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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 2/25/2007
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 22, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 27:  Arizona (17-9, 8-7) at Arizona State (7-19, 1-14)


Date:  Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007

Time:  6 p.m. MST

Location:  Wells Fargo Arena (14,141), Tempe, Ariz.

Radio:  Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)        

TV:  FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)


Game Data:  Arizona (17-9, 8-7 Pac-10) begins a three-game road trip to close the regular season Sunday night at intrastate rival Arizona State (7-19, 1-14 Pac-10)  ... Arizona is trying to avoid its second three-game losing streak of the season while Arizona State looks for back-to-back victories for the first time since Dec. 19 and 21 ... A win tonight would give Arizona a positive record in true road games this season, as the Cats are currently 4-4 in such contests ... The last five games in Tempe have been decided by an average of 13.4 points, and UA has won four of those games.


The Rankings:  After losing two games last week, Arizona fell out of both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.  It’s the first time the Wildcats have been unranked in both polls 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 778-278 (.737) and 586-186 (.759) 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (324) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.762/324-101) 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 344-40 (.896) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 296 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 42-7 against Arizona State.


Last Time Out:  Josh Shipp scored 13 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and Darren Collison added 17 points and 15 assists as fifth-ranked UCLA cruised to the 81-66 victory last Saturday.  Arizona used a 7-0 run over the last 2:15 of the first half to cut the deficit to one, but the Bruins, who shot 57.1 percent from the field in the second, had the lead back up to seven within the half’s first three minutes.  Fifteen of Collison’s 17 points came from the three-point line as UCLA outscored UA, 39-12, from behind the arc.  Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams led the Cats with 17 points each.


Scouting Arizona State:  The Sun Devils (7-19, 1-14 Pac-10) snapped a 15-game losing streak with a 68-58 win at home over USC last Saturday.  As a team, ASU averages 59.7 points per game, shoots 41.4 percent (558-of-1,348) from the field and posts a +2.5 per game rebound margin.  Defensively, the Sun Devils allow 62.7 points per game and a .439 field goal percentage.  Two ASU players average in double figures, led by Christian Polk’s 12.5 points per game figure.  Jeff Pendergraph leads the club with a 9.4 rebounds per game mark.


The Series:  Tonight’s game is the 211th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 137-73 series advantage. Arizona has won 23 of the last 24 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, including the last meeting, 71-47, on Jan. 24 in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 77-25 in series games played in Tucson, 59-48 in Tempe, and 1-0 in neutral-site games. Please see page 99 in the UA media guide for more series information.


Last Meeting:  Arizona 71, Arizona State 47, Jan. 24, 2007:  Arizona got what it needed most ?- a win ?- and received enough solid performances to feel good about the effort.  Four players finished in double figures, the team shot 50 percent from the floor and limited Arizona State to a season-low 47 points.  Arizona used a 17-6 run to close the first with an 11-point lead then methodically pushed the lead to as many as the final tally.  Chase Budinger led all players with game-high totals of 21 points and 10 rebounds.


A Little Too Quickly:  It took 23 years for an opponent to surpass a 12-point win by Tennessee (61-49) on Dec. 23, 1983, as the worst home loss for the Wildcats under Lute Olson.  Somewhat surprisingly, it took just 21 days for the feat to be accomplished again, as UCLA topped Arizona, 81-66, on Feb. 17.  Here is the list of worst McKale Center losses under Lute Olson:

28 ?- North Carolina 92, Arizona 64;  Jan. 27, 2007

16 ?- UCLA 81, Arizona 66;  Feb. 17, 2007

10 ?- Stanford 82, Arizona 72;  Jan. 10, 2004

10 ?- Oregon 90, Arizona 80;  Jan. 4, 2002

10 ?- UCLA 71, Arizona 61;  Jan. 19, 1995


Swept Away:  By dropping home games to both USC (80-75) and UCLA (81-66) last week, the Wildcats were swept at home in a conference weekend for the first time since the 1983-84 campaign.  On Jan. 12 & 14, 1984, Arizona was defeated by Washington (55-53) and Washington State (51-49), respectively, which marked the last time a pair of conference foes entered McKale Center and won during the same weekend.


Above Water: A win tonight would improve the Arizona record to 5-4 this season in true road games.  With road three games remaining on the schedule, UA still can finish the year with a positive record in road games.  Last season, Arizona was 5-7 in true road games.  Over the previous five seasons, Arizona is 35-21 (.625) in true road games.


Denting the Scoreboard:  Arizona scored 66 points in last Saturday’s loss to UCLA, a figure that is 14 points less than its season scoring average.  All told, UA is just 1-4 this year when scoring less than 70 points.  Over its last nine games, Arizona is averaging just 71.6 points per game.


Pressure the Shooters:  In sweeping Arizona last week, USC and UCLA combined to shoot 51.7 percent (62-of-120) from the field as each shot better than 50 percent vs. the Wildcats.  On the season, just six opponents have managed to shoot better than 50 percent from the field against Arizona.  However, field goal percentage does loom large, as the Wildcats are 2-7 this year when opponents post a higher FG percentage.


The Take on Turnovers:  Through 26 games, Arizona has averaged 13.7 turnovers per game, or 1.4 more turnovers per game than the opposition.  While it would be preferred to have those numbers reversed, UA’s assist:turnover ratio (1.20) is still the second-best figure in the Pac-10.  If it boils down to sheer numbers, than here is something on which to chew.  Arizona has posted more turnovers than the opponent 15 times in 2006-07 and the club is 7-8 in those games.  When Arizona forces more turnovers, the team is 10-1.


Relying on the Three:  After UCLA connected on 13-of-28 (.464) three-point field goal attempts in last Saturday’s win, it almost felt like the Bruins were relying on that offensive weapon.  In conference play, opponents are shooting 36.5 percent (124-of-340) from behind the arc ?- 10 points higher than Arizona ?- and are averaging nearly three more three-point field goals per game (8.3-5.7).  In league play, opponents are averaging more than 22 long-range attempts per game.


Board Work:  One statistics that almost unfailingly continues is Arizona’s ability to control the boards.  The Wildcats outrebounded the Bruins, 31-29, last Saturday, which marked the 20th time in 26 games that Arizona has collected more caroms than the opposition.  In conference play, Arizona has outrebounded its last 12 opponents and 13 of 15 overall.  In the last 12 league games, Arizona has outrebounded seven of them by seven rebounds or more.  In conference games, UA’s rebound margin in +5.3.


Stepping Up:  On the season, Arizona averages 24.5 free throw attempts per game (12.8 more than the opponent), and outscores the opposition by an average of 10.4 points per game.  Arizona has made 172 more free throws (475) than the opposition has attempted (303).  UA’s 475 made free throws surpass the number of FT attempts by five other Pac-10 schools.


The Century Mark:  By equaling a season high with two treys in four attempts against UCLA, Mustafa Shakur moved closer to a statistical milestone.  The 6-foot-3 senior from Philadelphia enters Saturday’s game one three-point field goal shy of 100 for his career.  In 126 career games played, Shakur has connected on 99-of-269 (.368) three-point field goal attempts.


Elite Company:  Freshman Chase Budinger’s 13 points last week against the Bruins pushed him into some elite company.  The 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif., became just the ninth freshman in Arizona history to score more than 400 points in his debut season.  He currently has 411 points scored through 26 games (15.8 ppg).  Here is the list:  1.) Coniel Norman (1972-73), 576; 2.) Gilbert Arenas (1999-2000), 523; 3.) Sean Elliott (1985-86), 499; 4.) Eric Money (1972-73), 492; 5.) Mike Bibby (1996-97), 458; 6.) Salim Stoudamire (2001-02), 434; 7.) Marcus Williams (2005-06), 430; 8.) Bob Elliott (1973-74), 429; and 9.) Chase Budinger (2006-07), 411.


It’s Never a Bad Time for a Sean Elliott Comparison:  Lute Olson set a high standard when he favorably compared Chase Budinger to Arizona standout Sean Elliott (1985-89) long before Budinger had played his first collegiate game.  Budinger has handled himself well to date.  Here is a look at both players through 26 games:

Player      GP-GS  Min        FG-A   Pct.   3FG-A   Pct.      FT-A    Pct.   Reb.     A   Stl   Pts.-Avg.

Elliott         26-26    860    147-303   .485           --           101-138    .732     139    52    20     393-15.1

Budinger   26-26    850    150-303   .495   40-110   .364     71-84    .845     150    51    30     411-15.8


Scoring 80:  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 161-19 (.894) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.  Arizona is 11-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points.


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)

31-9 run over 7:54 vs. California, Dec. 28 (UA went 11-of-13 during the run; Cal 4-of-14)

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

20-2 run over 5:59 vs. Louisville, Dec. 5 (UL went 1-of-10; UA 7-of-8 during the run)

21-4 run over 8:08 vs. Illinois, Dec. 2, 2006 (UA 8-of-12 FGs during run)

25-8 run over 9:01 vs. Washington, Feb. 3, 2007 (UW 4-of-12 FG with five turnovers during run)

24-8 run over 9:17 at San Diego State, Dec. 9, 2006 (SDSU 4-of-18 FG with five TO during run)

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

23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)

15-0 run over 2:28 at Washington, Jan. 4 (McClellan 3-of-3 from three-point range, UA 6-of-6 FTs)

22-10 run over 8:25 at Oregon, Feb. 10 (UA 9-of-12 FGs during run, Oregon 2-of-10)


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 game, Arizona closes the regular season with a trip to the San Francisco Bay.  Arizona begins the trip on Thursday, March 1, at California.  That game will tip at 7:30 p.m. PST and be televised by FSN Arizona.

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