arizona is shooting a respectable .451 (23-of-51) from three-point range, .009 higher than its overall field goal percentage.
Pac-10 Predictions: In voting done by Pac-10 Conference media members, Arizona was picked to finish fourth in the league standings, its lowest predicted finish since 1985-86. Despite receiving two first-place votes (one of three teams to do so), UA ranked fourth with 200 points behind UCLA, Stanford and USC. Ironically, the last time the Cats were picked to finish as low, Coach Olson and crew captured the first his of nine Pac-10 titles.
Roster Moves: Two players were added to the roster in late October after surviving the program's fall tryout. Junior Fil Torres (G, 6-2, 185) from Lisle, Ill., and freshman Anas Fellah (G, 5-10, 165) from Tucson have officially joined the program. Counting senior forward Peter Hansen, who will join the team after the completion of football season, these two additions bring the number of players on the roster to 14.
Up Next: Arizona takes on yet another ranked opponent, as No. 2 Illinois is up next on the schedule. The Cats and Fighting Illini meet on Tuesday, Dec. 4, in Phoenix as part of the Southwest Showdown doubleheader. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST. Arizona State meets Utah in the nightcap, which begins at approximately 9 p.m. MST.