Game 10: No. 9 Arizona (8-1) vs. No. 18 Memphis (8-2)
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006
Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Game Data: The 22nd Annual Chase Fiesta Bowl Classic sets the scene as No. 9 Arizona (8-1, 0-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 18 Memphis (8-2, 1-0 C-USA) Wednesday night in McKale Center ... After 21 years of a four-team tournament format, the Fiesta Bowl Classic has morphed into a one-game showcase event ... All-time, Arizona is 41-1 in Fiesta Bowl Classic play ... Tonight’s game is the first of what could be nine national appearances on Fox Sports Net during the regular season.
The Rankings: Following a victory on Sunday, Arizona rose to No. 9 in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in each 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 769-270 (.740) and 577-178 (.764) 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 750th collegiate victory on Dec. 31, 2005, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) 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 338-35 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 266 of its last 285 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 0-0 against Memphis.
Last Time Out: Arizona got a balanced offensive effort, held Houston to 30 points below it’s season scoring average and posted a +32 rebound advantage in earning a decisive 87-62 win Sunday night. Five Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Ivan Radenovic and Marcus Williams who each collected double-doubles, and the team shot better than 50 percent for the fifth time this season. By contrast, Houston shot a season-low 31.2 percent from the field.
Scouting Memphis: The Tigers (8-2, 1-0 C-USA) come to town having won six of its last seven games, including an 88-63 win over Austin Peay on Dec. 14. As a team, Memphis averages 82.2 points per game, shoots 45.4 percent (295-of-650) from the field and outrebounds the opposition by a +5.7 per game margin. Five Tigers average in double figures, led by Chris Douglas-Roberts’ 16.7 points per game figure. Joey Dorsey leads the club with a 9.7 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Tonight’s game marks the sixth meeting of the two schools with Memphis holding a 3-2 series advantage. Arizona has won the last two meetings with the last being a 94-69 win in Memphis on Dec. 4, 1965. All-time, Arizona is 1-1 in series games played in Tucson, 1-2 in Memphis, Tenn., and 0-0 in neutral site games. See page 100 of the UA media guide for more series information.
Against Conference USA: All time, Arizona is 74-40 (.649) against the schools that currently make up Conference USA. UA has played at least one C-USA opponent in each year since 2002-03 and is 6-1 against the league in that span.
Marquee Matchup: Tonight’s game features two nationally ranked teams in No. 9 Arizona and No. 18 Memphis. It is also the first ranked opponent for the Wildcats this season, which is somewhat abnormal. Dec. 20 is the latest date into the season that Arizona has played its first nationally ranked opponent since 1992-93. In that season, Arizona didn’t play a ranked opponent until Jan. 7, 1993, which turned out to be an 82-80 win over No. 15 UCLA in Los Angeles. Over the previous six seasons, Arizona is 33-28 (.541) against ranked opposition.
Bouncing Back: In directing Arizona to its eighth consecutive win, Mustafa Shakur posted a game-high 17 points and eight assists to go with six rebounds in a 25-point win over Houston, Arizona’s only game this week. Shakur hit 7-of-8 eight shots from the field (.875) and 3-of-4 free throws in leading the Wildcats in scoring for the second time this season. Shakur’s eight assists on Sunday marked the fifth time in nine games this season that he’s passed out eight or more assists in a game, and he has at least five assists in all nine contests. During his career, Arizona is 49-11 (.817) when Shakur collects five or more assists in a game. On the season, Shakur is averaging 12.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and a Pac-10-leading 7.7 assists per game.
Don’t Change a Thing: A balanced offensive attack helped Arizona win its eighth consecutive game on Sunday, which eclipses the longest such streak in 2005-06. The last streak of nine or more wins came during the 2004-05 season (9). Incidentally, all of the wins in this year’s streak have been by seven points or more, and during the streak Arizona has outscored the opposition by an average of 18.1 points per game.
Safe at Home: It’s certainly not surprising that UA’s output would receive a boost when playing at home. Based on the numbers, The Wildcats really enjoy the comforts of McKale Center, as the club is averaging 93.0 points per game and outscoring opponents by a +21.0 points per game margin. Much of that output is tied to a 55.0 (170-of-309) field goal percentage. Additionally, Arizona posts a +18.4 rebound margin and limits opponents to just 39.7 percent (136-of-343) shooting during home games.
From the Line: Look no further than the free throw line for an indication of success, as the Wildcats have made 67 more free throws than opponents have attempted this season. But here is something a little more interesting. Over the last seven games, UA has outscored the opposition by a 127-28 margin from the stripe ?- or an average of 18.1-4.0 points per game. In that span, opponents have attempted at least 10 free throws only once, while Arizona has attempted 20 or more charity tosses five times.
Crashing the Boards: En route to the 87-62 win over Houston, Arizona grabbed a total of 58 rebounds (a season high, as was the team’s 44 defensive rebounds) and outrebounded the Cougars, 58-26, which was a season high rebound margin. The Wildcats are 6-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition. Incidentally, Arizona’s 58 rebounds were its highest total since pulling down 62 against Northern Arizona in a 107-73 win on Nov. 24, 2003.
Nearing a Milestone: Senior Ivan Radenovic enters tonight’s game 12 points shy of 1,000 career points. When he does so, he will become the 41st player in school history to top the 1,000-point plateau. Currently, Radenovic is averaging 9.9 points per game over his 100-game career.
Clamping Down: Arizona’s defensive pressure of late continues to be solid, as the Wildcats limited Houston to a season-low .312 (24-of-77) field goal percentage, including 12-of-41 (.293) from three-point range. When measured against Arizona’s .541 (33-of-61) marksmanship, it enabled the Cats to improve to 7-1 this season when outshooting its opponent.
Double Double-Doubles: Marcus Williams notched his second straight double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He was joined in such territory by Ivan Radenovic, who tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds. Those were Arizona’s sixth and seventh double-doubles of the season, which is one more than the team posted in all of last season. Furthermore, Williams is the first UA player to post back-to-back double-doubles since Radenovic accomplished the feat on Dec. 3 and 8 of last season. Additionally, it was the firs time that UA teammates had collected double-doubles in the same game since Jan. 8, 2005, when Channing Frye (20 pts./13 reb.) and Hassan Adams (19 pts./10 reb.) did so at Stanford.
Good All Over: Junior Jawann McClellan continues to make steady contributions across the board. Sunday against Houston, the 6-foot-4 guard posted 10 points, seven boards and a career-high four assists. On the season, McClellan is averaging 13.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 47.4 percent (37-of-78) from the field.
Center of Attention: Forward Jordan Hill got some extended playing time Sunday and responded with four points and a season-high six rebounds vs. Houston. The 6-foot-9 freshman from Atlanta also made both of his field goal attempts inn 15 minutes of play, his first double-figure minutes in five games. The effort boosted his per game averages to 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds.
From in Close: Arizona shot 54.1 percent (33-of-61) from the field. Of those 33 field goals, 19 came on dunks or lay-ups. All seven of Marcus Williams’ field goals were of this variety, while four of Chase Budinger’s seven buckets came from in close.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 156-19 (.891) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 6-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points, a feat that has happened in seven of nine games this year.
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)
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)
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)
Preseason Prognostications: According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference, Arizona was picked to finish second in this year’s Pac-10 race. Arizona received 13 first-place votes and 280 points overall and trailed only UCLA in the poll. It is the firs time in five seasons that Arizona has not been selected as the preseason team to beat. Incidentally, the Cats have been the preseason favorite in 11 of the last 17 seasons.
Preseason Kudos: Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams were named to the 2006-07 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team, the award’s national selection committee announced Oct. 17. Shakur, a 6-foot-3, senior guard from Philadelphia, and Williams, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from Philadelphia, are among 50 student-athletes on the list. Arizona is one of only nine schools nationally to have two or more players on the list.
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 an eight-day break for the Christmas holiday, Arizona will open Pacific-10 Conference play on Thursday, Dec. 28, when it hosts California. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.