Game 25: Arizona (15-9, 8-5) at California (15-6, 9-3)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Haas Pavilion (11,877), Berkeley, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Game Data: Arizona (15-9, 8-5 Pac-10) begins its last road trip of the regular season Thursday at California (15-6, 9-3 Pac-10) ... The Cats hope to continue the momentum built with two home wins last weekend, but are 5-8 this season away from home ... Over its last 10 games, Arizona is shooting 45.2 percent (280-of-620) from the field, including 32.2 percent (38-of-118) from three-point range, both improvements over the season-long statistics (.442/.311).
The Rankings: For the fifth consecutive week, Arizona remained unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Cats saw its string of 312 consecutive regular-season AP poll appearances end on Dec. 19.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 756-265 (.740) and 564-173 (.765) 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 (313) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.773/313-92) 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 23-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 21 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 best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 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 331-34 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 259 of its last 277 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 39-10 against California.
Last Time Out: Arizona posted a 42-28 rebound advantage and forced 25 turnovers in earning an 80-58 victory Saturday over Oregon State. Led by a career-high 26 points from Ivan Radenovic, eight of 11 Wildcats to see action scored points and nine grabbed at least one rebound. A 20-9 UA run over the last nine minutes put the game out of reach. Hassan Adams (9) and Mustafa Shakur (7) combined for 16 assists.
Scouting California: The Golden Bears enter tonight’s game with a 15-6 record (9-3 Pac-10) following last Thursday’s 65-62 win over Stanford. As a team, Cal shoots 44.7 percent from the field (503-of-1125), including 38.5 percent (122-of-317) from three-point range, while averaging 70.4 points per game. Opponents shoot at a 43.4 percent clip and are averaging 64.0 points per game. Two Golden Bears average in double figures, led by Leon Powe’s 19.4 ppg and 10.6 rpg marks.
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 72nd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 47-24 series advantage. UA has won 14 of the last 15 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1924, including the last meeting, 60-55, on Jan. 21 in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 24-8 in series games played in Tucson, 20-15 in Berkeley, Calif., and 3-1 in neutral-site games. Please see page 101 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 60, California 55, Jan. 21, 2006: Arizona parlayed a 47-30 rebound margin into a 17-5 advantage in second-chance points as the Wildcats posted a hard-fought, five-point win. UA offset 33.3 percent shooting with 21 offensive rebounds and managed to hold the lead for the final 26:46. Arizona clinched the game by hitting 10-of-14 free throws over the final 5:23. Hassan Adams led the Wildcats with 16 points, while Ivan Radenovic added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Rodgers Returns: After being dismissed from the team on Jan. 18, guard Chris Rodgers was reinstated and returned to practice on Monday. The 6-foot-4 senior from Portland, Ore., is averaging 10.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game in 16 appearances (13 starts) this season. Head coach Lute Olson did not specify if Rodgers would play tonight, indicating that it would be a game time decision. To date, Arizona is 5-3 since the Jan. 18 announcement.
Power Forward Productivity: In leading Arizona to a pair of wins last week, Ivan Radenovic averaged 20.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He connected on 63.0 percent of his field goal attempts (17-of-20), 70.0 percent (7-of-10) of his free throws, and added three steals in the effort. Radenovic opened the week with 15 points (5-of-6 FGs), six rebounds and a career-high six assists Thursday vs. Oregon in a career high 37 minutes, and followed that up with a career-high 26 points (12-of-21 FGs), seven rebounds (four offensive) and three steals Saturday vs. Oregon State. On the season, Radenovic is averaging 10.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, while shooting 42.6 percent from the field.
Either Way, Ws are OK: The Arizona wins last week were from opposite ends of the winning margin spectrum. Thursday’s two-point decision was UA’s seventh game of the season decided by five points or less, where the Cats are 4-3 in such contests. Saturday’s 22-point win was UA’s fourth game decided by 20 or more points (UA 4-0). The 80-52 win over Oregon State was the team’s first game decided by 20 or more points since an 87-51 win over Sam Houston State on Dec. 19, a span of 15 games.
Board Work: Bolstered by a 17-7 offensive rebound edge, Arizona outrebounded Oregon State, 42-28. It marked the 10th time this season that Arizona had outrebounded an opponent and UA is 8-2 in those games. It was also the fifth time this season the Cats have posted a rebound advantage of 10 or more in a game. Incidentally, Arizona outrebounded both Oregon and Oregon State this week, marking the first time UA has outrebounded back-to-back opponents in 13 games (Dec. 21-29).
Triangulating a Win: Arizona did three things well in Saturday’s Oregon State win that it has traditionally done en route to victory: it enjoyed a strong inside presence, created turnovers and got out on the fast break. The game saw Arizona’s post players combine for 37 points (16-of-30 FG) and 17 rebounds, while enjoying a 44-30 points-in-the-paint scoring advantage. Additionally, UA converted 25 OSU miscues into 29 points and held a +15 points off turnovers margin and a 16-4 edge in fast break points.
Standing Tall: The Wildcats have enjoyed unseen levels of productivity from center Kirk Walters of late. In his last six games, the 6-foot-10 junior from Grand Rapids, Mich., is averaging 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game, while shooting 75.0 percent (27-of-36) from the field. In that time, Walters has finished in double figures three times and grabbed five or more rebounds five times. On the season, the center is averaging 6.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, while posting a team-leading 58.2 field goal percentage.
Put the Throttle Down: The Wildcats reached the 80-point plateau Saturday for the seventh time this season and UA is undefeated when accomplishing the feat. It was just the third time the team scored 80 or more in Pac-10 play and only two of those came at home. Last year, Arizona averaged 82.6 points per game in Pac-10 play and scored 80 or more points 11 times in those 18 games.
Multiple Miscues: The Wildcats forced Oregon State into 25 turnovers on Saturday, including 16 in the first half, which marked the 13th time this season that UA had forced 20 or more turnovers in a game, but the first time in the last five games. On the season, Arizona forces its opponents into an average of 20.3 turnovers per game.
Equal Distribution: Balance was the word of the day Saturday, as 10 of the 11 Wildcats to see action grabbed at least one rebound and eight of 11 scored points. All told, UA reserves logged a total of 62 minutes in Saturday’s win.
4+5: The Arizona frontcourt has been increasingly productive over the last four games, The duo of Kirk Walters and Ivan Radenovic have combined to shoot 48-of-70 (.686) from the floor and are averaging 28.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
No Day Off: Hassan Adams tallied a season-low eight points in Saturday’s win, just the second time this season that he has finished out of double figures. He enjoyed a rare day off from shouldering the scoring burden by posting a career-high nine assists to go with two steals in the effort. In addition to his team-leading 18.3 points per game average, Adams is averaging 2.9 assists and 2.67 steals.
With Regularity: Mustafa Shakur knocked down 11-of-12 free throws last week, including the decisive pair with four seconds to go Thursday that helped Arizona claim the 70-68 win over Oregon. The 6-foot-3 guard has been exceptional from the line of late, knocking down 38-of-42 (.905) free throw attempts in his last 10 games. The effort has raised his season percentage to 81.9 percent (77-of-94).
Off the Bench: Sophomore guard Daniel Dillon enjoyed his most productive game of the season for the Wildcats, as he tallied nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 23 minutes. He connected on 3-of-4 field goal attempts en route to setting or equaling nine season or career highs Saturday against the Beavers.
Continuing Education: Freshman Fendi Onobun also continues to be productive. Against the Beavers, Onobun posted six points (3-of-5 FG), a season-high six rebounds in 14 minutes. On the season, the 6-foot-6 forward is averaging 3.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and is shooting 68.2 percent (15-of-22) from the field.
Back at It: Arizona collected 13 steals in Saturday’s game against Oregon State, it’s highest total in seven games. It is the 15th time in 24 games that the Cats have garnered 10 or more steals in a game. This season, Arizona leads the Pac-10 by averaging 10.1 steals per game.
Big On Bret: Sophomore forward Bret Brielmaier equaled a career high with five rebounds (four offensive) Saturday against Oregon State. The 6-foot-6 walk-on from Mankato, Minn., grabbed a total of eight rebounds in 22 minutes this week. On the year, Brielmaier averages 1.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
Always On the Run: Throughout the season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity. The Wildcats’ have 11 scoring runs of 11 or more points this season:
29-1 run over 10:43 vs. Virginia, Nov. 27 (UVa went 0-of-12 with seven turnovers during the run)
33-15 run over 10:26 vs. Sam Houston State, Dec. 19 (UA 13-of-20 in run)
24-7 run over 9:53 at UCLA, Feb. 4 (UA 9-of-13 FG, 6-of-6 FT in run; UCLA 3-of-10 FG)
22-6 run over 8:19 at Oregon State, Jan. 12 (Seven TO and just 7 OSU FG attempts in run)
21-6 run over 7:12 vs. Michigan State, Nov. 23 (no MSU field goals in last 5:44 of regulation)
20-4 run over 9:10 vs. Kansas, Nov. 21 (KU hits 3-of-first-12 FG attempts with nine TO)
21-5 run over 7:57 at Houston, Dec. 3 (two UH FGs in last eight minutes of first half)
21-9 run over 12:23 vs. Connecticut, Nov. 22 (UA hits 7-of-11 FG in run)
25-11 run over 9:27 vs. USC, Jan. 7 (USC 4-of-13 FG, eight turnovers during run)
26-13 run over 13:04 vs. Saint Mary’s, Dec. 10 (nine SMC turnovers during run)
38-27 run over 13:52 at Washington, Dec. 31 (UA makes 10-of-first-14 FG to ignite 2nd half run)
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Chase Budinger (F, 6-7, 190) from Carlsbad, Calif., LaCosta High School; Jordan Hill (F, 6-8, 210) from Atlanta, Ga., The Patterson (N.C.) School; and Nic Wise (G, 5-10, 180) from Kingwood, Texas., Kingwood High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Arizona will next be in action on Sunday, Feb. 19, when the Wildcats head south to Palo Alto, Calif., to take on Stanford. The contest is scheduled to tip-off at 12:30 p.m. PST and be televised nationally on CBS-TV.