Feb. 12, 2010
Date: Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010
Time: 6 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: KWBA-TV/FCS Pacific - DirecTV 623 (Thad Anderson/Corey Williams)
GAME DATA: Arizona (13-11, 7-5 Pac-10) looks to stay on the winning side of the ledger Saturday vs. Oregon State (10-13, 5-7 Pac-10) in McKale Center ... The Wildcats also are after its second weekend sweep of the Pac-10 schedule after picking up just its second Thursday win of the conference slate, Feb. 11, against Oregon ... UA's other weekend sweep came Jan 28-31 vs. Stanford and California also at home ... In five conference home games to date, Arizona posts a +8 scoring margin and is averaging 77.0 points per game ... However, Oregon State has not allowed a conference foe to score more than 75 points per game since the league opener on Dec. 31 ... Victory seems to favor the aggressive, so look to the steals category for an in-game indicator as these teams rank 1-2 in steals per game in conference play (OSU 7.4 spg/UA 6.8).
THE RANKINGS: Arizona remains unranked in both polls after opening the season unranked for just the third time in the last 23 seasons. The Cats closed the 2008-09 campaign ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his first season at the University of Arizona and his sixth overall as a college head coach with a record of 133-58 (.696) and 13-11 (.542) 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 ... Miller is 0-1 against Oregon State.
LAST TIME OUT: On the strength of some unselfish play, Arizona quickly pushed an eight-point halftime lead to double digits, Thursday, en route to a 70-57 win over Oregon. The Wildcats connected on 15-of-30 field goal attempts in the second period of which 13 came courtesy of an assist and 12 were either dunks or lay-ups. Derrick Williams scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the period, while Lamont Jones added 11 points and six boards, and Kyle Fogg equaled a career high with eight assists.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Beavers enter tonight's game with a 10-13 record (4-7 Pac-10) following Thursday's 56-46 loss at Arizona State. On the season, Oregon State averages 59.4 points per game, shoots 43.1 percent from the field (474-of-1,101) and 67.0 percent (315-of-470) from the line. OSU opponents average 61.0 points per game and outrebound the Beavers by an average of 0.4 boards per game. Individually, two OSU players average in double figures, led by Calvin Haynes's 13.0 ppg figure. Seth Tarver leads the team with a 4.7 rebounds per game average.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game is the 70th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 51-18 series advantage. UA has won 18 of the last 21 meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 28, 1975, but OSU won the last meeting, 67-64, on Jan. 14 in Corvallis. All-time, Arizona is 28-5 in series games played in Tucson, 20-13 in Corvallis, and 3-0 in neutral-site games. See page 109 of the UA media guide for more series information.
LAST MEETING: Oregon State 67, Arizona 64, Oregon 60, Jan. 14, 2010: A Lathen Wallace trey with 1.1 seconds to go put the cap on a game that featured wild swings of momentum. Oregon State led by as many as 13 points in the first half before Arizona came all the way back to build an 11-point lead in the second prior to OSU's finishing push. The Beavers held the Wildcats scoreless over the game's final 4:10, a span that featured five UA missed shots and three turnovers. Derrick Williams tallied 20 points and a game-high seven rebounds to lead Arizona.
BENCH MARKS: For the second time in three games, Arizona got solid play from its bench, as the Wildcat reserves posted 29 points in 64 minutes of action. All told, Kyryl Natyazhko, Lamont Jones, Brendon Lavender and Solomon Hill combined to hit 11-of-19 (.579) field goal attempts and grab 15 rebounds, including four of UA's 10 offensive boards in the contest. Through 24 games, the Arizona bench averages 15.5 points per game.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: With 12 freshmen and sophomores on the Arizona roster, it's hard not to count on the UA youth. That being said, the five Wildcat freshmen were especially productive in Thursday's win, combining for 49 points (70 percent of the offense) and 27 rebounds (68 percent of the rebounding) to go with a .645 (20-of-31) field goal percentage. In the second half alone, the UA frosh scored 32 of 34 points and shot .778 (14-of-18) from the field against the Ducks. In conference play, Arizona freshmen account for 44 percent of the scoring and 57 percent of the rebounding.
DR. DUNKENSTEIN, I PRESUME: Now that a Darrell Griffith reference has gotten your attention, it's worth noting that Arizona's performance Thursday would have made the former University of Louisville and Utah Jazz standout proud. Of Arizona's 28 field goals, 20 were either dunks or lay-ups. The percentage was even better in the second half, as 12 of UA's 15 field goals in the period (80 percent) were of the in-close variety.
THE PRINCIPAL PASS: The NCAA statistics manual defines an assist as "the principal pass contributing directly to a field goal." Arizona certainly had plenty of principal passes Thursday, as the Cats collected 20 assists on 28 total field goals. The effort was one helper shy of a season high and marked the third time this year that Arizona has collected 20 or more assists in a game. On average, Arizona collects 12.8 assists per game. Individually, Kyle Fogg (8) and Derrick Williams (3) set or equaled career highs in that statistical category.
CONTROLLING THE CAROMS: Led by its freshmen, Arizona posted a 40-33 rebound advantage over Oregon. Derrick Williams, Kevin Parrom and Lamont Jones shared team-high honors with six apiece. The Cats moved to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in Pac-10 play when it outrebounds the opposition, and UA's +2.3 rebound margin in conference games is second in the league. Additionally, Arizona's +7 margin equaled it's third-best effort in conference action.
A TOP-10 GUY: Senior guard Nic Wise moved into a tie for 10th place on the Arizona career steals list by collecting two thefts on Thursday. The 5-foot-10 product of Houston, Texas, now shares the spot with Mustafa Shakur (2003-07) with 156 pilfers.
FOGGY BOTTOM: The notable Washington, D.C., Metro stop and Arizona's sophomore Kyle Fogg were metaphorically similar Thursday, as each was ice cold. We're all aware of the snow storms that have hit our nation's capital, and UA's 6-foot-3 guard was an uncharacteristic 0-of-9 from the field. It marked the first time in his career that Fogg, a better than 40 percent shooter from three-point range, has attempted three or more field goals in a game and failed to sink at least one. Fogg found ways to affect the game, as he equaled a career high with eight assists. On the season, he is averaging 10.7 points and 2.3 assists per game.
A CONTINUING TREND: The Wildcats continue to do a nice job of challenging shots, as Arizona limited Oregon to just 38.6 percent (22-of-57) shooting Thursday. It marked the fifth time in the last seven games that Arizona has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor. UA opponents are shooting just 41.4 percent in Pac-10 play, a FG defense figure that ranks third in the league. Overall, Arizona has accomplished the feat nine times in 24 games.
THE BEAT GOES ON: Arizona freshman Derrick Williams continued one of the most consistently productive debut seasons Thursday with a 20-point, six-rebound, three-assist and two-steals performance. The 6-foot-8 forward from La Mirada, Calif., connected on 8-of-10 field goals in the effort to notch his eighth 20-point game of the season. All told, Williams is averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting .580 (123-of-212) from the field. Incidentally, Williams' eight 20-point games is as many as the rest of the team has combined (Wise 4, Fogg 2, Horne 2).
RUBBERBAND MAN: If there was one guy on the UA roster who fit the description of that classic 1970s tune by The Spinners, it would be freshman Kevin Parrom. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound swingman from the Bronx, N.Y., was seemingly everywhere Thursday, totaling six points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 20 minutes of action. Since returning from a stress fracture in his foot in late December, he's been a boost to the UA lineup, averaging 4.0 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Since being inserted into the starting lineup on Jan. 16, Arizona is 5-2.
PASS FIRST: Freshman guard Lamont Jones continues to develop into a very productive player. Thursday vs. the Ducks, Jones connected on 5-of-8 field goals en route to 11 points, to go with a season-high six rebounds and an assist. Over the last four games, he's averaged 9.3 points on 15-of-30 (.500) shooting and passed out eight assists. Asked of Jones' play of late following Thursday's game, UA coach Sean Miller said, "He really passes the ball better, he takes better shots...It's ironic that as he's passed up some shots and passed more, that his field-goal percentage and scoring has gone up." Jones has been in double figures three times in the last four games.
SOLID IN THE MIDDLE: Center Kyryl Natyazhko put forth a solid effort Thursday, tallying four points and five rebounds against Oregon. The 6-foot-10 freshman connected on 2-of-3 field goals and grabbed five or more rebounds in a game for the sixth time this season.
PERCOLATING: Forward Solomon Hill seems posed to break out of his slump of late, as the 6-foot-6 freshman is averaging 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds (11 offensive rebounds) over the last three games, while shooting .538 (7-of-13) from the field.
STOLEN MOMENTS: Led by Kevin Parrom, who collected a season-best three, Arizona tallied 10 steals Thursday against the Ducks, marking the third time this season that Arizona has reached double figures in that category. That's a good indication of solid defense from a club that averages 6.3 steals per game.
OUT OF THE GATE: Getting off to a good start can be helpful when it comes to winning ball games. This year, Arizona is 7-2 when leading at the 10-minute mark of the first half. UA is 10-3 (5-1 in Pac-10 play) in 2009-10 when leading at halftime.
SCORING 80: Arizona scored 87 points Jan. 10 vs. Washington, breaking the 80-point barrier for the fifth time this year. Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 185-19 (.907) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 5-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
EARLY SIGNEE: The Arizona coaching staff signed one student-athlete to a National-Letter-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Daniel Bejarano (G, 6-5, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., North High School. According to Bob Gibbons' All-Star Sports Top 250, he is No. 40 overall prospect in the country.
UP NEXT: The Cats get an eight-day respite before returning to the court when the squad hosts intrastate rival Arizona State on Sunday, Feb. 21. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on FOX Sports Net.