Nov. 13, 2001
Date: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2001 Time: 7 p.m. CST Location: Frank Erwin Special Events Center (16,496), Austin, Texas Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen) TV: KWBA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
Arizona Probable Starters Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown PPG RPG APG F 4 Luke Walton 6-8 241 Jr. San Diego, Calif. 10.0 10.0 5.5 F 33 Rick Anderson 6-9 213 Jr. Long Beach, Calif. 10.5 5.5 1.5 C 52 Isaiah Fox 6-9 265 Fr. Santa Monica, Calif. 6.0 6.0 0.5 G 3 Will Bynum 5-10 183 Fr. Chicago, Ill. 10.0 2.5 0.5 G 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 181 Jr. Indianapolis, Ind. 23.0 4.0 4.5 Reserves G 10 Anas Fellah 5-10 165 Fr. Tucson, Ariz. -- -- -- G 11 Jason Ranne 6-4 204 So. Tulsa, Okla. -- -- -- G 12 Fil Torres 6-2 185 Jr. Lisle, Ill. -- -- -- F 13 Andrew Zahn 6-9 254 Fr. Redondo Beach, Calf. 0.0 1.0 0.0 F 14 Peter Hansen 6-8 241 Sr. Palo Alto, Calif. -- -- -- G 20 Salim Stoudamire 6-1 176 Fr. Lake Oswego, Ore. 9.5 1.5 0.0 F 21 Mike Schwertley 6-5 229 So. Phoenix, Ariz. -- -- -- F 34 Dennis Latimore 6-8 254 Fr. Halsted, Kan. 0.0 3.0 0.0 C 45 Channing Frye 6-10 222 Fr. Phoenix, Ariz. 4.0 4.0 2.0
Game Data: Arizona (2-0, 0-0 Pac-10) ends its season-opening three-game road swing at No. 22 Texas (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) ... It is the Wildcats' first true road game of the year and sixth consecutive game against a ranked opponent dating back to last season's NCAA Tournament ... Arizona is 57-62 (.479) all-time against Big 12 Conference opponents ... Arizona is 9-1 in games played in the state of Texas during the Lute Olson era ... Since 1983-84, Arizona has started the season 2-0 12 times (counting 2001-02). Interestingly, only once in those 11 previous seasons did the squad fail to win its third game of the year: 1996-97, the year the Cats captured the national championship.
The Rankings: With wins over two top-five teams to open the season, Arizona jumped to No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. The Associated Press poll is idle this week, so the Cats remain unranked. Prior to 2001-02, UA had been ranked in the AP top 25 for 109 straight weeks. One rankings streak has the potential to continue as Arizona has been ranked in 236 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 19th season at Arizona and his 29th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 641-225 (.740) and 449-133 (.771) at Arizona ... He recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona during the 2000 campaign and has the fourth most Pac-10 wins (250) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75), Oregon State's Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) and Washington's Hec Edmundson (266, 1921-47) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74) ... During his 19-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 and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 17 years in a row, which is the 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 10 Coach of the Year twice (1979 & '81) and directed the UA program to the nation's best winning percentage over the past 14 years (377-87/.813) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 35 NBA Draft picks, including 20 at Arizona - 15 alone since 1990 ... A Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame finalist in each of the last two years, Olson has led UA to 14 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 23 overall in his career, making him one of only seven head coaches in NCAA history to record 23 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 271-26 (.912) in McKale Center and have won 199 of its last 210 home games.
Last Time Out: Jason Gardner earned tournament MVP honors with his 23-point, five-assist effort in leading Arizona to the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic championship courtesy of a 75-71 win last Friday over fifth-ranked Florida. Gardner's leadership was key once again, as he assisted on UA's final three baskets, all by Rick Anderson, including the clincher, a driving layup with 26.1 seconds to go. Freshman Will Bynum joined Gardner on the all-tournament team after scoring 16 points and adding two rebounds.
Scouting Texas: Seven letterwinners, including three starters, return for the No. 22 Longhorns in 2001-02, led by All-America candidate Chris Owens. Owens, a 6-foot-7, 238-pound senior forward averaged 14.4 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots last season. Texas defeated Alaska-Anchorage, 122-72, in an exhibition game on Nov. 7, as six UT players finished in double figures. The 'Horns limited the Seawolves to just .353 (24-of-68) shooting for the game and forced 29 turnovers.
The Series: Saturday's game marks the eighth meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 5-2 series advantage. Texas won the first two games of the series, which dates back to the 1949-50 season, prior to UA's current five-game win streak. UA won last year's meeting, 82-50, in Tucson on Jan. 27. All-time, Arizona is 3-0 in series games played in Tucson, 2-0 in Austin and 0-2 in neutral-site games. Lute Olson is 5-0 career vs. Texas.
Last Meeting: A solid defensive effort keyed Arizona's sixth straight win, as the Cats downed No. 20 Texas, 80-52, Jan. 27, 2001, in Tucson. UA held Texas scoreless for more than seven minutes in the first half and used a 23-5 run over 7:22 of the second to build as much as a 29-point second half lead. UA's defense limited Texas to 31.4 percent shooting in the game, including just 30 percent after the break. Gilbert Arenas and Michael Wright led a balanced offensive attack, as both poured in 16 points.
The Gauntlet Continues: With wins over No. 2 Maryland and No. 5 Florida to open the season, the gauntlet known as the Arizona schedule continues Saturday vs. No. 23 Texas. It is the third of 12 games against teams ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25. In addition to the two games in New York, the Cats have upcoming games with No. 3 Illinois, No. 5 UCLA (twice), No. 7 Kansas, No. 13 Stanford (twice), No. 15 Michigan State, No. 20 USC (twice) and No. 23 Texas. Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, Arizona is 17-6 against ranked opponents.
Most Valuable: Jason Gardner led Arizona to wins over two top-five ranked programs and the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic championship by averaging 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in the two wins. Gardner, who earned tournament MVP honors, shot .556 (15-of-27) from the field in the two games, including .563 (9-of-16) from three-point range. In leading the Wildcats to the title, Gardner played 79 of a possible 80 minutes and was instrumental in leading a team with six freshmen among nine scholarship players on the roster.
November Successes: In the Lute Olson era, Arizona is 42-7 (.857) in the month of November, including a 26-1 mark in season-opening tournaments since 1987-88. The Cats have won 12 consecutive games in season-opening tournaments, dating back to a 72-70 loss to Minnesota in the 1994 Great Alaska Shootout. Included in that record is a spotless 8-0 record in Madison Square Garden. Here is a listing of the season-opening tournaments won by Arizona under Olson and the title game result:
1987 Great Alaska Shootout (def. Syracuse, 80-69)
1989 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic (def. Michigan, 82-75)
1990 Preseason N.I.T. (def. Arkansas, 89-77)
1991 Hawaii Tip-Off Tournament (def. Hawaii, 85-71)
1995 Preseason N.I.T. (def. Georgetown, 91-81)
1996 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic (def. North Carolina, 83-72)
1999 Preseason N.I.T. (def. Kentucky, 63-51)
2000 Maui Invitational (def. Illinois, 79-76)
2001 Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic (def. Florida, 75-71)
Assisting the Cause: Jason Gardner collected five assists in the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic championship game win over Florida. During his two-plus years in Tucson, Arizona is 25-5 when Gardner passes out five or more assists in a game. How in control was he? Three of his five assists came on UA's final three buckets, all by Rick Anderson in the final 1:36.
On the Right Foot: Junior Luke Walton got off to a good start this season by averaging 10.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in New York. Included in the effort was a 12-point, career high 12-rebound, six-assist effort in the season opener vs. Maryland, his third career double-double.
Winning the Close Ones: Last Friday's four-point win was the Wildcats' second in games decided by five points or less. Just for comparison, last year's NCAA runner-up went 4-4 in games decided by five points or less.
Make an Impact: It didn't take Rick Anderson long to make an impact after sitting out last season as a redshirt. The junior Long Beach, Calif., calmly stepped to the line with 3.0 seconds to go vs. Maryland and iced the game with two free throws. A night later, Anderson scored UA's final three buckets in the final 1:36 to defeat Florida. In the two games in New York, Anderson averaged 10.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
On the Glass: Despite the fact that Arizona lost 80.6 percent of its rebounding from last season, Arizona was able to post a rebound advantage in both games in New York (+4.0). A UA rebound advantage is usually a good indicator of success, as the Cats are 38-7 since 1999-2000 when outrebounding the opposition.
FG Percentage Defense: One of the keys to victory in Madison Square Garden was the fact that Arizona held Maryland and Florida to a combined .416 FG shooting (57-of-137), including 13-of-52 from three-point range. Last year, Arizona was 24-1 when outshooting its opponent.
Freshman of Influence: The Arizona freshmen certainly earned its stripes in New York. Center Isaiah Fox started both games and totaled 12 points and 12 rebounds against Maryland's Lonny Baxter and Florida's Udonis Haslem. Guard Will Bynum earned all-tournament honors with a 16-point performance against Florida. Fellow guard Salim Stoudamire was key in Thursday's win, as he scored nine of his 12 points in the second half vs. Maryland, while center Channing Frye totaled eight points, eight rebounds and a team-high four blocked shots in the two games.
Some Things Don't Change: Despite the fact that six scholarship freshman reside on the UA roster, one thing hasn't changed...the ability to get an advantage from the line. In the two wins in New York, Arizona scored more points (25) from the free throw line than the opponents attempted (23). In games decided by a total of eight points, Arizona outscored the opposition 25-11 from the charity stripe.
Pac-10 Predictions: In voting done by Pac-10 Conference media members, Arizona was picked to finish fourth in the league standings, its lowest predicted finish since 1985-86. Despite receiving two first-place votes (one of three teams to do so), UA ranked fourth with 200 points behind UCLA, Stanford and USC. Ironically, the last time the Cats were picked to finish as low, Coach Olson and crew captured the first his of nine Pac-10 titles. See complete chart at left.
Doing the Little Things: Freshman center Channing Frye's eight points and four rebounds last week in New York may not jump out at you, but the Phoenix native made some key contributions in his collegiate debut. Frye tallied a team-high four blocked shots and ranked third on the team with four assists.
Roster Moves: Two players were added to the roster late last week after surviving the program's fall tryout. Junior Fil Torres (G, 6-2, 185) from Lisle, Ill., and freshman Anas Fellah (G, 5-10, 165) from Tucson have officially joined the program. Counting senior forward Peter Hansen, who will join the team after the completion of football season, these two additions bring the number of players on the roster to 14.
Talent Pool: With the 2001-02 NBA season under way, no fewer than 11 former Wildcats are on NBA active rosters. Only one other school in the country (North Carolina) has more of its alumni on active rosters. Here is the list of Arizona players currently playing in the NBA: Gilbert Arenas (G/Golden State/1st year), Mike Bibby (G/Sacramento/4th year), Jud Buechler (F/Phoenix/12th year), Michael Dickerson (G/Memphis/4th year), Richard Jefferson (F/New Jersey/1st year), Steve Kerr (G/Portland/14th year), Chris Mills (F/Golden State/9th year), Sean Rooks (C/Los Angeles Clippers/10th year), Damon Stoudamire (G/Portland/7th year), Jason Terry (G/Atlanta/3rd year), and Loren Woods (C/Minnesota/1st year).
Wildcats on TV in 2001-02: Arizona will once again receive extensive television coverage, as every game, including exhibitions, are scheduled to be televised live in 2001-02. The schedule features 13 national appearances with five games offered on Fox Sports Net, five games slated for CBS-TV, two on ESPN/ESPN2 and one on ABC-TV. Fox Sports Net Arizona will also produce 17 games to be shown in the Arizona market, including four appearances on Tucson's KWBA-TV 58.
Up Next: Arizona will not play a regular season game for two weeks, as No. 7 Kansas comes to McKale Center on Sat., Dec. 1, for a 12:30 p.m. MST match-up. The game will be televised nationally on CBS-TV. The Wildcats will play an exhibition game vs. Nike Elite on Sun., Nov. 25.