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Cats Open Three-Game Homestand vs. Cal
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 04, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 4, 2011

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Date: Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011
Time: 8:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FSN (Barry Tompkins/Don MacLean)

Game Data:  Arizona (12-3, 1-1 Pac-10) returns to the comforts of McKale Center Thursday night to host California (7-6, 0-1 Pac-10)  ... After missing a chance to get its first conference road sweep since the 2008-09 season, the Wildcats open a three-game homestand in the facility where the program has won 72 percent of its conference home games in the previous two seasons (13-5) ... Heading into the home portion of the Pac-10 schedule, Arizona averages a robust 80.6 points per game in eight home dates this season to go with a .504 field goal percentage (214-of-425) ... Interestingly, California averages 72.0 points per game in two true road games this season, 6.1 points better than its overall scoring average (65.9 ppg) ... This is the second of nine national television appearances for the Cats during conference play (7 FSN/2 ESPN).


The Rankings:  Arizona remains unranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.


Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 148-65 (.695) and 28-18 (.609) 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 17 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, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 1-1 vs. California as a head coach.


Last Time Out:  Arizona was its own worst enemy in a 76-75 loss at Oregon State on Sunday, surrendering 19 turnovers, giving up 12 offensive boards in losing the rebound battle and missing 13 free throws.  UA shot 56 percent from the field, but because of the lackluster effort found itself trailing for the final 19:32.  Lamont Jones led all scorers with 20 points, while Derrick Williams (16) and Kyle Fogg (10) also reached double figures, but couldn’t overcome a 17-2 OSU advantage in second-chance points.


Scouting California:  The Golden Bears enter tonight’s game with a 7-6 record (0-1 Pac-10) following an 82-68 loss at Stanford on Sunday.  On the season, Cal averages 65.9 points, shoots 43.2 percent from the floor (289-of-669), 31.7 percent (70-of-221) from three-point range and 66.3 percent (209-of-315) from the line.  Opponents average 65.5 points, are outrebounded by 4.2 boards per game and shoot 40.6 percent from the floor (296-of-729).  Individually, two Golden Bear players average in double-figures, led by Harper Kamp’s 13.4 points per game figure.  Mark Sanders-Frison leads the Beavers with an 8.3 rebounds per game average.


The Series:  Tonight’s game is the 81st meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 52-28 advantage in the series, which dates back to Feb. 1, 1924. Arizona has won 19 of the last 24 meetings, but Cal won the last, a 95-71 decision in Berkeley on Feb. 25, 2010. All-time, Arizona is 27-9 in series games played in Tucson, 22-18 in Berkeley, Calif., and 3-1 in neutral-site games.  For more series information, please see page 43 in the UA media guide.


Last Meeting:  California 95, Arizona 71, Feb. 25, 2010:  Jerome Randle scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as California pulled away for the win.  He guided a Golden Bear attack that shot 63 percent from the floor in the period and scored 52 points.  UA trimmed the deficit to eight points with 18 minutes to go, but Randle scored 11 of Cal’s next 16 points in a 16-3 run over the next three minutes to put it out of reach.  Derrick Williams posted 17 points and six rebounds, while Brendon Lavender added 14 points.


Late Nights In Tucson: As the featured game for a Pac-10 national television broadcast on FSN, tonight’s game obviously tips-off at 8:30 p.m. MST.  Such start times have mostly benefitted the Cats, as the program is 6-3 in those Pac-10 home games  Arizona has hosted since the 2004-05 season.


Get It Going: Kevin Parrom helped Arizona to a weekend split by averaging 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in Arizona’s two games last week.  The sophomore swingman connected on 64.3 percent of his field goals (9-of-14) and 62.5 percent (5-of-8) of his three-point field goal attempts to go with one block and one assist.  Parrom notched a career-high 20 points on a career-best 8-of-9 shooting to go with a season-high eight rebounds in the 19-point win at Oregon.  His eight field goals were a new career high, as well, en route to his first career 20-point game.  He followed that up with five points, four boards and a block in a one-point loss at Oregon State.  The effort boosted Perry’s season per game averages to 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds to go with a .507 field goal percentage.


On the Mark:  The Wildcats continue to shoot the ball well, connecting on 53-of-95 attempts (.558) last weekend in Oregon.  The Cats shot better than 50 percent on both games of the road trip, stretching the total of games above the 50-percent plateau this season to eight.  On the year, the Cats are shooting a collective 49.3 percent from the field (390-of-791), a figure that tops the Pac-10 Conference and ranks 15th nationally.  The UA starting five shoots a collective .503 (238-of-473) from the floor this year.


Second Efforts:  Arizona lost the rebounding battle Sunday at Oregon State for just the fourth time in 15 games this season.  While the 34-31 disadvantage wasn’t necessarily eye opening, Oregon State held a 12-5 advantage on the offensive glass and used that as a springboard to a 17-2 advantage in second-chance points.  Prior to Sunday’s loss, Arizona had posted second-chance-points advantages over 11 of 14 opponents, and has cumulatively outscored its 2010-11 opponents in the category by a 157-130 margin for the season.


An Uphill Battle:  In two games last week in Oregon, Arizona committed a total of 38 turnovers.  Arizona managed to earn a split on the trip despite committing more than five turnovers per game more than its season-long average (13.8 to/g).  Arizona was able to offset that at Oregon largely on the strength on a 40-27 rebound advantage, but wasn’t as fortunate against Oregon State.


Following Suit:  The Arizona bench was outscored 20-18 Sunday, marking just the third time this season that the Wildcat reserves failed to outpoint their counterparts.  However, the results exactly follow the wins and losses, as UA’s reserves have been outscored this year by Kansas, BYU and Oregon State.


Hopefully, That’s An Anomaly:  It would be hard to imagine that a team that leads the Pac-10 and ranks 15th nationally in free throw shooting could connect on a meager 13-of-24 (.542) of its attempts in any single game, but that’s what happened to the Wildcats on Sunday, which makes it a bit more crushing in a one-point loss.  Through 15 games, Arizona has connected on 276-of-362 (.762) of its free throw attempts.  


Is it Magic?:  “Schoolhouse Rock” says that three is a magic number, but is that really true?  During last week’s Oregon road swing, Arizona shot 55.8 percent from the field (53-of-95), but one-third of those attempts came from behind the arc.  The Cats did manage to make 12 of the 32 long-range attempts (.375), but it begs the question as to whether the Cats should look inside a bit more.  Over the road trip, Arizona shot 65.1 percent (41-of-63) inside the arc, including 92.9 percent (13-of-14) in the second half at Oregon State.  Additionally, Arizona’s .727 field goal percentage in the second half at OSU was the Cats’ best effort in any half this season.


Halftime Adjustment:  Bolstered by 9-of-12 shooting, Lamont Jones registered his second 20-point game of the season Sunday at Oregon State.  But the sophomore guard does it with a twist.  In his two such efforts (vs. BYU), Jones has tallied the majority of his points in the second half.  All told, 34 of those 40 points (20 vs. BYU and 14 at OSU) have come after the break.  He joins Derrick Williams (5), Kevin Parrom (1) and Solomon Hill (1) as the Cats to top the 20-point plateau this year. 


Fill ‘er Up:  Sophomore forward Derrick Williams set a Arizona season high Sunday by connecting on all six field goal attempts en route to 16 points.  The 6-foot-8 native of La Mirada, Calif., made five dunks or lay-ins and added a trey to notch his 24th consecutive game in double figures dating back to last season.  Through 15 games, Williams ranks second in the Pac-10 with a .651 field goal percentage (82-of-126) and has made 14-of-20 (.700) three-point FGs as well.


Blocks aplenty:  Last week in Oregon junior forward Jesse Perry totaled four blocked shots, a noteworthty figure because it tripled his season output (6).  Since joining the starting line-up three games ago, the 6-foot-7 native of St. Louis, Mo., is averaging 10.0 points and 4.7 rebounds, while shooting 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the field.  In that span, Perry notched season-high totals of 16 points (vs. Robert Morris) and eight rebounds (at Oregon). 


Simmering:  Kyle Fogg registered his sixth double-figure scoring game of the season with 10 points on Sunday to go with three rebounds.  The 6-foot-3 junior guard might be starting to warm up a bit, as he has shot 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from the floor over his last three games.  Mired in a season-long slump, Fogg is shooting 36.1 percent (39-of-108) from the floor through 15 games, including 30.0 percent (18-of-60) from three-point range.


Bucking a trend:  As mentioned previously, Arizona shot better than 50 percent in both games last week.  However, the Cats lost at Oregon State, marking the first time in eight games this season that UA had lost when making more shots than it missed this season, and was the first time in the Sean Miller era that the Cats had lost a game when breaking the 50-percent barrier (14-1).


That’s Gotta Change:  Sunday’s game saw Arizona endure a statistical double whammy, as the club amassed a season-low nine assists and equal a season high with 19 turnovers.  Additionally, UA’s 9:19 assist:turnover ratio was the fifth negative ratio of the season and was Arizona’s worst in any game this season.


Scoring 80:  Arizona scored 82 points Dec. 22 vs. Robert Morris, topping the 80-point plateau for the seventh time this year.  Arizona has scored 80 in five of eight home games this season.  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 193-19 (.910) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.   Arizona was 6-0 last season when topping the 80-point plateau.


Early Signees:  The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period.  Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., Sacramento High School; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both and

Up Next:  Following tonight’s contest, Arizona hosts Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 8.  Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on KWBA-TV and FOX Sports Arizona.

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