Game 26: Arizona (15-10, 8-6) at Stanford (13-9, 9-4)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006
Time: 12:30 p.m. PST
Location: Maples Pavilion (7,233), Palo Alto, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: CBS (Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel)
Game Data: Arizona (15-10, 8-6 Pac-10) closes the road portion of the regular season schedule Sunday at Stanford (13-9, 9-4 Pac-10) ... The Cats, who close the season with three consecutive home games, hope to return home with a win, but are 5-9 this season away from home, including 3-5 in Pac-10 play ... Over the last 10 games, Arizona opponents are shooting 47.0 percent (252-of-535) from the field, including 38.0 percent (68-of-179) from three-point range, and are averaging 72.7 points per game.
The Rankings: For the fifth consecutive week, Arizona remained unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Cats saw its string of 312 consecutive regular-season AP poll appearances end on Dec. 19.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 756-266 (.740) and 564-174 (.764) 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 (313) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/313-93) 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 23-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 21 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 best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 331-34 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 259 of its last 277 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 32-15 against Stanford.
Last Time Out: California scored the first seven points of the game and never looked back in the 75-66 win Thursday. The Golden Bears’ Leon Powe was responsible for the first five points in the run and finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Behind Powe, who was 10-of-14 from the field and the line, Cal connected on 26-of-34 free throws and held a 26-14 scoring advantage from the stripe. Marcus Williams (21) and Ivan Radenovic (14) combined for 35 of Arizona’s 66 points.
Scouting Stanford: The Cardinal enter today’s game with a 13-9 record (9-4 Pac-10) following Thursday’s 82-69 win over Arizona State. As a team, Stanford shoots 42.8 percent from the field (507-of-1185), including 35.3 percent (107-of-303) from three-point range, while averaging 68.7 points per game. Opponents shoot at a 43.2 percent clip and are averaging 65.6 points per game. Three Cardinal average in double figures, led by Matt Haryasz’s 18.3 ppg and 8.8 rpg marks.
The Series: Today’s game is the 70th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 44-25 series advantage. Stanford has won five of the last eight meetings in the series, which dates back to 1937, though Arizona did win the last meeting, 90-81 (ot), on Jan. 19 in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 24-7 in series games played in Tucson, 17-16 in Palo Alto, and 3-2 in neutral-site games. Please see page 102 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 90, Stanford 81 (OT), Jan. 19, 2006: Mustafa Shakur scored seven of his 13 points in overtime, including a key bucket and free throw with 1:14 to go, as Arizona gutted out an emotional 90-81 win. Shakur also added a career-high 12 assists to notch his first career double-double. Both teams traded hot-shooting halves, as Arizona rode 54.8 percent shooting en route to an 11-point halftime lead. Stanford forced the extra session by shooting 63.6 percent in the second half and erasing the deficit. UA freshman Marcus Williams tallied a career-high 22 points, while Ivan Radenovic added 18 and a game-high eight rebounds.
Early and Often: Today’s game marks the sixth late morning/early afternoon start (prior to 1 p.m. local) for the Wildcats this season and UA is 4-1 in those contests.
Streaking, but not a good one: Arizona comes into today’s game having lost its last four road games. The last time Arizona lost four consecutive road games came in 1983-84, Olson’s first in Tucson. To answer the follow-up question, UA last lost five consecutive road games in that same 1983-84 season. Since Olson’s arrival in Tucson, no Pac-10 team has a better record in conference road games than Arizona’s 137-71 (.659) mark.
Less than seven: The Cats enter play this afternoon with an 8-6 Pac-10 record. In Olson’s 22 previous seasons, Arizona has had more than six league losses just three times (1984, 1997, 2004). Additionally, UA enters today’s game with a 3-5 Pac-10 road record and needing a win to avoid matching the worst league road mark under Olson, as both the 1984 and 1997 clubs stumbled to 3-6 records in Pac-10 road tilts. That goes up against a Stanford club that is 9-1 at home this season.
Point Production: If Arizona is going to be successful today, it will almost have to score 70 points to do so. Through 25 games, Arizona is 2-5 when scoring less than 70 points and 13-5 when topping the 70-point plateau. Arizona has reached its season scoring average (74.1 ppg) just once in the last six games.
From the four Spot: Arizona continues to get nice production from Ivan Radenovic. The 6-foot-10 forward from Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, is averaging 14.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game over his last 10 games. In that span, Radenovic has connected on 50-of-99 field goal attempts (.505) and 36-of-45 free throw attempts (.800), while finishing in double figures nine times. On the year, he is averaging 11.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 43.5 percent from the field.
Slow Starters: For some reason, Arizona has proven to be a slow-starting team, especially in conference action. In 14 league games, Arizona faces a slight deficit in first-half scoring, 33.6-33.4. That figure turns in the second half, as the UA scoring average rises to 40.9 ppg, a figure that is 2.3 ppg higher than the opposition. Incidentally, Arizona is 3-9 this season when trailing at the half, including a 1-6 mark in Pac-10 road games.
Outdone: Led by Leon Powe’s 10 rebounds Thursday, Arizona was outrebounded by California, 29-23. That marks the 15th time in 25 games that the Wildcats have been on the short end of the rebounding battle. In those games, Arizona has a 7-8 record.
Needs Improvement: Arizona failed to block a shot Thursday, marking the first time this season that UA had not tallied at least one blocked shot in game. The Cats also equaled a season-low with only two steals at California.
Some good, Some Bad: Arizona did a few things right on Thursday. It held a 19-16 advantage in points off turnovers and an 11-6 edge in second chance points. The Wildcat bench also outscored its California counterparts, 9-5. Unfortunately, Arizona sent the Golden Bears to the free throw line 34 times Thursday, where Cal made 26. Only Connecticut attempted and made more free throws against Arizona this season, as the Huskies made 30-of-35 charity tosses.
Find your Center: The Wildcats have enjoyed unseen levels of productivity from center Kirk Walters of late. In his last seven games, the 6-foot-10 junior from Grand Rapids, Mich., is averaging 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocked shots per game, while shooting 73.8 percent (31-of-42) from the field. In that time, Walters has finished in double figures three times and grabbed five or more rebounds five times. On the season, the center is averaging 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while posting a team-leading 58.6 field goal percentage.
The Epic Turnover Battle: The Wildcats forced California into 14 turnovers on Thursday, which marked the 22nd time in 25 games this season that UA had forced more turnovers than it commits in a game. On the season, Arizona is 15-7 when it wins the turnover battle.
Assisting the Cause: Mustafa Shakur passed out five assists Thursday in Berkeley, which is the 44th time in his career that he has done so. Arizona is 35-9 (.795) when Shakur accomplishes the feat, including 7-4 in 2005-06.
A Standoff: It might be easy to look at Leon Powe’s 30 points and 10 rebounds and say that the Golden Bears won the frontcourt battle. But the Arizona frontline certainly held its own, as the trio of Marcus Williams, Ivan Radenovic and Kirk Walters combined for 43 points (17-of-29 FGs) and 12 rebounds, while Cal’s Powe, Theo Robertson and DeVon Hardin amassed 48 points (18-of-27 FGs) and 15 boards.
From the Youngster: Marcus Williams has stepped things up recently, as he leads the team with averages of 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds over his last 10 games. The 6-foot-7 forward from Seattle, one of the leading candidates for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, connected on 54-of-119 field goal attempts (.454) in that span and averaged 2.0 assists per game. Through 25 games, Williams is averaging 12.1 points and 4.5 rebounds, and he ranks second on the team with 16 double-figure scoring games.
Toeing the Line: Mustafa Shakur has turned himself into one of the best free throw shooters in the Pac-10. He’s knocked down 14-of-16 free throws over his last three games, and has connected on 41-of-46 (.891) free throw attempts in his last 11 games. The effort has raised his season percentage to 81.6 percent (80-of-98).
Struggling: Arizona’s Hassan Adams has seen his numbers have dipped of late. In his last 10 games, the 6-foot-4 guard is averaging 13.8 points and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting 43.5 percent (60-of-138) from the floor. Only Adams’ assists (3.5 apg) are up during that span. By comparison, he is averaging 17.9 points and 5.4 rebounds to go with a .474 field goal percentage through 25 games.
Always On the Run: Throughout the season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity. The Wildcats’ have 11 scoring runs of 11 or more points this season:
29-1 run over 10:43 vs. Virginia, Nov. 27 (UVa went 0-of-12 with seven turnovers during the run)
33-15 run over 10:26 vs. Sam Houston State, Dec. 19 (UA 13-of-20 in run)
24-7 run over 9:53 at UCLA, Feb. 4 (UA 9-of-13 FG, 6-of-6 FT in run; UCLA 3-of-10 FG)
22-6 run over 8:19 at Oregon State, Jan. 12 (Seven TO and just 7 OSU FG attempts in run)
21-6 run over 7:12 vs. Michigan State, Nov. 23 (no MSU field goals in last 5:44 of regulation)
20-4 run over 9:10 vs. Kansas, Nov. 21 (KU hits 3-of-first-12 FG attempts with nine TO)
21-5 run over 7:57 at Houston, Dec. 3 (two UH FGs in last eight minutes of first half)
21-9 run over 12:23 vs. Connecticut, Nov. 22 (UA hits 7-of-11 FG in run)
25-11 run over 9:27 vs. USC, Jan. 7 (USC 4-of-13 FG, eight turnovers during run)
26-13 run over 13:04 vs. Saint Mary’s, Dec. 10 (nine SMC turnovers during run)
38-27 run over 13:52 at Washington, Dec. 31 (UA makes 10-of-first-14 FG to ignite 2nd half run)
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Chase Budinger (F, 6-7, 190) from Carlsbad, Calif., LaCosta High School; Jordan Hill (F, 6-8, 210) from Atlanta, Ga., The Patterson (N.C.) School; and Nic Wise (G, 5-10, 180) from Kingwood, Texas., Kingwood High School, will join the squad next fall.
Up Next: The Wildcats return home to close the regular season with three consecutive hoe games. The homestand begins next weekend, as UA hosts Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 25. The contest will tip-off at 2 p.m. MST and be televised by Fox Sports Net.