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Arizona Men's Basketball Game Notes, 11/28/2006
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 28, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 5:  No. 16 Arizona (3-1) vs. UNLV (4-1)


Date:  Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006

Time:  8:30 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. 16 Arizona (3-1, 0-0 Pac-10) returns to action Tuesday following a six-day break to host UNLV (4-1, 0-0 MWC) in McKale Center ... It is the first meeting of the traditional Western basketball powers since Feb. 18, 1990 ... Arizona continues to lead all Pac-10 teams with a 94.8 points per game scoring average, but ranks 10th in scoring defense at 79.0 ppg ... UNLV favors a similar style and averages 82.0 points per game and posts a +10.0 scoring margin in its five games played.


The Rankings:  Arizona slipped to No. 16 in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll after winning its lone game last week.  The Wildcats have been ranked in each poll this 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 764-270 (.739) and 572-178 (.763) 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 336-35 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 264 of its last 283 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 1-5 against UNLV.


Last Time Out:  Arizona jumped out to a 46-18 halftime lead and cruised to the easy 86-57 win over Samford on Nov. 22.  The Cats shot 62 percent from the floor and held a 27-10 rebound advantage in the opening stanza, while limiting the Bulldogs to 21 percent accuracy.  All five Arizona starters finished in double figures, while four of the five grabbed at least eight rebounds.  Marcus Williams, Chase Budinger and Mustafa Shakur each finished with 14 points.


Scouting UNLV:  The Runnin’ Rebels (4-1, 0-0 MWC) enter play tonight riding a two-game win streak following Saturday’s 96-88 win over San Francisco.  Tonight’s game in McKale Center is UNLV’s first road game of the year.  As a team, the Rebs average 82.0 points per game, shoot 46.1 percent (143-of-310) from the field and outrebound the opposition by +1.2 boards per game.  Sporting a balanced attack, four UNLV players average in double figures, led by Wink Adams’ 15.4 points per game figure.  Wendell White leads the club with a 6.0 rebounds per game mark.


The Series:  Tonight’s game is the 14th meeting of the two schools with UNLV holding a 9-4 series advantage.  UNLV has won seven of the last eight meetings, including the last ?- a 95-87 triumph on Feb. 18, 1990, in Las Vegas.  Prior to that 1990 game, UA and UNLV had met in five of the previous six seasons.  All-time, Arizona is 4-1 in series games played in Tucson, 0-6 in Las Vegas and 0-2 in neutral-site games.


The Last Meeting:  UNLV 95, Arizona 87, Feb. 18, 1990:  The Runnin’ Rebels got a game-high 26 points from Larry Johnson, one of five UNLV starters to finish in double figures, to outlast Arizona.  Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the field, but Arizona turned it over 19 times and was outrebounded, 34-30.  The Cats got 23 points off the bench from Sean Rooks, but could get no closer than five points in the second half.  Six weeks later, UNLV won the 1990 national championship.


Against the Mountain West:  Arizona carries an all-time record of 180-132 (.577) record against teams that currently reside in the Mountain West Conference.  Over the last five seasons, Arizona is 6-0 against MWC foes.


Leading the Way:  In his lone appearance last week, Mustafa Shakur led Arizona to a 29-point win over Samford by posting 14 points, six assists and zero turnovers in the effort.  Shakur was 5-of-9 from the field, including 1-of-2 from three-point range, and 3-of-3 from the line with a rebound in 26 minutes.  It marked the fifth time in his career that Shakur has tallied five or more assists in a game without a turnover.  On the season, Shakur is averaging 13.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.


On Target:  Arizona has posted a higher field goal percentage that its opponent in all four games this season.  UA has out-shot the opposition by a minimum of 11 percentage points in each game.  Outshooting the opposition is a good indicator of success, as Arizona is 17-4 (.810) when outshooting the opposition over the last two seasons.


High Octane:  Despite scoring a season-low 86 points in Wednesday’s win, Arizona is averaging 94.8 points per game. Led by Chase Budinger’s team-leading 20.5 ppg average, all five Wildcat starters are averaging better than 13 points per game.  Incidentally, the last Arizona team to average better than 90 points per game for the entire season was the 1997-98 club that averaged 90.8 points in a 30-5 season and all five of those starters were in double figures as well.


Get Out Early:  In Wednesday’s win over Samford, Arizona raced to a 46-18 halftime lead.  Arizona connected on a season-high 61.8 percent (21-of-34) of its field goal attempts in the first half and limited Samford to just 20.7 percent (6-of-29) shooting in the opening half.  Interestingly, 23 of Samford’s 29 attempts and four of its six field goals in the first 20 minutes were from behind the three-point line.  Samford shot 35.1 percent for the game, a UA opponent low for the season.


Cause and Effect:  Missed shots obviously lead to rebounds and Arizona pulled down a season-high 47 rebounds in Wednesday’s win over Samford.  Additionally, UA’s +26 rebound margin was also a season best.  This season Arizona is 3-0 when outrebounding the opposition and posts a +11.2 rebound advantage through four games.


That’s More Like It:  Through four games, Arizona is shooting .550 (138-of-251) percent from the field as a team.  Four of five starters are shooting better than 50 percent from the floor, led by Ivan Radenovic’s .750 (24-of-32) percent accuracy.  All told,  the UA starters are shooting a combined 120-of-206 (.583) from the field.


Nearing a Milestone:  Ivan Radenovic enters the week with averages of 17.3 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 75.0 percent (24-of-32) from the field.  He is two rebounds shy of 500 career rebounds and 100 points shy of 1,000 career points.


In November:  Over the last 24 years, UA is 56-15 (.789) in the month of November. Twenty-six of the Cats’ 71 games (37 percent) in November under Olson have been against ranked teams. Olson’s clubs have gone 18-8 (.692) in those contests.


Topping 1,000:  With 14 points on Wednesday, Mustafa Shakur became the 40th player in Arizona history to score 1,000 career points.  In 104 career games played, the 6-foot-3 senior from Philadelphia has 1,004 career points, good for a 9.7 ppg average.


A Time to Share:  If you’ve read this far, you may already know that Mustafa Shakur tallied six assists and zero turnovers in 26 minutes against Samford.  To further the point, Arizona is 44-11 (.800) during Shakur’s career when he passes out five or more assists in a game.   Through four games this season, Shakur is averaging a career-best 7.8 assists per game to go with a 2.82 assist:turnover ratio.


Active on the Perimeter:  Junior Jawann McClellan continues to be productive from a number of spots on the floor.  Against Samford on Wednesday, McClellan pulled down a career-high nine rebounds (four offensive) to go with 12 points, an assist and a block.  On the year, McClellan is averaging 16.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 57.9 percent (22-of-38) from the field and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from three-point range.  McClellan is averaging 30.5 minutes per game.


Off the Bench:  Freshman Nic Wise set new season highs with nine points, three field goals (in seven attempts) and nine points against Samford.  The 5-foot-9 guard from Kingwood, Texas, is averaging 3.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game as UA’s primary back-up point guard.


Ring Ceremony:  Arizona’s 2006 softball team will receive its national championship rings during halftime of tonight’s game.  The national championship was the 17th for the University of Arizona and the seventh for the softball program (1991, ?'93, ?'94, ?'96, ?'97, 2001 and 2006) and head coach Mike Candrea.


Always On the Run:  Early this season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  Here are the ones of note to date:

25-0 run over 7:45 vs. New Mexico State, Nov. 19 (UA went 11-of-16 during run: NMSU 0-of-10)

34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 15 (UA went 12-of-16 during run: NAU 3-of-16)

28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)

18-3 run over 4:15 at Virginia, Nov. 12 (UA went 6-of-8 during run: UVa 1-of-8)


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:  Following tonight’s late-night affair, Arizona returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 2, when the Cats take on Illinois in the Hall of Fame Challenge in Phoenix.  Tip-off is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.

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