No. 1 Seed Arizona (25-5, 15-3) at Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2005
Time: 12:20 p.m. PST
Location: Staples Center (19,282), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)
Game Data: No. 1 seed Arizona (25-4, 15-3 Pac-10) travels to Los Angeles for the 2005 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament and opens play in the quarterfinals Thursday against No. 8 seed California (13-15, 6-12 Pac-10) ... Arizona’s 13 wins and four titles (1988-90, 2002) in this event are league bests ... Of the Wildcats’ three losses in tournament history, two have come in the quarterfinals (1987, 2003) ... Since the event was reborn in the Staples Center, UA is 4-2 in tournament action.
The Rankings: After winning its only game last week, Arizona rose to No. 8 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and to the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 302 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 736-254 (.743) and 544-162 (.771) 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 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 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, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 37-10 against California and 13-3 in Pac-10 Tournament play.
Last Time Out: Salim Stoudamire’s 14-foot jumper with six-tenths of a second remaining Saturday gave Arizona the 70-68 win over Arizona State and clinched the Pac-10 Championship. It proved to be a very entertaining game, featuring multiple scoring runs by both teams and three ties and six lead changes in the last four minutes. Four Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Stoudamire’s 22, and UA limited ASU to just 35.5 percent shooting in the second half.
Scouting California: The Golden Bears enter Thursday’s game with a 13-15 record (6-12 Pac-10) after a 63-57 overtime win Saturday vs. Washington State. Cal shoots 45.1 percent from the field (712-of-1577), posts a +0.5 rebound margin and is outscored by 2.6 points per game. Individually, two Golden Bears average in double figures, led by Rod Benson, who leads Cal with a 13.7 points per game average. Benson also leads the team by averaging 6.4 rebounds per game.
The Series: Thursday’s game marks the 70th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 45-24 series advantage. UA has won 12 of the last 13 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1924, including the last get-together, 97-76, in Tucson on Feb. 3. All-time, Arizona is 23-8 in series games played in Tucson, 20-15 in Berkeley, and 2-1 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 103 of the UA basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 97, California 76, Feb. 3, 2005: Arizona’s balanced attack proved to be too much in a convincing victory over California. Channing Frye led all players with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Salim Stoudamire contributed 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Hassan Adams was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field for 15 points. Mustafa Shakur dished out eight assists and had 10 points in a game where UA opened with a 22-4 run and never looked back. Arizona’s 21-point win was its largest over a conference opponent this season.
Top Seeds: Arizona heads into the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 1 seed for second time in the last three seasons. Incidentally, in the seven previous Pac-10 Tournaments, Arizona has entered the event as the top seed three times (1988, 1989, 2003). All time, Arizona has a 13-3 (.813) record at the Pac-10 Tournament and has won the event four times (1988, 1989, 1990, 2002). Both figures are Pac-10 bests.
All-Conference: Three Arizona players earned all-conference honors in voting released Monday by the league’s head coaches. Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire were all-conference honorees, while Hassan Adams was an honorable mention selection. For Frye, it was his second all-Pac-10 honor, while it was the first for Stoudamire. Adams was an honorable mention pick last season as well.
Senior Leadership: Salim Stoudamire led Arizona to a win over intrastate rival Arizona State in its regular-season finale by scoring a team-high 22 points to go with three rebounds, a career-high three steals and an assist in a season-best 38 minutes played. Stoudamire hit 6-of-13 field goal attempts in the game, including the game-winner with six-tenths of a second remaining that clinched the Pac-10 championship for the Wildcats. He scored 18 of his 22 points in the first half. Stoudamire was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for his efforts, marking the third time this season that Stoudamire has been so honored. He is just the 11th player in league history to claim five or more P.O.W. honors in a career.
Champions Again: Saturday’s win clinched the 11th Pac-10 championship for Arizona and the 24th conference championship in school history. Of Arizona’s 11 Pac-10 titles, nine have been of the outright variety. It is also UA’s third league championship since 2000 (2000, 2003).
Top of the Charts: The ASU win also gave Lute Olson his 305th career Pac-10 victory, moving him past UCLA’s John Wooden for most career conference wins by a head coach. In 22 seasons, Olson has a career Pac-10 record of 305-87 (.778), while Wooden amassed a 304-74 (.810) mark in 27 seasons at the helm in Westwood.
Close Calls: Arizona’s two-point win Saturday was the team’s seventh of the season by five points or less. In 2004-05, Arizona is 7-1 in games decided by five points or less, including six consecutive. That 7-1 record is a decided improvement over last year for the Cats, as the 2003-04 team was just 4-6 in tight games.
Safe at Home: It’s obvious that Hassan Adams enjoys playing close to home, as the junior from Los Angeles. In 12 career games in the Los Angeles area, Adams is averaging 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game. He’s connected on 50.7 percent (68-of-134) of his field goal attempts and 86.8 percent (33-of-38) of his free throws. Adams’ career highs of 30 points and 14 rebounds were last equaled during the 2004 Pac-10 Tournament in Staples Center.
Moving Up: With 11:29 to go in the first half on Saturday, Salim Stoudamire knocked down his third three-point field goal of the game. The trey was the 318th of Stoudamire’s career, which tied the Arizona record for career three-point field goals made. He enters the Pac-10 Tournament tied with Jason Gardner (1999-2003) with 318 treys made. Stoudamire is also within shooting distance of breaking the Pac-10 record for three-pointers made. Arizona State’s Stevin Smith (1991-94) holds the current record of 323.
Controlling the Boards: Arizona is 19-2 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and six times the squad has posted at least a +10 rebound margin. UA has outrebounded 21 of 30 opponents in 2004-05. Last season, Arizona was 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition.
A Bit of Foreshadowing: How’s this for good timing? Just about 35 minutes before Stoudamire’s title-winning heroics Saturday, the 6-foot-1 senior guard was named to the John R. Wooden Award final ballot. The distinction means that Stoudamire is one of 23 student-athletes in contention for the Wooden Award, given annually to college basketball’s player of the year.
A need to be defensive: The Cats may have clinched Saturday’s win on the defensive end, as it limited Arizona State to just 37.5 percent (24-of-64) shooting, including 35.5 percent (11-of-31) shooting in the second half. It marked the seventh time this season that UA has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.
In Close: After posting a .387 FG percentage in the first half of Saturday’s game, Arizona managed to improve a bit by shooting 48.1 percent (13-of-27) in the second half. Most impressively, 11 of those 13 second half field goals were either dunks or lay-ups. Only Stoudamire’s 14-foot game-winner and a trey by Mustafa Shakur at the 12:52 mark were Arizona’s only field goals outside of the paint. For the game, 17 of Arizona’s 25 field goals were dunks, lay-ups or tip-ins.
Shooting Straight: The difference in field goal accuracy is a key for the Wildcats, as the club is 18-0 when outshooting the opposition. During Pac-10 play, Arizona is shooting 49.2 percent (542-of-1102) from the field, markedly better than the 45.6 (493-of-1080) percent shooting by the opposition.
Steady: Sophomore Mustafa Shakur put forth a solid effort in Saturday’s win, posting totals of 14 points, a career-high eight rebounds and four assists. Shakur was 6-of-10 from the floor, including 1-of-1 from three-point range and reached double figures for the 10th time this season. In 30 regular season appearances, Shakur is averaging 8.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Fifteen times during the 2004-05 season UA has posted a scoring run of more than 15 points. Here is a look at the list:
24 points ?- 38-14 run over 11:33 vs. Oregon, Feb. 17
21 points ?- 29-8 run over 8:58 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
19 points ?- 27-8 run over 8:10 vs. Wright State, Nov. 18
19 points ?- 22-3 run over 8:49 vs. Richmond, Dec. 30
19 points ?- 19-0 run over 4:10 at UCLA, Feb. 12
19 points ?- 19-0 run over 4:32 at Arizona State, March 5
18 points ?- 20-2 run over 8:11 vs. San Diego, Nov. 16
18 points ?- 22-4 run over 7:50 vs. California, Feb. 3
18 points ?- 31-13 run over 9:59 vs. Oregon State, Feb. 20
17 points ?- 25-8 run over 10:15 vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 28
16 points ?- 18-2 run over 5:00 vs. Wyoming, Nov. 30
16 points ?- 23-7 run over 5:59 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
16 points ?- 21-5 run over 5:12 vs. Arizona State, Jan. 2
16 points ?- 16-0 run over 4:24 at Oregon, Jan. 20
16 points ?- 29-13 run over 10:56 vs. Stanford, Feb. 5
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 139-17 (.891) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 15-1 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 today’s game, Arizona will either advance to Friday’s first semifinal at 6:15 p.m. PST, which will be televised on Fox Sports Net, or return to Tucson and await Sunday’s announcement of the NCAA Tournament participants.