Game 13: No. 7 Arizona (11-1, 2-0) at No. 24 Washington (10-3, 0-2)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Game Data: No. 7 Arizona (11-1, 2-0 Pac-10) hits the road to take on No. 24 Washington (10-3, 0-2 Pac-10) Thursday in Seattle ... Four of the Wildcats’ next six games will be on the road ... In the Lute Olson era, Arizona has a league best 136-71 (.657) record in Pac-10 road games ... The last five UA-UW meetings in Seattle have been decided by an average of six points with two of the contests going into extra periods ... Those five games have been high-scoring affairs, as the losing team has scored at least 83 points four times in that span.
The Rankings: Following a pair of victories last week Arizona held at No. 7 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 772-270 (.741) and 580-178 (.765) 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 (318) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.772/318-94) 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 341-35 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 269 of its last 288 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 32-17 against Washington.
Last Time Out: Mustafa Shakur and Ivan Radenovic combined to score 23 of Arizona’s 39 second-half points as Arizona gutted out an 89-75 victory over Stanford Saturday that was much closer than the final tally. The Cats shot 61.2 percent from the floor and held a 21-4 scoring advantage from the free throw line to help lock things up. UA outscored Stanford 13-4 in the last 2:30 to stretch the final margin to double figures. Shakur finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Radenovic added 22 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Scouting Washington: The Huskies (10-3, 0-2 Pac-10) enter tonight’s game riding a rare two-game losing streak after Sunday’s 96-74 loss at UCLA. As a team, Washington averages 86.2 points per game, shoots 48.6 percent (415-of-854) from the field and outrebounds the opposition by a +11.8 per game margin. Defensively, UW allows 76.6 points per game and a .432 field goal percentage. Four Huskies average in double figures, led by Spencer Hawes’ 16.5 points per game figure. Jon Brockman leads the club with a 10.2 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Tonight’s game marks the 60th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 38-21 series advantage. Washington has won six of the last eight in the series, including a 70-67 win in Tucson on March 4, 2006 in the last get-together. All-time, Arizona is 21-6 in series games played in Tucson, 16-13 in Seattle, Wash., and 1-2 in neutral site games. See page 102 of the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Washington 70, Arizona 67, March 4, 2006: Arizona led for the first 39:27 before giving up the lead courtesy of a turnover and ensuing dunk with 33 seconds remaining. UA’s Marcus Williams, who led all scorers with 20 points, missed a pair of free throws with 20 seconds to go that could have given the Wildcats the lead. Chris Rodgers finished with 11 points and Mustafa Shakur added 10 points and 10 assists.
Player of the Week: In leading Arizona to a pair of wins to open conference play last week, Ivan Radenovic averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while shooting 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from the field. The senior forward also connected on 11-of-12 (.917) free throws and added five steals and a pair of blocked shots as the Wildcats won its 11th consecutive game. He opened the week with a 17-point, nine-rebound, four-assist effort vs. California in which he hit 6-of-7 shots from the floor and did not commit a turnover. Radenovic added 22 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals in Saturday’s win over Stanford, where 12 of his points came in the first half. On the year, Radenovic leads the Wildcats with per game averages of 17.8 points and 7.4 rebounds, while shooting 58.8 percent from the field. For his efforts, he was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Jan. 1.
Streaking: UA’s current 11-game win streak equals the longest streak of the last nine seasons. The last Arizona team to win 12 or more straight games was the 1997-98 club that posted won a school-record 19 consecutive games during that season. 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 16.0 points per game.
Quality Opponents: Arizona plays its first conference road game of the season Thursday at Washington. While the Wildcats’ schedule has been rated as the nation’s toughest to date by some, the game against the 24th-ranked Huskies will be UA’s second of the season against a nationally ranked opponent. Arizona defeated then-No. 18 Memphis, 79-71, on Dec. 20.
On Target: Arizona continues to shoot the ball well this season, as the team has connected on 51.8 percent (364-of-703) of its attempts this season. That figure is the highest field goal percentage in the program since the 1987-88 squad shot 54.5 percent (1,147-of-2,106) en route to a 35-3 record and a berth in the Final Four. It’s worth noting that Arizona is shooting 101 percentage points higher than the opposition (.518-.417).
Heating Up: The move to conference play didn’t cool the Cats off, as the team shot better than 60 percent from the field in both wins over California and Stanford. Arizona combined to shoot 60.7 percent (65-of-107) from the field in those games, including 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from three-point range. UA got off to a good start in both games, shooting a combined 68.5 percent (37-of-54) in the first half vs. California and Stanford.
Honor Among Thieves: Led by Ivan Radenovic (4) and Chase Budinger (3), Arizona equaled a season high Saturday with 11 steals against Stanford. It was the third time this season that Arizona has collected 10 or more steals in a contest. Individually, Mustafa Shakur leads the club with 19 pilfers (1.6 spg), while Marcus Williams, Chase Budinger and Ivan Radenovic each have 13.
Capitalizing on Opportunities: Look no further than the free throw line for an indication of success, as the Wildcats have made 102 more free throws than opponents have attempted this season. But here is something a little more interesting. Over the last 10 games, UA has outscored the opposition by a 187-45 margin from the stripe ?- or an average of 18.7-4.5 points per game. In that span, opponents have attempted at least 10 free throws only twice, while Arizona has attempted 20 or more charity tosses eight times. In case you were wondering, here is the team foul tally in those nine games: Opponents 206, Arizona 110.
Not to be Overlooked: Sophomore Marcus Williams also enjoyed a strong first week of conference play, as he averaged 22.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the wins over California and Stanford. Impressively, the 6-foot-7 forward connected on 81.8 percent (18-of-22) field goal attempts in the two contests. Williams sank 8-of-8 attempts Thursday vs. the Golden Bears and followed that up by equaling a career high with 10 field goals in 14 attempts Saturday against the Cardinal. On the year, Williams is averaging 16.2 points and 7.4 rebounds, while shooting 54.0 percent (81-of-150) from the field. He was named national player of the week (Jan. 2) by ESPN.com for his work last week.
Good and Getting Better: Without mincing words, senior Mustafa Shakur is enjoying the best season of his career. The 6-foot-3 point guard from Philadelphia is averaging 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game, while shooting 53.1 percent (52-of-98) from the floor. Entering play last week, Shakur ranked third nationally in assists per game, while his 2.42 assist:turnover ratio led the Pac-10 Conference. Shakur put forth another solid effort last week by posting averages of 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists in a pair of victories. Shakur, who has passed out five or more assists in all 12 games to date, has led Arizona to a 52-11 (.825) record during his career when he passes out five or more assists in a game.
Productivity in the Middle: One player who made unexpected contributions last week was freshman Jordan Hill. The 6-foot-9 forward from Atlanta averaged 4.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in just under 10 minutes per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field. While those numbers may seem sparse, they continue to become more important as senior center Kirk Walters continues to suffer from the aftereffects of mononucleosis. For the year, Hill is averaging 2.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Steady: Through 12 games, Chase Budinger ranks second on the team in scoring (16.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (.552/74-of-134), third in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and fourth in assists (1.8 apg). He’s scored in double figures in 11 of 12 starts and has pulled down five or more rebounds seven times. He played a season-high 37 minutes in Saturday’s win over Stanford, collecting 13 points, four rebounds and three steals without a turnover.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 158-19 (.893) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 8-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points, a feat that has happened in nine of 12 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)
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)
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)
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 tonight’s contest, Arizona travels to Pullman, Wash., for a game at Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 6. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. PST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.