Game 26: No. 19 Arizona (17-8, 8-6) vs. No. 5 UCLA (22-3, 11-2)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007
Time: 11 a.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: CBS (Dick Enberg/Bill Raftery)
Game Data: No. 19 Arizona (17-8, 8-6 Pac-10) closes the home portion of the 2006-07 season Saturday morning against No. 5 UCLA (22-3, 11-2 Pac-10) in McKale Center ... It’s the first time Arizona has hosted UCLA in the home finale since March 6, 1999, an 87-70 UA win ... The Cats find itself in the unenviable position of trying to avoid a home sweep against the nation’s fifth-ranked team ... It looks like today’s game could be a race to 70 points ?- in Pac-10 play Arizona is 8-4 when scoring 70 or more points, while in it’s three conference defeats, UCLA allows an average of 71.0 points per game.
The Rankings: After a sweep of two road games last week, Arizona jumped to No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and to No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in each AP poll to date this season.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 778-277 (.737) and 586-185 (.760) 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (324) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/324-100) 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 24-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 22 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 second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 344-39 (.898) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 295 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 28-23 against UCLA.
Last Time Out: Holding a 71-67 lead with 5:49 to go, Arizona was outscored 13-4 the rest of the way as USC won, 80-75, Thursday, its first in Tucson for the first time since January 1985. Ultimately, turnovers killed the Cats, as the team amassed 16, including four in the last five minutes. All told, USC held a 20-13 points off turnovers advantage in a game decided by five points. UA shot 50 percent from the field and posted a 37-29 rebound advantage, but had no collective answer for USC’s Nick Young and Lodrick Stewart, who each scored 26 points.
Scouting UCLA: The Bruins (22-3, 11-2 Pac-10) rebounded from a non-conference loss at West Virginia to defeat Arizona State, 67-61, on Thursday. As a team, UCLA averages 73.3 points per game, shoots 48.6 percent (680-of-1,398) from the field and posts a +4.0 per game rebound margin. Defensively, the Bruins allow 59.8 points per game and a .425 field goal percentage. Three UCLA players average in double figures, led by Arron Afflalo’s 17.6 points per game figure. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute leads the club with an 8.0 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Today’s game is the 74th meeting of the two schools with UCLA holding a 42-31 series advantage. UA has won 11 of the last 18 meetings in the series, which dates back to Feb. 19, 1923, but UCLA has won the last four, including the last meeting, a 73-69 triumph in Los Angeles on Jan. 20. All-time, Arizona is 18-12 in series games played in Tucson, 12-27 in Westwood, and 1-3 in neutral-site games. Please see page 101 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: UCLA 73, Arizona 69, Jan. 20, 2007: Arizona followed a similar script ?- poor shooting and too many early turnovers ?- en route to its third consecutive conference defeat. UA shot just 39.3 percent from the field, committed nine first half miscues and had to dig itself out of a double-digit deficit. Ivan Radenovic tallied 20 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus Williams added a double-double, but it wasn’t enough to offset steady play from the Bruins. It was Arizona’s first three-game Pac-10 losing streak since the 1983-84 season.
Red Sky Morning, Sailor’s Warning...: So, it’s not exactly true to the old sea adage, but UA fans have been asked to turn McKale Center into a sea of red as part of the second annual “Red Out in McKale Center.” Red-clad Wildcat fans turned out in force for last season’s home finale, which unfortunately proved to be a 70-67 Washington triumph on March 4.
Senior Class: Arizona’s senior class, which includes Ivan Radenovic, Mustafa Shakur, floor manager Ryan Hennick, video manager Adam Raczynski and office manager Daniel Corrales, makes its final appearance in front of the home fans today. Over the last four years, the Cats have won nearly 100 games, including a 53-9 (.855) record in McKale Center, claimed one Pac-10 championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times, including the 2005 NCAA regional final.
Regular Season Finales: During the Lute Olson era, Arizona is an impressive 21-2 (.913) in regular season home finales. The only Senior Day blemishes in Olson’s 23-plus year tenure was a 103-98 double overtime loss to Arizona State on March 11, 1995, and last season’s 70-67 loss to Washington on March 4.
At Home: Arizona enters today’s contest with an 11-4 home record. That’s the most home losses for the program since the 2001-02 squad went 9-4 in 13 home games. 2001-02 was the only year since Lute Olson’s debut in 1983-84 that the Wildcats failed to win at least 10 home games. Incidentally, a loss today would give the club the most home losses since 1986-87 (10-5).
A Select Trio of Wildcats: A start today by senior Mustafa Shakur would be the 124th of his career, a figure that would move him into third place on the Arizona career games started list. In UA history, only two players have started more games than Shakur: Jason Gardner (135, 1999-2003) and Sean Elliott (133, 1985-89).
Against Ranked Opponents: Thursday’s loss dropped Arizona’s record this season to 3-5 against nationally ranked opponents. The Cats are in the middle of a stretch that has seen the ballclub play at least one ranked opponent for seven consecutive weeks. With fifth-ranked UCLA on the docket today, it’s worth mentioning that Arizona is 6-9 all-time when facing the No. 5 team in the country. See page 148 in the UA media guide for more ranked opponent information.
It wasn’t Supposed to GO Like That: The Wildcats shot 50.0 percent (30-of-60) from the field in Thursday’s game, a feat the team has accomplished just three times in its last 12 games. Usually, the 50-percent plateau is a strong indicator of success, as the Cats were a spotless 10-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field prior to Thursday’s loss to USC.
Tight Games are Tough: Thursday’s five-point loss to USC marked Arizona’s fifth loss of the season by five points or less. What’s troubling is that the Wildcats are just 1-5 this year in games decided by five points or less. To put it into perspective, Arizona’s worst loss of the year was a 28-point decision to North Carolina (92-64) on Jan. 27. UA’s other seven losses have been by a combined 31 points, or an average of 4.4 points.
Similar Features: Arizona’s late-game, close-contest struggles seem to pant an eerily familiar picture. In each of UA’s five losses by five points or less follow a similar theme: in a close game, the Cats struggle from the field and surrender a lead. He is a brief look at the list:
Nov. 12 at Virginia: tied 82-82 with 4:48 to go, UA 1-of-3 FG, three TO; outscored 11-8 to close
Jan. 6 at Washington State: tied 67-67 entering OT; UA 2-of-7 FG, outscored 10-6 to close
Jan. 14 vs. Oregon: led 77-72 with 3:04 to go, UA 0-of-3 FG, outscored 7-0 to close
Feb. 1 vs. Washington St.: led 57-56 with 7:44 to go, UA 1-of-7 FG, three TO; outscored 16-9 to close
Feb. 15 vs. USC: led 71-67 with 5:49 to go, UA 1-of-7 FG, four TO; outscored 13-4 to close
The Turnover Battle: The Wildcats committed 16 turnovers Thursday five-point loss, seven more than USC, en route to surrendering a 20-13 deficit in points off turnovers. The turnover margin has proven to be meaningful in Pac-10 play this season, as the Wildcats are 4-5 in league games when committing more miscues than the opposition. Interestingly, all 16 turnovers Thursday were committed by the starting lineup.
Not Making the Familiar Trip: To the free throw line, that is. Arizona shot a season-low 10 free throws against USC and was outscored 11-7 from the stripe. On the season, Arizona averages nearly 25 free throw attempts per game (13 more than the opponent), and outscores the opposition by an average of 10.7 points per game. Thursday marked the second time in Pac-10 action and the third time this season that the opponent had attempted more charity tosses than Arizona.
In Reserve: Junior Daniel Dillon put forth a productive six minutes Thursday. The 6-foot-3 native of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia equaled a career best with two three-point field goals and finished with six points. On the season, Dillon is averaging 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game.
Multifaceted: Freshman Chase Budinger led all Wildcats with 19 points Thursday and added five rebounds, a season-high four assists, a block and two steals. He remains one of Arizona’s most reliable offensive threats, as he ranks second on the club with his 15.9 ppg scoring average, while shooting 50.3 percent from the field (146-of-290). He also leads the Wildcats with 38 three-point field goals.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 161-19 (.894) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 11-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points.
Always On the Run: Early this season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity. Here are the ones of note to date:
25-0 run over 7:45 vs. New Mexico State, Nov. 19 (UA went 11-of-16 during run: NMSU 0-of-10)
34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 15 (UA went 12-of-16 during run: NAU 3-of-16)
31-9 run over 7:54 vs. California, Dec. 28 (UA went 11-of-13 during the run; Cal 4-of-14)
28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)
20-2 run over 5:59 vs. Louisville, Dec. 5 (UL went 1-of-10; UA 7-of-8 during the run)
21-4 run over 8:08 vs. Illinois, Dec. 2, 2006 (UA 8-of-12 FGs during run)
25-8 run over 9:01 vs. Washington, Feb. 3, 2007 (UW 4-of-12 FG with five turnovers during run)
24-8 run over 9:17 at San Diego State, Dec. 9, 2006 (SDSU 4-of-18 FG with five TO during run)
18-3 run over 4:15 at Virginia, Nov. 12 (UA went 6-of-8 during run: UVa 1-of-8)
23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)
15-0 run over 2:28 at Washington, Jan. 4 (McClellan 3-of-3 from three-point range, UA 6-of-6 FTs)
22-10 run over 8:25 at Oregon, Feb. 10 (UA 9-of-12 FGs during run, Oregon 2-of-10)
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed five student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Jerryd Bayless (G, 6-3, 193) from Phoenix, Ariz., St. Mary’s High School; Jamelle Horne (F, 6-7, 205) from San Diego, Calif., San Diego High School; Alex Jacobson (C, 7-1, 223) from Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School; Zane Johnson (F, 6-6, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird High School; and Laval Lucas-Perry (G, 6-1, 191) from Grand Blanc, Mich., Powers Catholic High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Following today’s game, Arizona will be on the road for the rest of the season. The extended road trip begins on Sunday, Feb. 25, when the Cats travel to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Arizona State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.