Feb. 25, 2013
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. PST
Location: Galen Center (10,258), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro/Ernie Kent)
GAME DATA: No. 11 Arizona (23-4, 11-4 Pac-12) heads to Southern California for the final road trip of the regular season, beginning Wednesday at USC (12-15, 7-7 Pac-12) at the Galen Center ... Arizona is 7-2 in true road games this season, including a 5-2 record in Pac-12 action ... In conference play, UA owns a +4.5 scoring margin on the road and limits opponents to just 41.8 percent shooting (154-of-368) ... In the previous five seasons Arizona is 3-7 on the Southern California road swing.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked 11th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll, moving up one slot from the Feb. 18 editions. The Wildcats are one of six teams nationally to have been ranked 12th or better in every poll this season (Arizona, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse).
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 6-2 vs. USC as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: A 21-9 run over 11 minutes of the first half gave Arizona all the breathing room it needed in a 73-56 win over Washington State Saturday. Kevin Parrom connected on 5-of-6 treys en route to a season-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds as the Cats won its third straight game. UA shot 55.6 percent from the field, outrebounded WSU by seven in posting its biggest winning margin in back-to-back conference games this season. Parrom added a game-high seven boards, while Kaleb Tarczewski chipped in 12 points and six rebounds of his own. SCOUTING USC: The Trojans enter tonight's game with a 12-15 record (7-7 Pac-12) following Sunday's 75-59 loss at UCLA. On the season, USC averages 66.0 points per game, shoots 42.6 percent from the floor (657-of-1,542), 34.8 percent (145-of-417) from three-point range and 68.7 percent (322-of-469) from the line. Opponents average 67.4 points, are outrebounded by 0.6 per game and shoot 42.0 percent from the floor (633-of-1,508). Individually, Three USC players average in double figures, led by Eric Wise's 11.9 ppg figure. Dewayne Dedmon leads the Trojans in rebounding at 7.0 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game is the 102nd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 61-40 series advantage. UA has won 22 of the last 32 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1922, including the last, 74-50, in Tucson at Jan. 26. All-time, Arizona is 32-10 in series games played in Tucson, 25-30 in Los Angeles, and 4-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 50 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 74, USC 50, Jan. 26, 2013: Defense led the way for the Wildcats, limiting USC to just 1-of-9 shooting to open the game in racing to an 18-4 lead in less than seven minutes. Arizona forced 11 first-half turnovers (converted into 13 points) in holding the Trojans to 20 points and 24.1 percent shooting in the opening period. The lead ballooned to as many as 34 points in the second half as all 14 Cats saw action. Nick Johnson hits 6-of-8 shots from the floor and led four UA players in double figures, while four Wildcats grabbed at least five rebounds.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE: Kaleb Tarczewski helped Arizona win two home games last week by averaging 11.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game, while shooting 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the field to go with a steal. He opened the week with 10 points, a game-high eight boards and a steal Wednesday vs. Washington and added season-high totals of 12 points and two assists to go with six rebounds Saturday vs. Washington State. Tarczewski is shooting 64.0 percent from the field over his last six games (16-of-25) and averages 6.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.0 percent from the field.
ON TARGET: Led by Kevin Parrom and Kaleb Tarczewski, who combined to hit 10-of-13 shots, Arizona shot 55.6 percent from the field (25-of-45) in Saturday's win over Washington State, marking the first time the Wildcats have shot 50 percent or better from the floor since Dec. 18 vs. Oral Roberts (34-of-59/.576), a span of 18 games, It was Arizona's fourth-best shooting effort of the year. This season UA is 5-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and 31-1 all-time under Sean Miller when topping the 50-percent plateau.
IN CONTROL: Arizona posted a +6.5 rebound margin in the victories over the Huskies and Cougars last week, a figure that is nearly double that of the team's rebound margin in Pac-12 play (+3.6). The Wildcats' +7 rebound margin in Saturday's win was the team's biggest in 11 games - since a +11 effort vs. Utah on Jan. 5. On the year, Arizona has outrebounded 20 of 27 opponents and carries a +6.5 rebound margin.
THOSE COUNT FOR THREE: Senior swingman Kevin Parrom equaled a career high with five three-point field goals (in 6 atts.) Saturday as the Cats finished the contest by hitting 11-of-22 (.500) shots from behind the arc. It is the fifth time this season that Arizona has made 10 or more treys in a game and was one shy of the season high. It was also the fifth time this year that UA has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range. On the season, Arizona is shooting .362 (204-of-563) from three-point range and averages 7.6 treys per game.
SCORING DEFENSE: UA held both Washington and Washington State to fewer than 60 points, and limits opponents to an average of 62.3 points per game. Through 27 tilts, the Cats have held 13 opponents to less than 60 points, including six Pac-12 foes.
WINNING MARGINS: Arizona won its third straight game Saturday after picking up a weekend sweep of the Washington schools at home. The 18-point win over Washington Wednesday and the 17-point win Saturday over Washington State were Arizona's biggest winning margins in back-to-back Pac-12 games this season.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Wildcats held Washington State to six field goals and 19 total points in the first half of Saturday's game, which was the third time this season that the squad has limited its opponent to 20 or fewer points in the opening 20 minutes of play. UA's 16-point halftime lead (35-19) was its fourth-largest of the season.
HE'S THERE FOR A REASON: In addition to his three-point exploits mentioned previously, Kevin Parrom finished with a season-high 19 points, pulled down a game-high seven rebounds and added an assist in 33 minutes of action Saturday. The 6-foot-6 native of the Bronx, N.Y., connected on 6-of-7 shots during the contest in what was his third straight start. Since moving to the starting line-up, Parrom is averaging 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting .600 (9-of-15) from the floor.
A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR: Guard Mark Lyons posted 14 points, four assists and a season-high three steals against Washington State. The 14 points moved him over 400 points for the season and 1,600 for his career (12.9 ppg in 124 games). He currently shares the team lead with 86 assists and has averaged 4.3 assists per game over the last six games. On the year, the 6-foot-1 senior from Schenectady, N.Y., averages 15.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and a career-best 3.2 assists per game.
GAINING MOMENTUM: Freshman Kaleb Tarczewski finished in double figures in both games last week, averaging 11.0 ppg, while also pulling down 14 rebounds. In his last three outings, the 7-foot center is averaging 10.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the floor.
GAINING MOMENTUM, TOO: In 12 conference appearances, forward Angelo Chol has posted modest per-game averages of 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds, but against league opponents, the 6-foot-9 sophomore has connected on half (10-of-20) of his field goal attempts and pulled down more than half of his rebounds this season (27 of 53). Nearly 40 percent of his minutes played this season have come in the last six games (83 of 223).
A NICE RATIO: The Wildcats passed out 19 assists on 25 made field goals against Washington State, and, combined with 55.6 percent shooting and just 11 turnovers, made for a very efficient day. In fact, UA's 19:11 ratio of assists to turnovers was the squad's third best effort of the year, topped only by a +17 ratio in the season opener vs. Charleston Southern (25:8) and a +11 ratio vs. Northern Arizona (22:11) on Nov. 28. Only two Pac-12 teams have a better assist:turnover ratio than UA's current 1.1:1.
TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF: Over the last five games Arizona has been a solid first-half team, outscoring opponents by an average of six points per game in the opening period. However, against the Washington school's last week, the Cats connected on a combined 59.1 percent of its field goal attempts (26-of-44), including 8-of-15 from three-point range, in the second half of those games. To date, Arizona has been a pretty balanced team posting a +5.5 scoring margin in the first half and a +5.3 margin in the second.
BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. February 23 vs. Washington State, the Wildcats used a 21-9 run in the first half that game UA a double-figure lead it would not relinquish. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
30-8 run over 12:57 (1st+2nd) vs. Washington, Feb. 20
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
21-9 run over 11:02 (1st) vs. Washington State, Feb. 23
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 Hollis-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 game, Arizona next will be in action on Saturday, March 2, when the squad plays at UCLA. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on ESPN as part of the GameDay festivities.