Jan. 27, 2012
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Date: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012
Time: 5 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,538), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach) [Sirius/XM: 113/194]
TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas/Bob Knight)
GAME DATA: Arizona (14-7, 5-3 Pac-12) closes the first half of the Pac-12 slate by hosting Washington (13-7, 6-2 Pac-12) Saturday at McKale Center ... This evening’s game is the Saturday Primetime telecast on ESPN following the network’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm appearance Saturday morning ... The Wildcats are averaging 78.2 points per game over its last five home games and it’s almost feast or famine, as the club has topped 80 points three times and been held below 70 points twice ... In the last five meetings, the cumulative point total is UW, 399; UA, 392.
THE RANKINGS: UA remains unranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls this week.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his third season at the University of Arizona and his eighth overall as a college head coach with a record of 180-77 (.700) and 60-30 (.667) at Arizona ... He guided UA to 30 wins and the 2011 Pac-10 regular season championship in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight ... He was named Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach of the Year ... 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 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 15 trips to the postseason in his 18 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/6 NIT) and has an 9-5 (.643) 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, 17 of 18 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 ... He is assisted by James Whitford, Emanuel Richardson and Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 2-3 vs. Washington as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Kyle Fogg scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half and ignited a 22-9 run over the last 8:28 of the period as Arizona cruised to the 85-61 win Thursday over Washington State. Fogg scored 10 of those points in the run, as the Cats outshot and outrebounded the Cougs, while forcing 17 turnovers. UA shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time in Pac-12 play and committed just nine turnovers. Solomon Hill added 17 points and 11 boards.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: The Huskies enter today’s game with a 13-7 record (6-2 Pac-12) following Thursday’s 60-54 win at Arizona State. On the year, Washington averages 77.1 points, shoots 45.4 percent from the floor (563-of-1,240), 36.1 percent (129-of-357) from three-point range and 61.7 percent (287-of-465) from the line. Opponents average 71.4 points, are outrebounded by 5.4 boards per game and shoot 41.7 percent from the floor (497-of-1,192). Individually, three UW players average in double-figures, led by Tony Wroten’s 17.1 ppg average. Terrence Ross leads the Huskies with a 6.6 rebounds per game average.
THE SERIES: Today’s game marks the 71st meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 44-26 series advantage. The teams have split the last 16 meetings, but Washington captured the last, 77-75 (ot) in the championship game of the 2011 Pac-12 Tournament, March 12, in Los Angeles. All-time, Arizona is 26-6 in series games played in Tucson, 17-17 in Seattle, Wash., and 1-3 in neutral site games. For more series information, please see page 50 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: Washington 77, Arizona 75 (OT), March 12, 2011: When it mattered most, Washington made every play it needed in earning the two-point, title-game win in overtime. Isaiah Thomas’ step-back 18-footer at the buzzer capped a Husky effort that saw the team erase a four-point deficit with 26 seconds to go in regulation and force the extra session prior to Thomas’ heroics. Washington’s efforts on the glass led to a 17-7 advantage in second-chance points and erased a 24-point, 11-rebound effort from Derrick Williams.
BOUNCING BACK NICELY: Five days after one of its worst shooting efforts of the season, Arizona bounced back with one of its best Thursday against Washington State. The Wildcats connected on 30-of-59 (.508) attempts from the floor, including 15-of-26 (.577) from three-point range in the 24-point win. UA shot 50 percent or better from the field and from behind the arc in both halves to notch its first 50-percent or better shooting day in Pac-12 play. It marked the fifth time this season that Arizona has shot 50 percent or better from the field and its first since Dec. 22. Last Saturday at Colorado, Arizona made just 19-of-55 (.345) shots from the floor, including 3-of-20 (.150) from behind the arc. Individually, none bounced back better than Kyle Fogg, who hit 8-of-12 shots Thursday (4-of-6 treys), after connecting on just 3-of-12 last week in Boulder.
STREAKING: Over the last four games, the Wildcat defense has limited opponents to an average of 58.8 points and a cumulative .403 (83-of-206) field goal percentage, and no team has scored more than 64 points. In that span, the best opposing field goal percentage has been Oregon’s .453 (24-of-53). On the season, UA opponents are averaging just 61.9 points per game and a .400 (467-of-1,167) field goal percentage. It’s been 27 years since a Wildcat squad allowed fewer points per game over the course of a season.
HOLD THEM DOWN: As was the case Thursday, Arizona held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting (18-of-52/.346). That marks the eighth time this season that the Wildcats have accomplished the feat. By comparison, last season’s Pac-10 regular season champion did that just nine times in 38 games, and opponents shot .444 (940-of-2,115) from the field. Why is this important? Arizona is 12-1 this season and 43-4 in the Sean Miller era when outshooting the opposition.
SHARING THE WEALTH: Arizona equaled a season high with 23 assists on 30 field goals in Thursday’s win, marking just the second time the club has had 20 or more assists this season. All eight Wildcats who collected assists in the contest had multiple helpers in the game, and UA did so with just nine turnovers – just the fifth time in 2011-12 that the Cats kept that total in single digits.
ON THE GLASS: Arizona continues to do a nice job on the boards this season, as the Cats outrebounded Washington State, 37-32. On the year, UA has outrebounded 16 of 21 opponents to date, including seven of eight Pac-12 opponents. Overall, Arizona carries a +3.0 rebound margin through 21 games, and that figure rises to +4.0 in conference play, ranking second among Pac-12 programs. Further, Arizona has collected 50 offensive caroms in the last four games (12.5 or/g) and has been in double figures in each of those games.
A GOOD SIGN: Arizona managed to jump out to a 42-27 halftime lead Thursday and improved to 11-2 this season when leading at the break. Additionally, Arizona’s 15-point halftime bulge equaled its second-largest halftime lead of the season, topped only by a 16-point lead (32-16) on Jan. 8 at USC. It was Arizona’s first 40-point first half in eight games and marked the first time since that Bryant game Dec. 22 that UA scored 40 or more points in both halves of the same game. Arizona has scored 40 or more points in any half 12 times through 21 games.
ON TARGET: Three Arizona upperclassmen (Fogg/Hill/Lavender) combined to make 11-of-15 (.733) three-point field goal attempts Thursday as the Cats knocked down 15-of-26 treys (.577) to establish new season highs for treys made (15) and percentage (.577). On the year, UA connects on 38.1 percent of its long-range attempts (164-of-431) and leads the Pac-12 with an average of 7.8 made treys per game.
HUSTLING CAN HELP THE STATS: Arizona managed a clean sweep in several statistical categories en route to Thursday’s 85-61 win. UA held a 26-22 edge in points in the paint, a 23-9 advantage in points off turnovers, a 13-5 lead in second-chance points and a 28-20 edge in points off the bench. Furthermore, 14 of UA’s 16 uniformed players saw action against Washington State.
MAKING HIS MOVE: Kyle Fogg managed to etch his name a bit more definitively into the UA record book, as he jumped into the career top 10 in two categories Thursday and made a strong move in a third. With 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc against WSU, Fogg now ranks 10th on the UA career three-point field goals list with 161 and 10th on the three-point field goals attempted list with 406. He passed Nic Wise (2006-10) in both categories. Next up on the career treys list is current Wildcat Radio Network color analyst Matt Muehlebach (1987-91) at 163. Fogg’s current .397 (161-of-407) currently ranks eighth on the UA career list.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Thursday’s game saw Solomon Hill register 17 points and 11 boards (equaling a season high) to record his seventh double-double of the season. He now shares the team lead with fellow forward Jesse Perry. No set of teammates in the Pac-12 conference has as many combined double-doubles as Hill’s and Perry’s 14. Incidentally, Hill’s 17 points vs. Washington State was his highest offensive output in nine games and was his 15th double-figure scoring game of 2011-12.
A WELL-ROUNDED EFFORT: With each passing game, junior Kevin Parrom seems to look a bit more like his former self. Thursday vs. Washington State, the 6-foot-6 swingman nine points, four rebounds and four assists in 23 minutes. Over his last four games, the native of the Bronx, N.Y., is averaging 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists, while shooting 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from the field. Those figures are all improvements over his season averages of 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game and a .392 field goal percentage.
PRODUCTION FROM THE POINT: Much like teammate Kevin Parrom, freshman guard Josiah Turner has shown increased productivity in his last four outings. The 6-foot-3 Sacramento, Calif., product is averaging 9.8 points and 2.3 assists per game to go with a .500 (13-of-26) field goal percentage. In those four games, Turner ranks third on the team in scoring, is second in assists and leads the team with six steals.
OFF THE MARK: Somehow Thursday, Arizona managed to accomplish the rare feat of posting a higher field goal percentage (.508) and three-point field goal percentage (.577) than its free throw percentage (.500/10-of-20) – and this from a team that shoots a cumulative 70.1 percent (316-of-451) from the free throw line.
SCORING 80: Arizona scored 85 points Jan. 26 against Washington State, topping the 80-point plateau for the sixth time this year (6-0). Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 206-19 (.916) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Brandon Ashley (F, 6-8, 215) from Oakland, Calif., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Grant Jerrett (F, 6-10, 220) from LaVerne, Calif., who preps at LaVerne Lutheran H.S.; Kaleb Tarczewski (C, 7-0, 220) from Southborough, Mass., who preps at St. Mark’s School; and Gabe York (G, 6-1, 170) from Orange, Calif., who preps at Orange Lutheran H.S.; make up a class that was ranked No. 1 nationally by espn.com and rivals.com.
UP NEXT: Arizona next will be in action on Thursday, Feb. 2, when UA travels to Berkeley to take on California. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on FOX Sports Net.