Game 13: No. 14 Arizona (10-2, 0-0) vs. Arizona State (11-1, 0-0)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 2, 2005
Time: 1:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)
All-Access Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, ArizonaAthletics.com's premium audio/video service, can watch a delayed webcast of the McKale Center video production of the Arizona State game, with Brian Jeffries and Ryan Hansen calling the action, beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3. ArizonaAthletics.com will also provide live and postgame coverage of the game, including: Postgame Story and Statistics (Free) Postgame Lute Olson and Player Interviews (All-Access Video) Subscription Information
All-Access Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access, ArizonaAthletics.com's premium audio/video service, can watch a delayed webcast of the McKale Center video production of the Arizona State game, with Brian Jeffries and Ryan Hansen calling the action, beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3. ArizonaAthletics.com will also provide live and postgame coverage of the game, including:
Postgame Story and Statistics (Free)
Postgame Lute Olson and Player Interviews (All-Access Video)
Game Data: No. 14 Arizona (10-2, 0-0 Pac-10) opens its 27th season of Pacific-10 Conference play Sunday at Arizona State (11-1, 0-0 Pac-10) ... It marks the first time since 2000-01 that UA has opened league play at home ... Since joining the Pac-10 in 1978-79, Arizona is 18-8 in conference openers, including 14-6 under Lute Olson ... Since then, UA is 9-1 opening Pac-10 play at home, including 5-0 under Olson ... Over the last 21 years, UA has a Pac-10-best 168-21 (.889) mark in league home games.
The Rankings: After a win last week, Arizona held at No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 and rose to No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. UA has been ranked in 292 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 22nd season at Arizona and his 32nd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 721-251 (.742) and 529-159 (.769) 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 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the second-most Pac-10 wins (290) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.775/290-84) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 22-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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, 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 best winning percentage over the past 17 years (449-111/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 47 NBA Draft picks, including 28 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 26 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 25 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 314-32 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 242 of its last 259 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 37-7 against Arizona State.
Last Time Out: Chris Rodgers equaled a career high with 20 points and added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in leading Arizona to the 84-71 victory Thursday over Richmond. Behind Rodgers’ 4-of-9 shooting from three-point range, UA knocked down a season-best 13 treys in winning its 19th Fiesta Bowl Classic championship in 20 years. Ivan Radenovic added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Channing Frye chipped in with 13 points and eight boards to earn tournament MVP honors.
Scouting Arizona State: The Sun Devils enter Sunday’s game with a league-best 11-1 record after an 89-65 win over Valparaiso on Dec. 29. ASU shoots 47.9 percent from the field (315-of-658), posts a +9.2 rebound margin and outscores the opposition by 15.1 points per game. Individually, two players average in double figures, led by Ike Diogu, who averages 22.8 points per game. He also leads the club by averaging 10.3 rebounds per game.
The Series: Sunday’s game marks the 206th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 132-73 series advantage. UA has won 18 of the last 19 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, including a 106-81 win in Tucson on March 7, 2004, in the last encounter. All time, Arizona is 74-25 in series games played in Tucson, 57-48 in Tempe, and 1-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 103 of the Arizona basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 106, Arizona State 81, March 7, 2004: Chris Rodgers scored eight of his career-high 20 points in a key 20-2 run in the first half as the Wildcats rolled to a 25-point win over the Sun Devils. Rodgers, one of four UA players to score 20 or more points, hit three field goals and added an assist in the span of 5:38 as Arizona turned a one-point lead into 19 with one minute remaining in the opening stanza. Arizona shot 54.2 percent from the field, marking the 14th time the team shot better than 50 percent in 2003-04.
Chasing John Wooden: Lute Olson enters the 2004-05 Pac-10 season just 14 wins behind UCLA’s John Wooden on the conference’s all-time league victories list. Through 21 seasons, Olson has a 290-84 (.775) record and trails only Wooden’s 304 career Pac-10 wins. In his career at Arizona, Olson’s charges have averaged 14 conference wins per season.
Moving Up: With 16 points in Thursday’s win, senior Salim Stoudamire passed Steve Kerr and moved into 15th place on the all-time Arizona career scoring list with 1,458 points scored. With five points today, the 6-foot-1 guard can move past Jason Terry (1996-99) and Bill Warner (1969-71) into 13th place on the list. In 104 career appearances, Stoudamire averages 14.0 points per game.
Streak Stopped: While its string of consecutive games shooting 50 percent or better from the field ended Thursday at two, Arizona has been remarkably more accurate from the field of late. Over the last three games, Arizona has connected on 50.0 percent (90-of-180) of its field goal attempts and has raised its season FG percentage 24 points to 42.3 percent.
Leading the Way: It’s not surprising that a trio of veterans has been the driving force behind UA’s rising field goal percentage. Salim Stoudamire, Channing Frye and Isaiah Fox have combined to connect on 50-of-84 (.595) of their field goal attempts over the last five games. Stoudamire has been exceptionally accurate, hitting 13-of-18 (.722) attempts in his last four appearances, including .786 (11-of-14) from three-point range. The recent hot streak has raised Stoudamire’s season field goal percentage to a career-best 50.5 percent (51-of-101).
Clamping Down: The defense was in order in each of Arizona’s last three wins, as the Cats forced a season-high 24 turnovers in each contest. Of those 72 turnovers, 44 came in the first half which led to a combined total of 49 turnover points.
Nice Off the Bench: Chris Rodgers found himself outside of the starting lineup for the first time in four games on Thursday, but that didn’t hurt his productivity, as he equaled career highs with 20 points and seven rebounds against Richmond. Additionally, his four three-point field goals also equaled a career best, while passing out four assists and posting three steals.
A Most Valuable Effort: Channing Frye earned Fiesta Bowl Classic MVP honors after averaging 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in wins over Eastern Washington and Richmond. Teammate Chris Rodgers joined him on the all-tournament team after averaging 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the two games. Rodgers shot 50 percent from three-point range (6-of-12) and added five steals. Butler’s Jamie Smalligan, Eastern Washington’s Marc Axton and Richmond’s Jamaal Scott and Jermaine Bucknor also earned all-tournament honors.
Scoring Defense: As was the case Tuesday, Arizona continues to do a good job of making it difficult for the opposition to score, as evidenced by the opponents’ 63.8 points per game average. Five times this season, Arizona has limited the opposition to 65 points or less, including two times of less than 50. UA’s 63.2 scoring defense figure is the lowest for the program since 1985-86, the year the three-point shot was initiated. Over the last five games, UA opponents are averaging only 59.2 points.
Against the Percentages: For the second straight game, Arizona held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting, as Richmond mustered only a 38.6 field goal percentage (22-of-57). In the two Fiesta Bowl Classic wins, the Cats limited the opposition to just 35.8 percent shooting (39-of-109). Five times this season a UA opponent has failed to shoot at least 40 percent from the floor. Through 12 games, Arizona opponents are shooting 41.9 percent from the floor, but that figure drops to 39.8 percent (103-of-259) in the last five games.
Windex Men: Arizona is 9-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and four times the squad has posted at least a +10 rebound margin. UA has outrebounded nine of 11 opponents in 2004-05. Last season, Arizona was 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition.
Steal Away: Led by the backcourt tandem of Mustafa Shakur and Chris Rodgers, Arizona collected 14 steals Thursday, marking the third straight game in which the Cats have tallied 14 or more steals. The recent outburst has raised UA’s season average to 9.7 steals per game. Shakur leads Arizona with 24 pilfers through 12 games.
Snap Out of It: It seems as though Ivan Radenovic may have finally shaken off the effects of a hip pointer suffered Nov. 30 vs. Wyoming. Entering Thursday’s game against the Spiders, Radenovic was averaging just 5.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in the four games since the injury. The sophomore responded with 16 points (14 in the first half) and nine rebounds. The point total was his best since netting 20 in the season opener and the nine boards were one shy of equaling his career high.
Long Range Goal: Maybe its the extended stay at home, but whatever the reason, the Wildcats have become quite proficient when it comes to shooting the trey. In the last three games, Arizona has made 33-of-62 (.532) shots from behind the arc. In two of those three games, UA knocked down 13 treys and shot better than 50 percent from long range. In the Richmond game, four different Wildcat sank two or more treys.
Spreading the Wealth: Surely, the fact that UA has won its last five games by an average of 17.4 points, but the distribution of playing time has become more equitable. In that span, no UA player is averaging more than 27 minutes per game and 10 of the 12 active players on the roster are averaging at least 10 minutes per contest.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Seven times during the 2004-05 season UA has posted a scoring run of more than 15 points. Here is a look at the list:
21 points ?- 29-8 run over 8:58 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
19 points ?- 27-8 run over 8:10 vs. Wright State, Nov. 18
19 points ?- 22-3 run over 8:49 vs. Richmond, Dec. 30
18 points ?- 20-2 run over 8:11 vs. San Diego, Nov. 16
17 points ?- 25-8 run over 10:15 vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 28
16 points ?- 18-2 run over 5:00 vs. Wyoming, Nov. 30
16 points ?- 23-7 run over 5:59 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
Tops in the Pac-10: In the annual poll of media members who regularly cover the Pac-10 Conference, Arizona was selected as the team to beat for the league title. The Cats received 19 of a possible 26 first-place votes and 253 points overall. Washington (237), Stanford (194) and Oregon (167) rounded out the top four places. It is the 10th time since 1989-90 that UA has been the predicted winner in the preseason poll.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 129-16 (.890) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 5-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Fendi Onobun (F, 6-7, 215) from Houston, Texas, Alief Taylor High School; J.P. Prince (G, 6-6, 183) from Memphis, Tenn., White Station High School; and Marcus Williams (F, 6-6, 190) from Seattle, Wash., Roosevelt High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: Following today’s game, Arizona hits the road for a pair of Pac-10 games in the Bay Area. The Wildcats take on California on Thursday, Jan. 6 (7:30 p.m. PST), and Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 8 (Noon PST). Both games can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.