Jan. 17, 2003
Date: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003 Time: 3 p.m. PST Location: Pauley Pavilion (12,800), Los Angeles, Calif. Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen) TV: ABC
GAME DATA: Second-ranked Arizona (12-1, 5-0 Pac-10) looks to earn a sweep in Los Angeles for the first time since 1992-93 Saturday at UCLA (4-8, 2-2 Pac-10) ... The Cats enter Saturday's Southern California road finale riding a season-high seven-game winning streak ... In the Lute Olson era, Arizona is a league-best 115-59 (.661) in Pac-10 road games ... Counting Thursday's win at USC, the Wildcats now have won just three weekend openers in Los Angeles since its last road sweep in Los Angeles 10 years ago, and in both previous occurrences it lost the Saturday game (1995 and 2000).
THE RANKINGS: Arizona remained No. 2 in the both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls for the second straight week. The Cats check in at the two spot after spending the first six weeks of the season as the nation's top-ranked club. UA has been ranked in 261 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH LUTE OLSON . . . is in his 20th season at Arizona and his 30th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 675-236 (.741) and 483-144 (.770) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona during the 2000 campaign and has the third most Pac-10 wins (266) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75), Oregon State's Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74) ... During his 20-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 nine Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, '89, '90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 18 years in a row, 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 six times (1986, '88, '89, '93, '94, '98), 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 15 years (401-97/.805) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 45 NBA Draft picks, including 26 at Arizona - 20 alone since 1990 ... He's led UA to 15 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 24 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 24 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 288-29 (.909) in McKale Center and have won 216 of its last 230 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 22-18 against UCLA, including a 7-12 mark at Pauley Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT: Five Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Hassan Adams' 21 points, as Arizona erased as much as an 11-point lead Thursday in an 81-72 win at USC. Led by Desmon Farmer, who tallied 20 first-half points, USC jumped out to a quick 15-4 lead and led 62-53 with 14:17 remaining before Arizona went on a 19-4 run over the next 6:39 to take control of the game. The Wildcats held the Trojans to just 28.9 percent shooting and outrebounded USC, 30-16 in the second half in racing to a 37-24 scoring margin after the break. Luke Walton posted his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds to go with eight assists, while Jason Gardner chipped in with a career-best 10 rebounds.
SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins (4-8, 2-2 Pac-10) head into Saturday's game riding a three-game losing streak after Thursday's 75-64 loss to Arizona State. UCLA shoots 46.8 percent from the floor (49.3 percent in conference play), posts a +3.7 rebound margin and averages 77.3 points per game. A free throw deficit has hurt the Bruins this season, as the club has given up 102 more free throw attempts to the opposition, which leads to an average scoring deficit 4.9 points per game from the line. Three Bruins average in double figures, led by Jason Kapono's 17.8 points per game average.
THE SERIES: Today's game marks the 63rd meeting of the two schools with UCLA holding a 37-25 series advantage. Arizona has won five of the last seven games in the series, which dates back to Feb. 19, 1923, but UCLA earned a 77-76 win on Feb. 14, 2002, in the last meeting. All-time, Arizona is 15-11 in series games played in Tucson, 9-25 in Los Angeles and 1-1 in neutral-site games. See page 125 of the UA media guide for more series information.
LAST MEETING: UCLA 77, Arizona 76, Feb. 14 9, 2002: Arizona did everything it needed to in order to win except rebound, and it came back to haunt the Wildcats in a one-point loss to UCLA. The Bruins posted a 45-28 rebound advantage, including 17 offensive rebounds, to help the squad erase a six-point halftime deficit. Jason Gardner scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting (7-of-10 from three-point range), but couldn't offset the duo of Dan Gadzuric and Matt Barnes, who combined for 35 points and 31 rebounds.
DOUBLING UP: It's safe to say that Luke Walton's 13-point, 10-rebound, eight-assist performance in Thursday's win was his best of the season. Nine of his points and seven rebounds came in the second half as Arizona erased as much as a nine-point second half deficit. It was Walton's first double-double of the season and the 12th of his career. In another bit of good news, the eight assists were a season high, as was his 32 minutes played.
ON TARGET: Sophomore Salim Stoudamire continues to zero in on the rim. Over his last three games, Stoudamire is shooting 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field, including 52.6 percent from three-point range (10-of-19), and averaging 16.7 points per game. The 6-foot-1 guard from Portland, Ore., has been steadily improving since a high ankle sprain practically wiped out his first six weeks of practice. He is shooting 48.0 percent (12-of-25) from three-point range in Pac-10 play. Stoudamire scored eight of his 13 points Thursday in the key 19-4 second-half run to take control of the contest.
CONTROLLING THE GLASS: Rebounding has been a key to the Wildcats' 5-0 Pac-10 start, as the team is outrebounding league opponents by a +12.6 margin. Led by Jason Gardner's career-high 10 rebounds (all defensive), Arizona outrebounded USC, 46-37, including 30-16 in the second half. Arizona's 33 defensive rebounds Thursday equaled a season high. Gardner is the sixth Wildcat to reach double figures in rebounds this season.
COMING FROM BEHIND: The Wildcats have two wins this season in which the team has trailed at the half. Interestingly, both victories have come on the road in conference play and both have been by identical 81-72 totals. UA opened Pac-10 play Jan. 2 by erasing an 11-point second-half deficit in defeating Oregon prior to Thursday's comeback win at USC.
SHOT BLOCKERS: Rick Anderson and Channing Frye each tallied three blocked shots in Thursday's win. The six-block total was one shy of a UA season high. Incidentally, Anderson's three swats was a season high despite logging just 17 minutes. The duo has combined for 35 of the Cats' 55 blocked shots.
IN THE MIDDLE: Sophomore center Channing Frye continues to play for the Wildcats in the middle. Over his last three games, the Phoenix, Ariz., native is averaging 11.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and shooting 63.6 percent from the floor (14-of-22). Frye is averaging 3.7 blocks per game over that span. Thursday against USC, Frye tallied a season-best 14 points and six field goals.
FIVE IN: In knocking down 9-of-17 field goal attempts en route to 21 points (16 in the first half), freshman Hassan Adams was one of five Wildcats to finish in double figures. It marked the fifth time this year that UA has accomplished the feat, and the team is a spotless 5-0 when it happens. All told, it was Adams' third 20-point game of the year and his effort included a career-best 2-of-5 shooting from three-point range.
DEFENSIVE EFFORT: Arizona used a solid defensive effort in the second half at USC to claim victory. Arizona held USC to 28.9 percent (11-of-38) shooting and 24 points in the game's final 20 minutes. Both totals were UA opponent season lows in 2002-03.
MAKING HIS PRESENCE FELT: While Andre Iguodala's season-best 11-point, six-rebound, three assist performance Thursday certainly was noteworthy, it ws his defense that really keyed Thursday's victory. After USC's Desmon Farmer scored 20 points in the first half Thursday, Iguodala held him to just three points in the second half on 1-of-6 shooting.
LINEUP CHANGES: For just the second time this season, Arizona used the same starting lineup in consecutive games. The quintet fo Luke Walton, Rick Anderson, Channing Frye, Salim Stoudamire and Jason Gardner is expected to extend that streak to three on Saturday. All told, Arizona has used 11 different starting lineups this season with only Gardner starting all 13 games.
UNSELFISH PLAY: Arizona registered 22 assists in Thursday's game, marking the fifth time the Cats have topped the 20-assist plateau. In tallying 22 assists on 31 field goals (71.0 percent), it was also the second time this season that more than 70 percent of UA's field goals came courtesy of an assist.
SCORING 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 71-7 (.910) since the start of the 1998-99 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats were 16-4 last season when scoring at least 80 points.
EARLY SIGNEES: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Ndudi Ebi (F, 6-8, 192) from Houston, Texas, Westbury Christian High School, Mustafa Shakur (G, 6-3, 175) from Wynnewood, Pa., Friends Central High School and Kirk Walters (C, 6-10, 210) from Grand Rapids, Mich., South Christian High School will join the squad next fall.
UP NEXT: Arizona returns home Wednesday, Jan. 22, to host intrastate rival Arizona State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on Fox Sports Net Arizona. Following that contest, the Cats step out of conference for a game at Kansas on Saturday, Jan. 25. That game is scheduled for a Noon CST tip and will be televised nationally by CBS-TV.