Feb. 5, 2013
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
Time: 7 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,538), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: ESPNews (Dave Pasch/Bill Walton)
GAME DATA: No. 7 Arizona (19-2, 7-2 Pac-12) returns home to host Stanford (14-8, 5-4 Pac-12) Wednesday in McKale Center ... Tonight's game is the 40th birthday celebration of the opening of McKale Center, where the Cats have an on-court record of 516-101 (.836) ... The Wildcats open the second half of the Pac-12 schedule in first place and UA has five of nine remaining games at home ... In four Pac-12 home games to date, UA is outscoring and outrebounding the opposition by the same +6.3 per game margin with five players averaging 8.0 ppg or better.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked seventh in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in the top 10 in both polls for 12 consecutive weeks, the most by a Pac-12 team in five years.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his fourth season at the University of Arizona and his ninth overall as a college head coach with a record of 208-84 (.712) and 88-37 (.704) at Arizona ... In his eight-plus year career, Miller's teams have won 20 games six times and captured five regular-season or postseason tournament titles ... He guided UA to 30 wins and the 2011 Pac-10 regular-season championship in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight, earning Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... 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 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 16 trips to the postseason in his 19 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/7 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 24 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... Miller has recruited classes ranked in the top-10 nationally in each of the last two seasons ... He is assisted by James Whitford, Emanuel Richardson and Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 5-0 vs. Stanford as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Solomon Hill got Arizona started and Mark Lyons finished strong as Arizona claimed its first road sweep of the season with a 79-65 win Saturday at Washington State. Hill scored all 18 of his points in the first half, while Lyons tallied 13 of his 20 points in the second. Hill sank 6-of-10 treys in the contest and spearheaded a UA that saw the Cats hit 11 three-pointers overall and commit just nine turnovers. Arizona held a double-digit lead for the final 26 minutes.
SCOUTING STANFORD: The Cardinal enters tonight's game with a 14-8 record (5-4 Pac-12) following Sunday's 81-73 win over Oregon State. On the season, Stanford averages 70.3 points per game, shoots 41.1 percent from the floor (529-of-1,086), 34.1 percent (138-of-405) from three-point range and 73.6 percent (351-of-477) from the line. Opponents average 64.2 points, are outrebounded by 3.0 per game and shoot 41.4 percent from the floor (508-of-1,228). Individually, two Stanford players average in double figures, led by Dwight Powell's 14.4 ppg figure. Josh Huestis leads the Cardinal in rebounding at 9.3 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game marks the 84th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 54-29 series advantage. Arizona has won 12 of the last 16 in the series, including the last, a 56-43 triumph in Palo Alto on Feb. 4, 2012. All-time, Arizona is 28-8 in series games played in Tucson, 22-18 in Palo Alto, Calif., and 4-3 in neutral site games. For more series information, please see page 48 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 56, Stanford 43, Feb. 4, 2012: A 12-2 Arizona run over 4:29 of the second half broke open a tight game and gave the Cats its first road sweep of the season. Arizona limited Stanford to 25.4 percent shooting for the game, including 22.6 percent in the second half, and outrebounded the Cardinal, 43-40. Keyed by the run, UA made seven of its last eight shots from the field, while Stanford connected on just two of its last 13 attempts. Kyle Fogg led all scorers with 14 points, while Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson combined for 14 rebounds.
WORTH CELEBRATING: Tonight, Arizona commemorates the opening of McKale Center 40 seasons ago, as the Wildcats defeated Wyoming, 87-69, on Feb. 1, 1973 in the facility's first game. UA's freshman backcourt of Coniel Norman (37) and Eric Money (20) combined for 57 points as the Cats ran by the Cowboys. Arizona connected on 36-of-57 field goal attempts (.632) and used a 22-8 run over 8:23 of the second half to create breathing room, as Norman had 12 points in the run. What's worth noting is that the attendance in the opener was 13,652, an increase of 10,452 over the squad's final game in Bear Down Gym nine days earlier.
CONSISTENTLY GOOD: Solomon Hill helped Arizona sweep a pair of road games last week by averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the field and 42.9 percent (6-of-14) from the line to go with a blocked shot and three steals. He opened the week with 10 points, three rebounds and two assists Thursday at Washington and added 18 points (6-of-10 from three-point range), three rebounds, two assists and two steals Saturday at Washington State. Hill tallied all 18 points in the first half Saturday, including a 65-foot shot at the halftime buzzer, and his six treys were the most for a Pac-12 player in a conference game this season. Additionally, the 18 points were the most for an Arizona player in any half in 2012-13. On the year, Hill averages 13.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game to go with a .472 field goal percentage.
STINGY: Arizona's defense continues to show improvement, as the Cats have limited the opposition to 15-of-59 (.254) from three-point range over the last four games. Not surprisingly, UA has held those four opponents to an average of 63.0 points per game, which is 3.8 points per game less than the scoring defense figure in the first five conference games. In the two games on the Washington road swing, the Huskies and Cougars combined to shoot .387 (41-of-106) from the field.
ON TARGET: The Wildcat starting frontcourt of Brandon Ashley, Solomon Hill and Kaleb Tarczewski, combined to make 13-of-21 (.619) of their shots from the floor to lead UA to a .474 (27-of-57) field goal percentage. That figure was UA's second-best shooting effort in Pac-12 play, topped only by a .475 (28-of-59) effort on Jan. 12 at Oregon State. It is worth noting that the Wildcats are 13-0 this season when posting a higher field goal percentage than the opponent.
TEN-PLUS FROM THREE: Led by Solomon Hill, who knocked down a career-best 6-of-10 shots from behind the arc, Arizona connected on 11 treys in Saturday's win. It was the fourth time this season that Arizona has reached double figures in three-point field goals, and was the second-highest total of the season, bettered only by the 12 treys made vs. Northern Arizona on Nov. 28. On the season, Arizona averages a Pac-12 best 7.7 treys per game.
BALL SECURITY: The one statistic that shouldn't be overlooked in Saturday's boxscore was Arizona's nine turnovers. That was the fifth time this season that the Wildcats have finished a game with fewer than 10 turnovers. In Pac-12 play, Arizona averages 12.4 turnovers per game (down from 13.6 in all games) and enjoys a +1.2 turnover margin.
PRODUCTIVITY: The Wildcats got bookend production from its seniors in the win at Washington State, as Solomon Hill scored all 18 of his points in the first half and Mark Lyons tallied 13 of his game-high 20 points in the second half. Hill's effort included a 65-foot heave at the halftime buzzer, while Lyons collected his fifth 20-point game of the season.
JOIN THE CLUB: Solomon Hill enters Wednesday's game with Stanford just one rebound shy of 700 for his career, which puts him on the precipice of some elite Arizona basketball company. With 1,247 career points already to Hill's credit, should he reach 700 career rebounds, he would be just the sixth Wildcat in the last 16 seasons to score more than 1,200 points and grab more than 700 rebounds, joining Channing Frye (2001-05), Michael Wright (1998-2001), Jordan Hill (2006-09), Hassan Adams (2002-06) and Ivan Radenovic (2003-07).
THREE IN A ROW: Freshman Kaleb Tarczewski collected his third straight double-figure scoring effort at Washington State, finishing with 10 points and four rebounds, Over those three games, Tarczewski is averaging 10.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He's been efficient from the free throw line, connecting on 10-of-11 while in Washington and 14-of-18 (.778) over the last three games. On the season, the 7-foot native of Claremont, N.H., is averaging 6.2 points and 5.89 rebounds per game.
CONTRIBUTING IN MANY AREAS: Forward Grant Jerrett collected five points and five rebounds in Saturday's win in a season-best 28 minutes played. The 6-foot-10 Chino Hills, Calif., product also added four blocked shots, a season high two assists and a steal. Jerrett leads Arizona with a 1.0 blocks per game average and has connected on 34.0 percent (16-of-47) from three-point range to date. Through 21 games, Jerrett is averaging 4.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.
STEP UP, MAKE AND REPEAT: The Pac-12's best free throw shooting team did what good teams do on the road: step up convert their opportunities. Last week in Washington, the Cats connected on 80.0 percent (28-of-35) of its free throws as a team on the way to a pair of victories. On the season, the Wildcats have made 75.8 percent (344-of-454) of its charity tosses, outscores its opponents by an average of 4.9 points per game from the stripe, and averages more made FTs per game (16.4) than any other Pac-12 school.
ALWAYS ON THE RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. Saturday vs. USC, the Wildcats used an 18-4 run to open the game and put things out of reach quickly. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
27-8 run over 6:53 (2nd+ot) vs. Colorado, Jan. 3
21-4 run over 9:07 (2nd) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
23-6 run over 7:55 (1st) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
22-7 run over 8:56 (2nd) at Clemson, Dec. 8
18-4 run over 6:28 (1st) vs. USC, Jan. 26
13-0 run over 4:26 (2nd) vs. UTEP, Nov. 15
14-2 run over 4:10 (2nd) vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 28
22-10 run over 9:27 (1st) vs. Charleston Southern, Nov. 11
11-0 run over 3:38 (2nd) at Arizona State, Jan. 19
11-0 run over 3:13 (2nd) vs. Oral Roberts, Dec. 18
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed two student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Rondae Jefferson (F, 6-7, 215) from Chester, Pa., who preps at Chester H.S.; and Elliott Pitts (G, 6-5, 180) from Dublin, Calif., who preps at De La Salle H.S.; make up a class that is ranked No. 18 nationally by espn.com.
UP NEXT: Following tonight's contest, Arizona next will be in action on Sunday, Feb. 10, when the squad hosts California. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. MST and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.