Aug. 18, 2011
Season Data: Arizona (30-8, 14-4 Pac-10) won 30 games, captured the 2011 Pac-10 Conference regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight ... It was UA's 12th Pac-10 title (25th in school history) and the fourth time the program has won 30 games ... The Wildcats notched a 14-win improvement over the previous season, equaling the third-best move in the country ... UA ranked 10th nationally in three-point field goal percentage and fifth nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense ... Forward Derrick Williams was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and a first- or second-team All-American by nine different organizations.
The Rankings: UA finished the 2010-11 campaign with a national ranking in the last eight consecutive polling periods, closing at No. 17 in the (March 14) Associated Press poll and No. 9 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. UA's eight straight weeks in both national polls is the longest for a Pac-10 club in 2010-11, and marked the first time since 2002-03 that the Wildcats have closed a season with a top-10 ranking.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . completed his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 166-70 (.703) and 46-23 (.667) at Arizona ... He guided UA to 30 wins and a Pac-10 regular season championship in 2011 in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight ... He was named Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach of the Year ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 15 trips to the postseason in his 18 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/6 NIT) and has an 9-5 (.643) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford.
Arizona In The National Statistical Rankings: As a team, Arizona ranked in the top 100 nationally in 11 statistical categories (eight more than in 2009-10): three-point field goal percentage defense (.293/5th), three-point field goal percentage (.397/10th), winning percentage (.789/14th), scoring offense (76.4/23rd), field goal percentage (.469/29th), free throw percentage (.746/32nd), scoring margin (+8.6/33rd), three-point field goals per game (7.8/42nd), rebound margin (+4.0/50th), assist:turnover ratio (1.11/85th) and assists per game (14.1/86th). Individually, Derrick Williams ranked in the top 100 in three categories: field goal percentage (.595/9th), points per game (19.5/30th) and rebounds per game (8.3/73rd). Incidentally, UA's .293 (175-of-598) three-point FG percentage defense was the lowest in program history since the advent of the three-point shot in 1986-87. Furthermore, UA's 175 treys allowed was the lowest opponent total since 1989-90.
This Guy Is Really Good: Arizona head coach Sean Miller and the Wildcats clinched the Pac-10 regular season championship with a win over Oregon on March 8, which marked the fourth regular-season title (or share) for a Miller-coached team in the last five seasons. The only blip was last season's 16-15 (10-8/4th Pac-10) debut at Arizona. Dating back to his time at Xavier, Miller's charges have won the 2007 (co), `08 and `09 Atlantic 10 regular-season championships in addition to the 2011 Pac-10 title. In that span, Miller has averaged better than 12 conference wins per season to go with a .750 (63-21) conference winning percentage. Overall in that span, Miller's teams have averaged 25 wins per season. Additionally, Miller has proven himself to be a savvy postseason mentor, helping Xavier to the 2008 West Regional final and 2009 East Regional semifinal prior to Arizona's 2011 run to the Elite Eight. His NCAA Tournament record is 9-5 (.643).
All-America: Derrick Williams earned a total of nine first- or second-team All-America accolades, as the sophomore forward was a first-team pick by Sports Illustrated, the Wooden Award and collegeinsdder.com. Williams is the 25th Wildcat to earn a total of 95 All-America honors since 1950-51. He was also a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award, given to college basketball's player of the year, as voted by the USBWA, and Los Angeles Athletic Club, respectively.
All-District: Derrick Williams was also an all-district pick by both the USBWA and NABC. The 6-foot-8 native of La Mirada, Calif., was a first-team all-District 20 selection by the NABC, as well as the district player of the year. He was also an all-District IX selection by the NABC. Furthermore, Sean Miller was the NABC District 20 Coach of the Year.
All-NCAA Regional: Wildcat forwards Derrick Williams and Jesse Perry were selected to the all-NCAA West Regional squad. Williams averaged 26.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in the two games in Anaheim, while Perry averaged 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and shot .600 from the field.
Pac-10 Honors: Derrick Williams and Sean Miller were named Pacific-10 Conference Player and Coach of the Year, respectively, as the league announced its postseason honors March 7. It marks the seventh time a Wildcat player has earned the honor, and the first since Jason Terry in 1999. Miller joins Lute Olson as UA mentors to win Pac-10 Coach-of-the-Year honors. A seven-time honoree, Olson last won the award in 2003.
Deep Runs: The NCAA Tournament victories over Texas and Duke clinched Arizona's 14th regional semifinal and ninth regional final appearance in school history. The Wildcats have now made the Sweet 16 in each of its last two NCAA Tournament appearances and have made five regional semifinals in the last 10 years. Since the dawn of the new millennium, Arizona has four regional final appearances (2001, 2003, 2005 and 2011), a figure that is tied for fourth nationally (Kansas 6/North Carolina and Michigan State 5/Arizona, Connecticut and Kentucky 4).
A Tall Order: Since seeding was introduced to the NCAA Tournament in 1979, Arizona now has a 7-6 record against a No. 1 seed following UA's 16-point win over Duke on March 24. In fact, Arizona's seven wins against a top seed is the second-most in the country in tournament history (Duke, 8). Interestingly, the Wildcats have more wins against a top seed than it does against any other seed in the tournament. Those seven wins are more than it has against seeds 2-4 combined (6).
Board Work: Look no further than the rebounding totals for Arizona's key to victory, where Arizona is 22-2 when outrebounding the opposition, including an 11-0 mark in Pac-10 play. On the season, Arizona posted a +4.0 rebound margin outrebounded 15 foes by 10 rebounds or more.
Four for 30: Sean Miller coached Arizona to a 30-victory season for only the fourth time in school history, a remarkable 14-game swing from his 16-14 mark in his inaugural season in Tucson last year. The 30-8 mark stacks up against these previous Lute Olson-coached clubs:
1987-88: 35-3 (.921)
1997-98: 30-5 (.857)
2004-05: 30-7 (.811)
2010-11: 30-8 (.789)
Elite Company: Sean Miller just completed his seventh season as a head coach and collected his second 30-win season, a feat that puts the Wildcat mentor in elite company, as he is just the 38th coach in NCAA Division I history to register two or more 30-win campaigns. Of this group of active head coaches - Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, John Calipari, Ben Howland, Tom Izzo, Mike Krzyzewski, Thad Matta, Bill Self and Roy Williams - only Izzo posted two 30-win seasons in his first seven years as a Division I head coach, and Miller's average of 23.7 wins per season as a head coach trails only Williams (26.3), Matta (26.1) and Izzo (23.9) in that same seven-year debut.
Leaving His Mark: Forward Derrick Williams closed his sophomore season with 741 points, which was the third-highest, single-season point total in school history. Additionally, his 1,227 points scored (17.8 ppg) are the most for an Arizona player in his first two collegiate seasons, while his career average of 8.2 free throw attempts per game is the highest in school history. Here is a look at where Williams stands in the UA career and single-season records books:
Points Scored: 1,227; 27th
Scoring Average: 17.8 ppg; T7th
Field Goal Percentage: .586; 4th
Free Throws: 405; 6th
Free Throw Attempts: 563; 7th
Points Scored: 741; 3rd
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: .568; 2nd
Free Throws: 247; 1st
Free Throw Attempts: 331; 1st
Rebounds: 314; T7th
Games Played: 38; T1st
Games Started: 38; T1st
Sharing a Record: Deep runs through the conference and NCAA Tournaments certainly add to your games played, and due to the fact that Arizona equaled a school record with 38 games played, no fewer than 10 players saw action in every contest in 2010-11 and now share that mark: Kyle Fogg, Solomon Hill, Jamelle Horne, Lamont Jones, Brendon Lavender, Jordin Mayes, Kyryl Natyazhko, Kevin Parrom, Jesse Perry, Derrick Williams. Williams, Jones and Hill also equaled the school record by starting in all 38 games.
The Sum Is Greater Than Its Parts: Arizona averaged 76.4 points per game in 2010-11, a figure that ranked 23rd nationally, and had just one player average in double figures. In a testament to balance, no fewer than seven Wildcats scored more than 200 points this season, the first time the program has accomplished that feat since 2002-03.
Continued Improvement: Two of UA's three NCAA Tournament wins came by a total of three points, and are further proof of a program's maturation. The Cats were 8-3 this season in games decided by five points or less, a marked improvement over last season's 7-5 record. The Wildcats averaged 76.4 points per game, a figure that is 4.5 ppg higher than the team's scoring average last season - Sean Miller's debut campaign in Tucson. Additionally, the Wildcats allowed 67.9 points per game, or 4.1 fewer points than last season. That combined improvement helps explain why 17 of UA's 30 wins were by 10 or more points with nine of those decided by 20-plus points.
A First: With back-to-back defeats of nationally ranked Texas and Duke, Arizona was able to pick up its first wins of the year over ranked opponents. Both foes were ranked in the top-10 entering the NCAA Tournament, and it was the first time that the Wildcats defeated top-10 opponents in back-to-back games since downing No. 2 Maryland (71-67) and No. 5 Florida (75-71) on Nov. 8-9, 2001.
On The Mark: Throughout 2010-11, Arizona proved to be a more efficient ball club, shooting 46.9 percent from the field (969-of-2,064), a figure that was 2.6 points higher than its season-long average of 44.3 percent last season. All told, UA shot 50 percent or better 13 times in 2010-11, nearly doubling the Cats' total of seven a year ago. Good shooting is half the proverbial battle, as Arizona was 17-1 this season when outshooting the opposition and 31-3 when that occurs during the Sean Miller era.
Worth Noting: Freshman Jordin Mayes got hot at the right time, as the 6-foot-2 guard from Los Angeles, Calif., knocked down 10 consecutive treys over the span of five straight games in March - beginning with his last two attempts on March 11 vs. USC and running through his final attempt vs. Duke on March 24 - to establish a new school record. Mayes shot it well over the course of the season, connecting on 45.3 percent (39-of-86) of his attempts from behind the arc to rank second on the team.
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 62-31 (.667) record in the month of March. In that span, 42 of those games have been played in the NCAA Tournament and UA is 29-13 (.690) in them. In the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 9-4 (.692) in March.
From Behind the Arc: Arizona has a collection of some sharp shooters, helping the school post a .397 season percentage from three-point range, which tied for the fifth-best mark in UA history. Arizona eclipsed 60 percent from beyond the arc five times this season and topped 50 percent 10 times. Arizona sank 10 or more treys in a dozen different games in 2010-11. The Cats' 296 made three-pointers is a single-season record, passing the 279 made by the 1993-94 Final Four club spearheaded by the long-range bombing backcourt of Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves.
Team Leader: Guard Kyle Fogg closed his junior season by leading the Wildcats in three-point field goals (50) and assists (99) - both career-high totals. The 6-foot-3 native of Brea, Calif., connected on 35.5 percent (50-of-141) of his attempts from behind the arc and posted a 1.80 assist:turnover ratio. He averaged 8.1 points and 1.8 rebounds per game in 38 appearances.
Raising His Level: Solomon Hill enjoyed a solid sophomore season, averaging 8.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 38 appearances. He raised his level of play in the NCAA Tournament by posting per game averages of 9.5 points and 7.0 rebounds to go with a .516 field goal percentage. Included in the effort was a 16-point, eight-rebound outing vs. Texas, 13 points vs. Duke and 10 rebounds vs. Connecticut.
A Sign of More to Come: Swingman Kevin Parrom , UA's "glue guy," ranked among the top five on the squad in scoring (7.6 ppg), rebounding (3.4 rpg), treys (38), assists (75), blocks (12) and steals (24), despite making just three starts in 38 appearances. Parrom joined Derrick Williams as the only Wildcats to shoot better than 50 percent from the field (.508) and 40 percent from three-point range (.418) with more than five FG attempts per game.
Leaving A Winner: The Wildcats' lone senior, forward Jamelle Horne, went out on top as he helped Arizona win 30 games, claim a its first Pac-10 title since 2005 and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight. The 6-foot-7 San Diego, Calif., product averaged 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds and ranked second on the team with 43 treys. Over his last two seasons, Horne connected on 93-of-222 (.419) three-point field goal attempts.
What's Scheduled to Return: With 11 letterwinners from this Pac-10 championship club scheduled to return in 2011-12, a total of 53.7 percent of the points scored (1,559 of 2,905), 61.7 percent of the rebounding (814 of 1,319), 69.0 percent of the assists (370 of 536) and 63.1 percent of the minutes played (4,855 of 7,700) should come back as well.
Moving Up, Part I: Forward Derrick Williams was the second overall selection by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2011 NBA Draft, equaling the highest draft selection by a UA player in draft history (Mike Bibby/2nd overall/Vancouver/1998). Williams was the 17th first-round draft pick in school history and the 11th lottery pick. Nine of the last 10 Wildcats to be selected in the NBA Draft have been lottery picks.
We're Good At This: Arizona leads the nation with 34 NBA draftees since 1988. That's more than half of the 63 players in UA history to be selected by NBA organizations. Here is a look at the top-five programs in terms of draft production:
1. ARIZONA 34 2. Duke 32 3. UCLA 30 4. Kansas 29 5. North Carolina 26
Moving Up, Part II: Arizona associate head coach Archie Miller was named the head coach at the University of Dayton on April 4. He is the second Sean Miller protege to become a college head coach, joining Xavier's Chris Mack.
Incoming: The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent as part of the 2011 recruiting class. Angelo Chol (F, 6-9, 215) from Khartoum, Sudan, who prepped at Hoover High School in San Diego, Calif.; Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Wadleigh H.S. in Harlem; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., who preps at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.