Nov. 4, 2010
Date: Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010
Time: 4 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: arizonawildcats.com webcast only (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach simulcast)
GAME DATA: Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) hosts Augustana College (0-0) in its lone exhibition game prior to the start of the 2010-11 campaign Sunday in McKale Center ... Augustana is an NCAA Division II institution located in Sioux Falls, S.D. ... The teams are meeting for the second consecutive season ... Last year, the Vikings posted a 24-7 record overall and 15-5 conference mark ... Since the NCAA rule change regarding exhibition games went into effect five years ago, Augustana joins Sonoma State as the lone DII schools to face the Wildcats twice in that span ... Arizona opens the 2010-11 regular season in McKale Center on Sunday, Nov. 14, against Idaho State. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. MST.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona was not included in either the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Coaches preseason poll. It marks just the fourth time in the last 24 seasons that Arizona will open the year unranked.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . begins his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 136-62 (.687) and 16-15 (.516) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 16 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 41, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona scored the first bucket of the game and never led again as UCLA controlled tempo and made all the hustle plays necessary to claim a 75-69 win in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament on March 11. The Bruins shot 53 percent from the field, won the rebounding battle and held a 16-6 advantage in turnover points in posting the six-point win. Arizona managed to trim the deficit to three or fewer points four times in the second half, but each time UCLA answered immediately with points of its own. The loss was Arizona's fourth consecutive in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals.
SCOUTING AUGUSTANA: Coached by Tom Billeter, the Vikings return two all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference performers from last season's 24-7 squad that is picked to finish fourth in the NSIC preseason poll. Cody Shilling, a 6-foot-5 junior guard from Ellsworth, Minn., led Augie with per game averages of 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds to earn first team all-conference and DII honorable mention All-America honors. Cameron McCaffrey, a 6-foot-1, sophomore guard from Portland, Ore., averaged 12.9 points per game last season and shot 43.5 percent from three-point range en route to NSIC Freshman-of-the-Year accolades. Augustana defeated Gustavus Adolphus, 101-74, in an exhibition game on Nov. 1.
LAST YEAR VS. AUGUSTANA: The Wildcats had little trouble with visiting Division II Augustana College in UA head coach Sean Miller's debut game with a 92-76 exhibition victory on Nov. 4, 2009. Miller got scoring from nine players in the first half and 10 overall, led by Jamelle Horne with a team-high 19 points. Four players scored in double figures with support from freshmen Derrick Williams (14) and Kevin Parrom (12). Horne led all rebounders with 10, while adding three blocked shots. Senior guard Nic Wise returned to his starting role after nursing an ankle sprain, netting 12 points, with five assists and two steals in 19 minutes. It is worth noting that the second-half scoring was knotted at 42 apiece.
A REGULAR OCCURRENCE: For the third year in a row, one of Arizona's exhibition opponents is coached by a former UA assistant coach. Current Augustana head coach Tom Billeter was a Wildcat assistant under Lute Olson from 1985-87, helping the Cats to its first Pac-10 title in 1986 and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Now in his eighth season at Augustana, Billeter has an 109-95 at the school and a 206-145 in 12 seasons as a head coach. Two seasons ago, Incarnate Word was led by Ken Burmeister, who also served under Olson. Additionally, UA coach Sean Miller had a link to a coach as well, as Western New Mexico coach Mark Coleman was a Pittsburgh assistant coach during Miller's playing career.
DUELING FRESHMEN OF THE YEAR: This afternoon's exhibition tilt features a pair of players who earned conference Player-of-the-Year honors a season ago: Arizona's Derrick Williams in the Pac-10 and Augustana's Cameron McCaffrey in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. A forward, Williams shot 57.4 percent from the floor and averaged 15.7 points per game, while guard McCaffrey shot 48.2 percent from the field and averaged 12.9 points per game. It will be the first of two match-ups where Williams will face another conference freshman of the year. The other happens on Dec. 22, when reigning Northeast Conference freshman of the year Karon Abraham comes to Tucson with Robert Morris University.
MORE OF THE SAME, PLEASE: If a season can be judged by a single intrasquad scrimmage, then expect good things from sophomore forward Derrick Williams, who posted 15 points (6-of-12 shooting), four rebounds, three blocks and three steals in just 24 minutes of the Red-Blue game on Oct. 24. A year ago, the La Mirada, Calif., native averaged 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds.
GET ON THE GLASS: Senior forward Jamelle Horne led a concerted rebounding effort in the Oct. 24 Red-Blue game, as he tallied nine boards in 23 minutes of action. In addition to Horne, Jesse Perry (9), Kyryl Natyazhko (6) and Solomon Hill (5) each collected five or more caroms in the preseason scrimmage. Last season, Arizona averaged 34.3 rebounds per game, but faced a -0.1 rebound margin in 2009-10.
A FINE DEBUT: Two first-year players put forth solid efforts in their first appearances in McKale Center. Junior forward Jesse Perry, a 6-foot-7 product of St. Louis, Mo., posted nine points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes played, while freshman guard Jordin Mayes, a 6-foot-2 native of Los Angeles, Calif., tallied eight points and four rebounds in his 23-minute stint.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS: The Wildcats return 11 letterwinners from last season's club. Statistically speaking, the Cats bring back 79.5 percent of the scoring (1,773 of 2,229), 89.4 percent of the rebounding (949 of 1,062) and 83.2 percent of the minutes played (5,282 of 6,350) registered a year ago.
A GOOD OMEN: As mentioned multiple times above, Derrick Williams notched per game averages of 15.7 points and 7.1 rebounds to go with a .574 field goal percentage en route to Pac-10 Conference Freshman-of-the-Year honors. He is the sixth Cat to earn such honors, and that's a pretty good indicator of success, as the previous five winners (Sean Elliott, Mike Bibby, Michael Wright, Salim Stoudamire and Chase Budinger) combined to average 16.5 points per game in their sophomore seasons.
AN UNBIASED OPINION: According to media members who regularly cover the league, Arizona was picked to finish second in this season's Pacific-10 Conference race. The Wildcats received 296 points and one first-place vote (see chart at left), trailing only Washington. It's the highest preseason predicted finish for the Cats since 2006-07, and the 296 points earned is the most since 2005-06. Historically speaking, Arizona has been the preseason favorite 11 times in the last 21 years.
A STEP UP: Sophomore Derrick Williams isn't going to sneak up on anyone a year after earning Pac-10 Freshman-of-the-Year kudos. A handful of publications have tabbed the 6-foot-8 native of La Mirada, Calif., a first-team all-conference pick at season's end, while two publications, Sporting News and Lindy's Sports Annual, have predicted that Williams will be the Pac-10's player of the year.
DOUBLE FIGURES ON THE NEXT LEVEL: Ten former Arizona men's basketball players were on active National Basketball Association rosters, as the league opened the 2010-11 season Oct. 26. The list of players includes Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), Jerryd Bayless (New Orleans Hornets), Mike Bibby (Atlanta Hawks), Chase Budinger (Houston Rockets), Channing Frye (Phoenix Suns), Jordan Hill (Houston Rockets), Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Richard Jefferson (San Antonio Spurs), Jason Terry (Dallas Mavericks) and Luke Walton (Los Angeles Lakers). Arizona is tied for seventh nationally in terms of active NBA player production. There have been at least eight former Cats in the NBA in each of the last 11 seasons with 10 or more in eight of those campaigns.
CONFERENCE FOOTPRINT: Bolstered by a combined 24 players from Arizona (10) and UCLA (14), the Pacific-10 Conference has 48 former players currently playing in the National Basketball Association, a figure that fourth nationally among NCAA Division I athletic leagues. Here is a look at the top six conferences: 1.) Atlantic Coast, 56; 2.) Big East, 54; 3.) Big 12, 51; 4.) Pac-10, 48; 5.) Southeastern, 40; and 6.) Big Ten, 29.
UP NEXT: Arizona opens its 107th season of basketball on Sunday, Nov. 14, when the Cats host Idaho State. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. MST and will be televised by KWBA-TV and FS Arizona.