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UNLV Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/17/2007
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Television in Tucson: CSTV -- DISH Network 152, DirecTV 610 and Comcast 274.??Radio: KCUB 1290, KHYT 107.5

Game 10:? No. 19 Arizona (7-2) at UNLV (7-2)

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Date: ? Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007

Time: ? 7 p.m. PST

Location: ? Tarkanian Court, Thomas & Mack Center (18,500), Las Vegas, Nev.

Radio: ? Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen, KCUB 1290 AM/ KHYT 107.5 FM)

TV: CSTV (Tom Hart/Steve Lappas) - Carried in the Tucson market on expanded packages for?DISH Network (Channel 152), DirecTV (Channel 610), and Comcast (Channel 274).

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Game data: ? No. 21 Arizona (7-2, 0-0 Pac-10) steps away from the comforts of home to play at UNLV (7-2, 0-0 MWC) Wednesday in Las Vegas ... This is UAˇ?s first trip to Las Vegas to face the Rebels since 1990 ... Arizonaˇ?s next two games are against Mountain West Conference foes ... The Wildcats are 182-132 (.580) all-time against teams that currently reside in the Mountain West Conference.

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The Rankings: ? Following Sundayˇ?s win, Arizona rose in the polls dated Dec. 17, checking in at No. 19 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.

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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . will begin his 25th season at Arizona and his 35th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 780-280 (.736) and 589-187 (.759) at Arizona upon his return from a leave of absence, which was announced on Nov. 4 ... 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizonaˇ?s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLAˇ?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, ˇ®89, ˇ®90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 23 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, ˇ®88, ˇ®89, ˇ®93, ˇ®94, ˇ®98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ˇ®81) and directed the UA program to the nationˇ?s third-best winning percentage over the past 20 years (519-142/.785) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 52 NBA Draft picks, including 31 at Arizona ?C 25 alone since 1990 ... Heˇ?s led UA to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 or more 20-win seasons...Under Olson, the Cats are 344-40 (.896) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 296 home games ... He is assisted by Kevin Oˇ?Neill, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

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Last Time out: ? Jerryd Bayless scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in a decisive 20-2 run over the last nine minutes of the first half as the Wildcats won its fourth straight game, 69-50, Sunday vs. Fresno State.? Arizona was just as good at the other end, holding Fresno State to a season-low 50 points and 33.9 percent shooting, while outrebounding the Bulldogs, 41-25.? UA led by 16 at the break and eventually pushed the lead to 29 points.? Forwards Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill combined for 31 points and 14 rebounds.

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Scouting UNLV: ? The Runninˇ? Rebels enter play Wednesday with a 7-2 record after an 84-71 win over Fresno State on Dec. 8.? Through nine games, UNLV averages 75.2 points per game, shoots 42.8 percent (230-of-538), and is outrebounded by 4.1 rebounds per game.? Opponents shoot 41.5 percent from the floor and are outscored by nearly nine points per game.? Individually, three Runninˇ? Rebels average in double figures, led by Curtis Terry, who averages 13.8 points? per game.? Joe Darger leads UNLV with a 6.2 rebounds per game average.

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The Series: ? Tonightˇ?s game is the 15th meeting of the two schools with UNLV holding a 9-5 series advantage. UNLV has won seven of the last nine meetings, but UA captured the last ˇ? an 89-75 triumph in Tucson on Nov. 28, 2006.? It was the first meeting since 1990. All-time, Arizona is 5-1 in series games played in Tucson, 0-6 in Las Vegas and 0-2 in neutral-site games.? Please see page 100 in UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ? Arizona 89, UNLV 75, Nov. 28, 2006: ? Arizona closed the first half on a 17-7 run and opened the second half with a 23-8 run to jump to a 25-point lead and cruise to victory.? The Cats held a 45-30 rebound advantage and a 21-6 margin from the free throw line.? Ivan Radenovic scored a career-high 27 points, while Marcus Williams added 24.? Chase Budinger chipped in with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

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A Different Look on the Sidelines: ? Prior to the Nov. 4 exhibition game, it was announced that UA head coach Lute Olson would be taking a leave of absence due to a personal matter.? It was announced on Dec. 7 that Olson would not return this season.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.? Oˇ?Neill has 11 seasons of experience as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.? During Olsonˇ?s leave of absence all games will be credited to Oˇ?Neillˇ?s coaching record.

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Stepping Up: ? In leading Arizona to a win in its only game last week, Jerryd Bayless posted 21 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the 69-50 win over Fresno State.? The freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., shot 57.1 percent from the field (8-of-14), 57.1 percent from the free throw line (4-of-7) and collected three assists and two steals.? The effort was his fourth consecutive 20-point scoring game and his ninth straight game in double figures.? He scored 13 of those points in the first half as the Cats jumped out to a 16-point halftime lead.? On the season, Bayless averages 20.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.7 assists, while shooting .495 (54-of-109) from the field.

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Slight Improvements: ? It took Arizona three minutes to score Sunday vs. Fresno State, somewhat typical, with Jordan Hillˇ?s dunk off an offensive rebound the first Wildcat basket.? Unlike its last game, however, UAˇ?s first turnover of the game came seven minutes in, as opposed to the seven miscues in the first five minutes against Illinois on Dec. 8.? Arizona finished the FSU game with 10 turnovers, a figure that equaled the second-lowest total of the season.

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Finally, a Turn for the Better: ? While Arizona has shown an ability to score in bunches, Sundayˇ?s initial spurt didnˇ?t pull the Cats out of a hole.? It actually broke the game open.? Trailing 17-15 with 9:43 to go in the first half, UA outscored Fresno State, 20-2 to close the half to lead 35-19.? During that run, Arizona hit 8-of-13 shots while Fresno State made just 1-of-12 field goal attempts.? For good measure, Arizona opened the second half with a 19-7 run in the first nine minutes to push the lead to 28 points.

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Unselfishness: ? Arizona had 13 assists on its 15 field goals in the first half Sunday and finished with a total of 21 on 27 field goals (77.8 percent) in the game.? On the season, Arizona has 165 assists on 241 field goals (68.5 percent) and has collected 20 or more assists five times in nine games. Jawann McClellan had a career-high six helpers, while Chase Budinger tied his career-best with five.? Five Wildcats have double-figure assist totals and are averaging better than 1.5 assists per game.

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Scoring 80: ? Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 165-19 (.897) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.? Arizona is 3-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.

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Getting Defensive: ? Fresno Stateˇ?s first-half 19 points and 50 total points were UA opponent lows for 2007-08.? Arizona limited the Bulldogs to 29.2 percent (7-of-24) shooting in the first half, which was the lowest opponent FG percentage in any half this season.? UA limited Fresno State to just 33.9 percent shooting for the game, which was the third time this year that Arizona has held the opposition to less than 40 percent shooting.? On the year, UA opponents are shooting just 43.4 percent (223-of-514) from the field.

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A Distinct Advantage: ? Arizona posted its largest rebound margin of the season (+16) Sunday against Fresno State, outboarding the Bulldogs, 41-25.? It was the fourth time in the last five games that the Cats have outrebounded the opposition and three of those are +9 or better.? Over the last five games, Arizona is outrebounding the opposition by an average of +7.4, a figure that is 3.2 rebounds per game better than its season average.

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Looks can Be Deceiving: ? Chase Budinger put forth an efficient effort in Sundayˇ?s win, posting 16 points, five rebounds and five assists against Fresno State.? The 6-foot-7 forward hit 6-of-12 field goal attempts, including 3-of-6 from behind the arc, and did not commit a turnover in 35 minutes played.? Through nine games, Budinger is averaging 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

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More On Chase: ? ?The 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif., leads Arizona with 21 treys this season.? Additionally for Budinger, he ranks second on the club and 10th in the Pac-10 Conference with his 45.7 (21-of-46) three-point field goal percentage.? To date, Budingerˇ?s three-point FG is four points higher than his overall field goal percentage of .453.

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Another Good Option: ?? Freshman forward Jamelle Horne continues to provide a spark off the bench, as the San Diego native chipped in with five points, three boards and an assist in 19 minutes vs. Fresno State.? Horne knocked down 2-of-3 FG attempts, including a trey, and is averaging 5.5 points and 3.4 rebounds this season.

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A Delayed Debut: ? Forward Fendi Onobun made his first appearance of the year, entering the game with 3:13 to play. He had been sidelined with a shin injury through the first eight games.? He scored his first bucket of the year on a put-back with 2:15 to go.? The 6-foot-6 Onobun has displayed more than his share of patience in his two-plus years in Tucson.? During his freshman season back in 2005-06, Onobun intended to redshirt and sat out the first 16 games of the season, before electing to return to action on Jan. 19 of that season, where he made 16 appearances.

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A Freshman Comparison: ?? Nine games into his collegiate career and Jerryd Bayless is leading the Wildcats with a 20.0 ppg scoring average and has finished in double figures nine times.? Here is a quick comparison of UAˇ?s top five freshman scorers after their first nine games and how they finished the season.

Player????????????????????????? Year???????????????? Points??????? PPG????????? 10+????????? 20+??????? Finished???????? PPG

Coniel Norman??????????? 1972-73??????????????? 187??????? 20.8????????????? 9????????????? 5??????????????? 576???????? 24.0

Gilbert Arenas????????????? 1999-2000??????????? 114??????? 12.7????????????? 7????????????? 1??????????????? 523???????? 15.4

Sean Elliott???????????????? 1985-86??????????????? 128??????? 14.2????????????? 7????????????? 1??????????????? 499???????? 15.6

Eric Money????????????????? 1972-73??????????????? 145??????? 16.1????????????? 7????????????? 3??????????????? 492???????? 18.9

Chase Budinger?????????? 2006-07??????????????? 156??????? 17.3????????????? 8????????????? 2??????????????? 484???????? 15.6

Jerryd Bayless????????????? 2007-08??????????????? 180??????? 20.0????????????? 9????????????? 5??????????????????? --????????????? --

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After the Break: ? The Cats seem to have established itself as a second half club of sorts, as the team scores more points and holds opponents to fewer in the second stanza.? To date, UA averages 37.2 points per game in the first half and holds a +4.4 scoring margin.? Those figures rise to 38.1 points and a +7.0 margin after the break.

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Pointing out the Obvious: ?? It sure doesnˇ?t take a basketball genius to figure out that these figures certainly help in the pursuit of victory, but this season Arizona is 5-0 when shooting better than the opposition, 5-1 when posting fewer turnovers and 4-1 when outrebounding the opposition.

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Early Signees: ? The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.? Brandon Jennings (G, 6-0, 170) from Lakewood, Calif., Oak Hill Academy; Brendon Lavender (G, 6-4, 180) from Mesa, Ariz., Mountain View High School;? Emmanuel Negedu (F, 6-7, 230) from Bloomington, Ind., Brewster Academy; Jeff Withey (C, 6-11, 240) from San Diego, Calif., Horizon High School, will join the squad next fall.? According to rivals.com, this class was ranked as the seventh-best nationally.

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Up Next: ? Following tonightˇ?s game, the Cats return to action on Saturday, Dec. 22, when it hosts San Diego State in the Fiesta Bowl Classic.? Tip-off for that contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. MST and will be televised by FSN Arizona.

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