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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 11/19/2006
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 18, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 3:  No. 15 Arizona (1-1) vs. New Mexico State (1-1)


Date:  Sunday, Nov. 19, 2006

Time:  2 p.m. MST

Location:  Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

Radio:  Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

TV:  FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)


Game Data:  No. 15 Arizona (1-1, 0-0 Pac-10) returns to action Sunday by hosting New Mexico State (1-1, 0-0 WAC) in McKale Center ... It is the second of five Sunday games for the Cats this season ... This is New Mexico State’s first appearance in McKale Center in exactly seven years ... The Wildcats are averaging a robust 95.5 points per game, but the opposition is scoring at an 86.0 clip ... Five UA players currently average in double figures.


The Rankings:  Following last Sunday’s game, Arizona slipped to 15th in Associated Press Top 25 poll and to 16th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.  It’s the first time Arizona has been in back-to-back polls since Jan. 2-9 of last 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 762-270 (.738) and 570-178 (.762) 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 (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) 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 334-35 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 261 of its last 280 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 1-0 against New Mexico State.


Last Time Out:  Chase Budinger’s 32 points led an attack that saw Arizona score 101 points and post a 101-79 win Wednesday over Northern Arizona.  Budinger connected on 11-of-15 field goals, including 5-of-6 from three-point range, and led a UA attack that shot 58 percent from the floor and topped the 100-point plateau for the first time in 60 games.  The Cats limited NAU to 32.4 percent shooting in the second half in building as much as a 31-point lead.


Scouting New Mexico State:  The Aggies (1-1, 0-0 WAC) are in the middle game of a three-game road swing, following Friday’s 71-69 loss at Loyola Marymount.  NMSU won its season opener over Pacific, 76-74, on Tuesday.  As a team, the Aggies shoot 45.4 percent from the field (49-of-108), average 72.5 points per game, and outrebound the opposition by +0.5 boards per game (31.5-31.0).  Individually, five NMSU players average in double figures, led by Justin Hawkins’ 15.5 ppg clip.  Hawkins adds a team-leading 9.5 rebounds per game average.


The Series:  Today’s game is the 95th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 56-38 series advantage.  After playing on a nearly annual basis from 1917-71, the foes meet for just the second time since 1971.  Prior to UA’s 84-60 win on Nov. 19, 1999, NMSU had won six straight and 13 of the last 16 in the series.  All-time, Arizona is 30-11 in series games played in Tucson, 25-27 in Las Cruces, and 1-0 in neutral-site games.  See page 100 of the Arizona basketball media guide for more series information.


Last Meeting:  Arizona 84, New Mexico State 60, Nov. 19, 1999:  Michael Wright posted 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead Arizona to the 24-point win and a berth in the Preseason N.I.T. semifinals.  Wright was one of five Wildcats to finish in double figures and spearheaded an effort that saw Arizona limit NMSU to 34.4 percent shooting (21-of-61) and out rebound the Aggies, 46-32.  The Cats outscored NMSU 51-32 in the second half.


Against the Western Athletic Conference:  Arizona holds a 71-48 (.597) cumulative record against schools that currently make up the Western Athletic Conference.  Prior to this afternoon’s game, UA last met a WAC foe on March 17, 2005, a 66-53 Arizona win over Utah State in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Chicago Regional in Boise, Idaho.  Arizona was a charter member of the WAC from 1962-78.


No Stranger to Tucson:  Second-year NMSU head coach Reggie Theus faced Arizona three times during his collegiate playing career at UNLV (1975-78) where he posted a 1-2 record.  He tallied no points in nine minutes of a 98-94 UNLV win in Las Vegas on Dec. 10, 1975, and added two points, four boards and three assists in the epic 1976 West Regional semifinal in Los Angeles on March 18, a 114-109 UA win in overtime.  Theus also played in the 114-89 UA win in Tucson on Jan. 24, 1978, but the boxscore for that game is unavailable.  Additionally, Theus led the Rebels to a 121-95 win over San Francisco in first round NCAA Tournament action in McKale Center in 1977.


Scoring 100:  By posting four players in double figures Wednesday, Arizona tallied 101 points against Northern Arizona.  It was the first time the Cats have scored 100 or more points since Dec. 21, 2004, in a 105-75 win over Manhattan.  That’s a span of 60 games.  The last time Arizona went at least 60 games without scoring 100 came from Feb. 7, 1998 to Nov. 25, 2000 ?- a span of 79 games.


A Consistent Approach:  Much was made of Arizona’s need to improve its field goal percentage over last season’s 44.6 percent mark.  Through the first two games, there has been marked improvement as UA has connected on 52.4 percent (66-of-126) of its field goal attempts.  Furthermore, Arizona has shot 50 percent or better in three of four halves this season.  Opponents have managed to do that only once in four halves.


Joining Elite Company:  Freshman Chase Budinger knocked down 11-of-15 field goal attempts Wednesday vs. Northern Arizona, including 5-of-6 from three-point range, to finish with a game-high 32 points.  That total was the seventh highest by a freshman in Arizona history.  Additionally, he is the first freshman to score 30 or more points in a single game in 33 seasons, and one of only four players to accomplish the feat in the era of freshman eligibility (1972-73 to the present).  Here is the complete list:

38, Coniel Norman vs. Brigham Young, 2/24/1973

38, Bob Elliott vs. Arizona State, 2/2/1974

37, Eric Money vs. Cal State Bakersfield, 11/29/1972

37, Coniel Norman vs. Wyoming, 2/1/1973

37, Eric Money vs. Arizona State, 2/17/1973

34, Coniel Norman vs. New Mexico, 1/6/1973

32, Chase Budinger vs. Northern Arizona, 11/15/2006


More (Impressive) On Chase:  Chase Budinger’s 17 points on Nov. 12 at Virginia equaled the ninth-highest total in UA history for a freshman debut.  But when you factor in Wednesday’s 32-point performance, Budinger moves into a class all his own.  No freshman to score 17 or more points in his collegiate debut has ever combined for more points in his first two games than the 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif.  Here is the top-10, two-game freshman scoring list:

Player                 Dates                        Opponents                                                    Total Points

Chase Budinger  11/12-11/15/2006      Virginia (17)/Northern Arizona (32)                                  49

Eric Money          11/29-12/2/1972        Cal State Bakersfield (37)/San Francisco (9)                   46

Hassan Adams   11/23-11/27/2002      Western Kentucky (22)/Northern Arizona (21)                43

Frank Smith         11/30-12/3/1979        Houston (25)/San Jose State (13)                                    38

Bob Elliott             11/30-12/1/1973        Illinois (22)/USC (13)                                                         35

Mike Bibby           11/22-11/26/1996      North Carolina (22)/Northern Arizona (13)                       35

Coniel Norman     12/2-12/4/1972          San Francisco (20)/Stanford (14)                                    34

Herman Harris     11/30-12/1/73            Illinois (20)/USC (6)                                                           26

Ivan Radenovic   12/28-12/30/2003      Liberty (17)/Louisiana-Lafayette (8)                                 25

Gilbert Myles       11/29-12/3/1974        Northern Illinois (17)/UC Davis (6)                                     23


Scoring 30:  Chase Budinger becomes the first Wildcat to score 30 or more points in a game this year and equals the UA season total from 2005-06.  Breaking the 30-point barrier isn’t exactly a common occurrence in these parts.  Since the start of the 2000-01 season, UA players have totaled 16 such games in 204 total games played.


So Close:  Senior guard Mustafa Shakur came two rebounds shy of his first career triple-double when he tallied 20 points (7-of-9 FG), eight boards and 10 assists Wednesday against Northern Arizona.  It was, however, Arizona first double-double of the season and the fourth double-double of his career.  Incidentally, Arizona’s Andre Iguodala was the last Pac-10 player to post a triple-double, when he tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Feb. 14, 2004 vs. UCLA.


Making An Appearance:  By starting and playing 25 minutes on Wednesday, Mustafa Shakur moved into a tie for 10th place on the Arizona career starts list with 100.


Emerging in the Middle:  Freshman Jordan Hill continues to improve in the center position.  The 6-foot-9 product of Atlanta, Ga., hit 3-of-4 field goals Wednesday against the Lumberjacks and finished with eight points, four rebounds and a UA season-high three blocked shots.


Preseason Prognostications:  According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference, Arizona was picked to finish second in this year’s Pac-10 race.  Arizona received 13 first-place votes and 280 points overall and trailed only UCLA in the poll.  It is the firs time in five seasons that Arizona has not been selected as the preseason team to beat.  Incidentally, the Cats have been the preseason favorite in 11 of the last 17 seasons.


Preseason Kudos:  Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams were named to the 2006-07 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team, the award’s national selection committee announced Oct. 17.  Shakur, a 6-foot-3, senior guard from Philadelphia, and Williams, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from Philadelphia, are among 50 student-athletes on the list.  Arizona is one of only nine schools nationally to have two or more players on the list.


On to the Next Level:  With the 2006-07 National Basketball Association regular season past the All-Star break, no fewer than 10 former Arizona Wildcats are on active NBA rosters.  Only three schools nationally have more alumni in the league (Connecticut, 14; Duke, 13; North Carolina, 12).  Here is the complete list:  Hassan Adams, New Jersey Nets; Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings; Channing Frye, New York Knicks; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers; Richard Jefferson, New Jersey Nets; Damon Stoudamire, Memphis Grizzlies; Salim Stoudamire, Atlanta Hawks; Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks; and Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers.


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:  Arizona’s current four-game homestand continues Wednesday, Nov. 22, when the team hosts Samford.  Tip-of is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MST and will be televised by FSN Arizona.

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