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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 11/22/2006
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/22/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 4:  No. 15 Arizona (2-1) vs. Samford (1-2)

 

Date:  Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006

Time:  7:30 p.m. MST

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

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

TV:  FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)

 

Game Data:  No. 15 Arizona (2-1, 0-0 Pac-10) returns to action Wednesday to host Samford (1-2, 0-0 OVC) in McKale Center ... In the initial Pac-10 statistical rankings, Arizona leads the conference in points scored (97.7) and assists (21.67) and three Wildcat individuals are ranked in the league’s top six in scoring average ... Tonight’s most likely will feature contrasting styles as Samford averages 31.4 fewer points per game and allows 17.3 fewer points per game than does Arizona.

 

The Rankings:  After a pair of wins last week, Arizona held firm at No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and rose a spot to 15th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

 

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 763-270 (.739) and 571-178 (.762) 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 750th collegiate victory on Dec. 31, 2005, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) 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 24-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 22 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 second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 335-35 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 263 of its last 282 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 0-0 against Samford.

 

Last Time Out:  Jawann McClellan scored a career-high 22 points and set a school record with prefect shooting from three-point range as Arizona claimed a 102-87 win over New Mexico State on Sunday afternoon.  McClellan connected on 7-of-7 attempts from behind the arc and added seven rebounds and four assists.  Arizona turned the tide in this game with a 25-0 run that covered 7:45 of the first half.

 

Scouting Samford:  The Bulldogs (1-2, 0-0 OVC) from Birmingham, Ala, roll into Tucson, following a 69-62 loss at Towson on Nov. 16.  Samford opened the year with a 79-54 loss at Florida on Nov. 10 before downing Tennessee Temple, 83-59, on Nov. 14.  As a team, the Bulldogs shoot 45.8 percent from the field (71-of-155), average 66.3 points per game, but are outrebounded by a -5.3 per game figure (32.3-27.0).  Individually, three Samford players average in double figures, led by Randall Gulina’s 24.0 ppg average.  Jerry Smith adds a team-leading 6.0 rebounds per game average.

 

The Series:  Tonight’s game is the first meeting of the two schools.  It is also the sixth time that Arizona will face an Ohio Valley Conference opponent.  All-time, UA has a 4-1 (.800) record vs. the OVC.  The last time Arizona faced a school from the Ohio Valley Conference came on March 16, 2001, a 101-76 UA win over Eastern Illinois in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Midwest Region in Kansas City, Mo.

 

Player of the Week:  Chase Budinger, a freshman from Encinitas, Calif., was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 25.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in a pair of Arizona wins last week. He scored 32 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-6 from three-point range and 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the 101-79 win over Northern Arizona. In the 102-87 victory over New Mexico State, he posted 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out four assists.

The 32-point effort against Northern Arizona was the seventh-best single-game effort by a freshman in Arizona history, and he is just the fourth Arizona freshman to score 30 or more points in a single game.  Budinger becomes just the second freshman in Pac-10 history (since 1983-84) to earn the debut Player-of-the-Week honor in his freshman season, joining Stanford’s Jason Collins during the 1999-2000 campaign.

 

Denting the Scoreboard:  Arizona has scored more than 100 points in the back-to-back victories, marking the first time since Feb. 14-19, 2004, that the Wildcats have topped the century mark in consecutive games.  When adding in the 90-point effort in the Nov. 12 loss at Virginia, Arizona is averaging 97.7 points per game, a figure that is 24.0 points per game higher than last season.

 

Record Setter:  Jawann McClellan set a new school record and equaled a Pac-10 Conference record for single-game three-point field goal percentage when he connected on 7-of-7 three-point field goal attempts Sunday against New Mexico State.  The 6-foot-4 junior from Houston equaled the league record originally set by Stanford’s Dion Cross on March 7, 1996, against Arizona.  McClellan broke the Arizona record previously held by Gilbert Arenas (6-of-6) at Washington State on Jan. 11, 2001.  McClellan finished the game with a career-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds.

 

Guarded Optimism:  McClellan’s return to the UA perimeter has been beneficial through three games, as he has connected on 58.6 percent (17-of-29) field goal attempts, including 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from three-point range,  He’s scored in double figures in all three games, averaging 17.7 points and 4.0 rebounds, and played in a total of 95 minutes.  He played in only 45 minutes in all of last season.

 

Stronger on the Glass:  Arizona’s rebounding seems much improved through the early part of the season, outrebounding two of three opponents (tied Virginia) and posting a +6.3 rebound advantage.  Sunday vs. New Mexico State, Arizona held a 41-26 advantage on the glass.  Currently, five UA players are averaging four or more rebounds per game.  By comparison, last season’s UA squad posted a -0.3 rebound margin.

 

That’s More Like It:  The Cats’ shooting eye seems to have returned, as the club is shooting a cumulative 54.0 percent (102-of-189) from the field through three games.  In fact, Arizona has shot 50 percent or better in five of six halves this season, including 66.7 percent (16-of-24) in the second half of Sunday’s win over New Mexico State.  Last season, Arizona shot just .446 from the field as a team.

 

Farsighted:  In addition to its field goal shooting being on the rise, UA’s three-point shooting has improved by even greater numbers.  To date, Arizona has connected on 45.0 percent (27-of-60) from behind the arc, which is a definite improvement over last season’s .319 percentage.

 

In November:  Over the last 24 years, UA is 55-15 (.786) in the month of November. Twenty-six of the Cats’ 67 games (39 percent) in November under Olson have been against ranked teams. Olson’s clubs have gone 18-8 (.692) in those contests.

 

Doubling Up:  Senior forward Ivan Radenovic has gotten off to a good start this year, averaging 19.7 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 80.0 percent (20-of-25) from the field.  The 6-foot-10 product of Belgrade, Serbia, has scored in double figures in all three games and posted the ninth double-double of his career Sunday vs. New Mexico State with 25 points and 12 rebounds, and ranks second on the team with 10 assists.

 

On the Horizon:  Mustafa Shakur enters tonight’s game just 10 points shy of his 1,000th career point.  Should Shakur score 10 or more points, he would become the 40th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.  Currently, Shakur is averaging 9.6 points per game in his 103-game career.

 

Iron Men:  Arizona’s starting five logged a total of 187 minutes in Sunday’s win over New Mexico State with three players (Budinger/Radenovic/McClellan) either setting or equaling career highs for minutes played.  All five starters finished in double figures (a UA first this season), and amassed 101 of 102 points and 38 of 41 rebounds.  Incidentally for Shakur, who scored 15 points in the win, the effort was the 50th double-figure game of his career.

 

On the Horizon:  Mustafa Shakur enters tonight’s game just 10 points shy of his 1,000th career point.  Should Shakur score 10 or more points, he would become the 40th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.  Currently, Shakur is averaging 9.6 points per game in his 103-game career.

 

Beware of the Second Half:  While Arizona is averaging 97.3 points and outscoring the opposition by 11.4 points per game, the second half has proven to be problematic.  In the second half of its first three games, Arizona has actually been outscored 150-149 in the second half this season.  Opponents are averaging 50.0 points per game and are shooting .480 (48-of-100) from the field, a mark that is 30 percentage points higher than the opponents overall shooting percentage (.450).

 

Always On the Run:  Early this season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  The Wildcats posted 15 scoring runs of 11 or more points this season and here are the six best:

25-0 run over 7:45 vs. New Mexico State, Nov. 19 (UA went 11-of-16 during run: NMSU 0-of-10)

34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 15 (UA went 12-of-16 during run: NAU 3-of-16)

18-3 run over 4:15 at Virginia, Nov. 12 (UA went 6-of-8 during run: UVa 1-of-8)

 

Preseason Prognostications:  According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference, Arizona was picked to finish second in this year’s Pac-10 race.  Arizona received 13 first-place votes and 280 points overall and trailed only UCLA in the poll.  It is the firs time in five seasons that Arizona has not been selected as the preseason team to beat.  Incidentally, the Cats have been the preseason favorite in 11 of the last 17 seasons.

 

Preseason Kudos:  Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams were named to the 2006-07 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team, the award’s national selection committee announced Oct. 17.  Shakur, a 6-foot-3, senior guard from Philadelphia, and Williams, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from Philadelphia, are among 50 student-athletes on the list.  Arizona is one of only nine schools nationally to have two or more players on the list.

 

On to the Next Level:  With the 2006-07 National Basketball Association regular season past the All-Star break, no fewer than 10 former Arizona Wildcats are on active NBA rosters.  Only three schools nationally have more alumni in the league (Connecticut, 14; Duke, 13; North Carolina, 12).  Here is the complete list:  Hassan Adams, New Jersey Nets; 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; and Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers.

 

Early Signees:  Coach Olson and his staff signed five student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.  Jerryd Bayless (G, 6-3, 193) from Phoenix, Ariz., St. Mary’s High School; Jamelle Horne (F, 6-7, 205) from San Diego, Calif., San Diego High School;  Alex Jacobson (C, 7-1, 223) from Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School; Zane Johnson (F, 6-6, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird High School; and Laval Lucas-Perry (G, 6-1, 191) from Grand Blanc, Mich., Powers Catholic High School, will join the squad next fall.

 

Up Next:  After a brief respite for the Thanksgiving holiday, Arizona returns to action on Tuesday, Dec. 28, when the Cats host UNLV.  Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and can be seen on FSN Arizona.

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