Game 2: No. 15 Arizona (0-1) vs. Northern Arizona (1-1)
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Date: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006
Time: 7:30 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. 15 Arizona (0-1, 0-0 Pac-10) opens the home portion of the 2006-07 schedule Wednesday against Northern Arizona (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) in McKale Center ... The mythical state championship is on the line as the Lumberjacks come to Tucson after defeating Arizona State on Monday ... Tonight marks Arizona earliest home opener on the calendar since 1995-96, a 91-57 win over Long Beach State in the opening round of the 1995 Preseason N.I.T on this same date.
The Rankings: Following 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 761-270 (.738) and 569-178 (.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 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 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 333-35 (.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.
Last Time Out: Arizona spent the first 18 minutes building as much as a 19 point lead then spent the next 18 minutes giving it back and then some in Sunday’s 93-90 loss at Virginia. The Cats placed four players in double figures for the game, but allowed Virginia to score 57 points in the second half on 59.3 percent shooting as the Cavs rallied to win in the John Paul Jones Arena debut. Ivan Radenovic led Arizona with 24 points and eight rebounds.
Scouting Northern Arizona: The Lumberjacks (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky) come to town riding high following Monday’s 75-71 win at Arizona State. NAU has not been shy with the schedule, opening with games at Kansas (L, 57-91), at Arizona State and at Arizona. The Lumberjacks average 66.0 points per game and shoot 41.4 percent from the field (46-of-111), though the squad did shoot 51.0 percent (26-of-51) against the Sun Devils. Individually, four NAU players average in double figures, led by Tyrone Bazy’s 14.5 ppg mark. Ruben Boykin, Jr., leads the team with a 6.5 rebounds per game average.
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 116th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding an 88-27 series advantage. Counting this meeting, UA and NAU have met in four of the last five seasons. Arizona has won 22 straight games in the series and 37 of the last 40, including last season’s 75-66 win on Dec. 8, 2005, in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 58-5 in series games played in Tucson, 29-21 in Flagstaff, and 0-1 in neutral-site games. See page 100 of the Arizona basketball media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 75, Northern Arizona 66, Dec. 8, 2005: Arizona made just enough plays down the stretch to hold off Northern Arizona in the nine-point win. Hassan Adams scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half to lead the Wildcats, while Ivan Radenovic posted his second consecutive double-double and J.P. Prince added 10 assists. UA turned 21 NAU turnovers into 24 points in the contest.
Against the Big Sky: Bolstered by its series with NAU, Arizona holds a 97-32 (.752) cumulative record against schools that currently make up the Big Sky Conference. Aside from the Lumberjacks, Arizona has not played a current Big Sky foe since 1995.
For (home) Openers: Under Lute Olson Arizona is an impressive 20-3 (.870) in home openers, including a streak of 13 straight victories. The last time UA lost a McKale Center season debut happened on Dec. 6, 1992, an 86-80 loss to Arkansas.
In November: Fast starts are the norm for the Cats under Lute Olson. Over the last 24 years, Arizona is 53-15 (.779) in the month of November. The numbers become even more impressive considering the quality of competition Olson typically schedules to prepare his squads for the conference season. Twenty-six of the Wildcats’ 65 games (40 percent) in the month of November under Olson have been against ranked teams. Olson’s clubs have gone an impressive 18-8 (.692) in such contests.
First the Good: Arizona went a long way towards answering a few preseason concerns in the season-opening game at Virginia. The Cats placed four players in double figures en route to 90 points, a figure that was 16.3 points higher than last season’s scoring average. UA also connected on 47.0 percent of its field goal attempts (31-of-66), which is a 24-point improvement over last year’s .446 mark.
Now the Bad: The Wildcat defense allowed Virginia to shoot 59.3 percent (16-of-27) in the second half, as the Cavs outscored Arizona 57-41 in the final period. What makes those numbers more alarming is that as a team last season Virginia averaged 67.9 points per game while shooting 41.5 percent from the field.
After the Run: Midway through the first half of Sunday’s game, Arizona posted an 18-2 run over 3:28 that gave the Cats a 14-point lead with just under 11 minutes remaining. What turned out to be a telling span in the contest occurred shortly thereafter. Arizona held Virginia without a field goal for 5:15, but could not extend the lead during that stretch. After eventually pushing the lead to as many as 19 (2:49), UA held just a 13-point cushion at the halftime break.
Start Me Up: The Wildcat starting lineup were responsible for most of the productivity in Sunday’s loss, totaling 82 points, 27 rebounds and shooting a collective 28-of-54 (.519) from the field, including .467 (7-of-15) from three-point range. Admittedly, the quintet did play 162 of the 200 minutes.
A Balanced Effort: Even though Arizona managed to equal Virginia on the boards, 36-36, Sunday, one fact that was reassuring was that it was a balanced effort. Led by Marcus Williams and Ivan Radenovic, who each pulled down eight boards, six players grabbed three or more rebounds. A tie on the boards could be reassuring in itself as the Cats were outrebounded in 20 of 33 contests last season.
A Rarity: Generally speaking, when Arizona puts points on the board wins usually follow. That only makes Sunday’s loss even more striking. Since the start of the 2000-01 season, UA has scored 90 or more points 50 times in that span, and in those games, Arizona has a 46-4 (.920) record. Prior to the trip to Charlottesville, Arizona had won its last 20 games when topping the 90-point plateau. The last time UA dropped a game when scoring at least 90 points came Jan. 15, 2004, in a 99-90 loss at USC.
Leading the Way: Senior Ivan Radenovic got off on the right foot at Virginia, as he posted 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the contest. The 6-foot-10 forward was about as efficient as one could hope, connecting on 7-of-8 FGs, including both three-point attempts, and 8-of-10 free throws. His 38 minutes played also set a new career high.
Making a Difference: Jawann McClellan made a welcome return to the UA perimeter at Virginia and made an immediate difference. The 6-foot-4 guard tallied 18 points and four offensive rebounds to go with two assists and a steal in 32 minutes. Most importantly, McClellan connected on 6-of-13 field goal attempts, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc. He set or equaled new career highs in field goals, FG attempts, three-point field goals, three-point FG attempts and minutes played.
Dating Back to Last Year: Marcus Williams collected 18 points and eight rebounds Sunday at Virginia, which continued a nice run for the 6-foot-7 forward. Over his last seven games dating back to last season, Williams is averaging 17.9 points and 5.9 rebounds, while scoring in double figures in each of those games. That’s the longest such streak on the squad.
A Nice Debut: Chase Budinger put forth a solid effort in Charlottesville, registering 17 points (15 in the first half), five rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. The 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif., hit 7-of-12 field goals, including a trey, in the effort. The 17 points equaled both the third-highest freshman scoring debut in the Lute Olson era and the ninth-best in school history. Here are the top-five debuts:
Player Date Result Points Reb.
Eric Money 11/29/1972 W, 94-87 vs. Cal State Bakersfield 37 3
Frank Smith 11/30/1979 L, 72-74 at Houston 25 13
Bob Elliott 11/30/1973 W, 101-80 vs. Illinois 22 19
Mike Bibby 11/22/1996 W, 83-72 vs. North Carolina 22 2
Hassan Adams 11/23/2002 W, 107-68 vs. North Carolina 22 4
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: The Wildcats are back in action on Sunday, Nov. 19, against New Mexico State. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. MST and will be televised by FSN Arizona.