Feb. 25, 2011
Date: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011
Time: 1 p.m. PST
Location: Pauley Pavilion (12,819), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Live Audio
Game Data: Tenth-ranked Arizona (23-5, 12-3 Pac-10) plays its final true road game of the regular season Saturday at UCLA (20-8, 11-14 Pac-10) in Pauley Pavilion ... The sprint for the Pac-10 regular season title begins this afternoon: a UA win clinches at least a share of that title, while a UCLA victory knots the standings with two games remaining ... Perhaps ball security will play a key role today, as Arizona and UCLA rank 9-10 in the Pac-10 in turnover margin in league play, each turning it over around 3.0 more times per game than opponents ... The Bruins and Wildcats each allow opponents to score roughly 66 points per game, but UA scores 6.6 more points per game.
The Rankings: Currently,
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 159-67 (.704) and 39-20 (.661) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 3-2 vs. UCLA as a head coach.
Last Time Out: Nikola Vucevic scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in the last four minutes to lead USC to a 65-57 victory Thursday and end UA's eight-game win streak. Arizona led 54-50 with 3:59 to go before succumbing to Vucevic's closing push that saw USC outscore UA, 15-3, in that span.
Scouting UCLA: The Bruins enter today's game with a 20-8 record (11-4 Pac-10) following Thursday's 71-53 win over
The Series: Today's game is the 83rd meeting of the two schools with UCLA holding a 47-35 series advantage.
Streak Stopped: USC limited
Another Streak Stopped: During Thursday's loss at USC, another streak came to an end: Derrick Williams' streak of 36 consecutive games in double figures, as the sophomore forward tallied just eight points. The last time Williams failed to score 10 or more points came on Feb. 4, 2010, when he tallied just three points at
No Surprise there: As mentioned above,
Here's an Obvious one: Rebounds Matter: While UA and USC both pulled down 35 rebounds Thursday, the simple fact that
That's Uncharacteristic: Two things happened to the Wildcats in Thursday's loss that simply hadn't before. First, the Cats lost a game in which it led at halftime, and second, it lost a game in which it led with five minutes to go in the second half. Entering Thursday's game, UA was 21-0 when leading at the break. In its eight Pac-10 road games to date,
A Need for Improvement: Look no further than
Better, but not good enough: Thursday's loss saw
Still Holding Strong: One statistic that still fell in favor of the Wildcats was three-point field goal defense. Thursday, UA held USC to just 10.0 percent shooting (1-of-10) from behind the arc. That effort echoes a season-long effort that has seen
A Lack of Aggressiveness: Three statistics in the boxscore can tell a lot about aggressiveness - offensive rebounds steals and free throws. When looking at Thursday's box, USC easily claimed two of those. The Trojans compiled six steals to a season-low one for the Wildcats, while also outscoring UA, 22-13 from the free throw line. Getting outscored from the line is a rarity for these Cats, as opponents have only accomplished the feat eight times this season. On average,
Not Too Often: Thursday's game marked the first time in Derrick Williams' career that he had grabbed 10 or more rebounds in a game, but failed to notch a double-double. Against USC, Williams grabbed 11 rebounds, marking the 10th time this season (14th career) that he has pulled down 10 or more rebounds. Interestingly, Thursday was the first time in his career that Williams had attempted more than 10 field goals and failed to make at least five.
Quietly Efficient: Kevin Parrom reached double figures for the ninth time (11th career) this season at USC, connecting on 4-of-7 field goal and finishing with 10 points to go with two rebounds and an assist. Over the last nine games, Parrom is averaging 8.9 points per game, while shooting .596 (28-of-47) from the field and .556 (10-of-18) from three-point range. Of his nine games in double figures this year, four have come in the last seven games.
Soldiering on: Jesse Perry proved to be the most assertive Wildcat Thursday, posting 12 points, six boards and a season-high two blocked shots in just 18 minutes. The 6-foot-6 forward connected on 3-of-6 field goals and got to the free throw line a career-high eight times (made six). In Pac-10 play, the
Sluggish Second Half: Thursday's game marked just the second time this year that Arizona was outscored by more than 10 points in the second half (40-29). UA has accomplished that feat eight times to date.
Early Signees: The
Up Next: Following today's game, the Wildcats close the regular season with a pair of home games, beginning on Thursday, March 3, with a contest vs.Oregon State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on FSN.