Jan. 12, 2010
Date: Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010
Time: 7 p.m. PST
Location: Gill Coliseum (10,400), Corvallis, Ore.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
GAME DATA: Arizona (8-8, 2-2 Pac-10) heads out on the road Thursday at Oregon State (7-8, 1-2 Pac-10) in Gill Coliseum, looking to string together consecutive conference wins for the first time this season ... Beginning tonight, five of UA's next seven games are on the road, a place that the Cats are just 3-12 since the start of the 2008-09 campaign ... Through nine home games, Arizona averages 77.7 points per game (+4.0 scoring margin) and shoots .459 from the field (238-of-518). In three true road games, those numbers dip to 58.8 points (-7.4 scoring margin) and a .399 field goal percentage (81-of-203) ... UA opponents shoot .436 (244-of-560) in McKale Center and .452 (94-of-208) at home ... Arizona is averaging 58.0 points per game on Thursday nights this season.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona remains unranked in both polls after opening the season unranked for just the third time in the last 23 seasons. The Cats closed the 2008-09 campaign ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his first season at the University of Arizona and his sixth overall as a college head coach with a record of 128-55 (.699) and 8-8 (.500) 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 its 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 16 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, 41, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 0-0 against Oregon State.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona jumped out early and never really looked back in posting an 87-70 win Sunday over Washington, its first win over a ranked opponent this year. The Cats limited the Huskies to 33.3 percent shooting and held its two leading scorers for the season scoreless in the first half in building a double-digit lead. UW posted an 8-0 run to start the second period, but UA responded with a 14-6 run of its own to resume control. A season-high six Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Jamelle Horne's career-high 22 points.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Beavers enter tonight's game with a 7-8 record (1-2 Pac-10) following Sunday's 64-57 win at Oregon. On the season, OSU averages 62.4 points per game, shoots 44.8 percent from the field (325-of-725) and 67.9 percent (220-of-324) from the line. Beaver opponents average 63.0 points per game and are outrebounded by 1.8 boards per game. Individually, two OSU players average in double figures, led by Seth Tarver's 11.9 ppg figure. Tarver and Joe Burton share the team rebounding lead with a 4.5 rebounds per game average.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game is the 69th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 51-17 series advantage. UA has won 18 of the last 20 meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 28, 1975, including the last meeting, 56-53, on Feb. 5, 2009, in Corvallis. All-time, Arizona is 28-5 in series games played in Tucson, 20-12 in Corvallis, and 3-0 in neutral-site games. See page 109 of the UA media guide for more series information.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 56, Oregon State 53, Feb. 5, 2009: Chase Budinger scored nine of his game-high 17 points in the second half as Arizona pulled away to earn its first true road win of the season. Trailing 23-15 with 4:05 to go in the first half, Budinger scored the final six points of the period to ignite what became a 30-9 run over 14:28 that saw UA build a 13-point lead. Arizona never lost the lead after that and withstood an OSU rally that saw the game tied with 100 seconds remaining. Nic Wise drained a jumper in the lane and Budinger added a free throw to produce the winning margin.
FOLLOW ME: Jamelle Horne led Arizona to a split at home with per game averages of 17.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in a pair of games last week. The junior forward connected on 54.5 percent of his field goals (12-of-22) and 58.3 percent of his three-point attempts (7-of-12), while shooting 75.0 percent from the free throw line (3-of-4). Horne opened the week by dropping four field goals and two treys en route to 12 points and a steal vs. WSU. He then added a career-high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range in the win over No. 24 Washington. Horne, who tallied 12 of his 22 points in the first half, led the Cats to its first win over a nationally ranked opponent this year. On the year, Horne averages 12.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 45.1 percent (32-of-71) from the three-point range.
A FIRST: Arizona earned its first win of the season over a nationally ranked opponent with Sunday's 87-70 win over then-No. 24 Washington. The 17-point Wildcat win equaled the Huskies' worst loss of the season. The Cats are now 1-2 this season against foes ranked in the Associated Press top 25 at the time of tip-off.
THAT'S OFFENSIVE: The Wildcats tallied 87 points in Sunday's win, equaling the second-highest offensive output of the season, and the best for the squad in 12 games (91 pts. vs. Colorado, Nov. 24). Arizona turned the trick by placing a season-high six players in double figures, led by Jamelle Horne's career-high 22 points. Also finishing with 10 or more points Sunday were Nic Wise (14), Kyle Fogg (14), Lamont Jones (career-high 13), Derrick Williams (12) and Kevin Parrom (career-high 10). This season, Arizona is 7-3 when scoring 70 or more points.
A GOOD NUMBER: Another positive number from Sunday's box score was the fact that Arizona shot 50 percent from the field (27-of-54) as a team. It was just the fourth time this season the Wildcat had reached the 50-percent plateau and the first since Dec. 9. Not surprisingly, UA is 4-0 when accomplishing the feat. Interestingly, the shooting was equally balanced between the starters and reserves Sunday, as the starters hit 19-of-38 attempts and the reserves made 8-of-16. Arizona's 25 bench points was its third-highest total of the season.
ON THE REBOUND: Arizona posted an impressive 40-23 rebound advantage against Washington Sunday. Not only was it the biggest rebound advantage for Arizona this season, but it was the biggest deficit in 2009-10 for the Huskies, the Pac-10 leader with an average of 39.9 rebounds per game entering the contest. Additionally, UA's 14 offensive rebounds in the contest were a season high, and the 23 rebounds surrendered to Washington were a opponent season low through 16 games. Arizona has out-boarded seven opponents this season, but is only 4-3 when holding the rebound edge.
CLAMPING DOWN: The Wildcats did a pretty good job defensively Sunday, limiting Washington to just 33.3 percent shooting in the first half and to just 70 points in the contest, a figure that was 10.3 points below its conference-leading scoring average for the season. Individually, Arizona held UW's leading scorer Quincy Pondexter to a season-low seven points, more than 13 points below his season scoring average.
MAKING FEWER MISTAKES: In two games last week, Arizona also showed a bit of improvement in taking care of the ball, by averaging 11.0 turnovers per game. While that number is almost three miscues per game lower than its season average (13.9 to/g), the weekly effort did include a season-low 10 turnovers Friday against Washington State and a season-high +6 turnover margin in that contest.
TOPPING 20: Jamelle Horne notched his second 20-point game of the season Sunday with a career-high 22 points against No. 24 Washington. The 6-foot-7 forward from San Diego, Calif., continues to display a nice three-point stroke, as he equaled a career high with five treys en route to a 5-of-8 shooting night from long range against the Huskies. On the season, Horne leads the Wildcats with 32 treys (2.1/game) and ranks second on the team with a .451 (32-of-71) three-point percentage. He also averages 12.1 points per game and a team-leading 7.1 rebounds per game.
STEPPING UP: Freshman Lamont "MoMo" Jones proved to be a difference maker Sunday, as the 6-foot guard from Harlem, N.Y., sank 5-of-6 shots to finish with a career-high 13 points in just 12 minutes of action. It was Jones' third double-figure scoring effort of the season, and his first in five appearances. Through 15 appearances, Jones is averaging 5.6 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
WELCOME CONTRIBUTIONS: Freshman Kevin Parrom seems to make improvements in each game since making his season debut on Dec. 23. The 6-foot-6 guard/forward from the Bronx, N.Y., tallied season-best totals of 10 points (6-of-6 FT) and seven rebounds (four offensive) to go with an assist in 24 minutes. On the season, Parrom is averaging 3.8 points and 2.7 rebounds and has logged double-figure minutes in five of six appearances to date.
BECOMING MORE ASSERTIVE: Sophomore guard Kyle Fogg tallied 14 points and equaled a season high with four assists Sunday to register his 16th career game with 10 or more points. He also finished in double figures for the third straight game, which matched a career best, while the 52 points scored in that span is the most he's tallied in any three consecutive games. That continues a stretch that has seen the 6-foot-3 Brea, Calif., native average 15.2 points per game over his last five outings, while shooting 49.1 percent (26-of-53) from the field.
HONOR AMONG THIEVES: With a game-high three steals Sunday against Washington, senior Nic Wise boosted his steal total over the last five games to 11 (2.2 spg). The UA point guard leads the Cats with a total of 30 steals on the season and ranks fourth among all Pac-10 players with a 1.9 steals per game average. Wise is 14 pilfers away from moving into sole possession of 10th place on the Arizona career steals list.
LONG DISTANCE CONNECTION ISSUES: Don't expect to see much scoring from behind the arc tonight, as Oregon State and Arizona currently rank 1-2 in the Pac-10 Conference when it comes to three-point field goal defense, as each club allows a success rate of 30.7 percent. On average, the two squads are allowing less than six made treys per game in nearly 19 three-point attempts against them.
LEADING COMFORTABLY: Arizona built a 10-point lead at intermission Sunday, which marked the Cats' third double-figure lead of the season. Through 16 games, Arizona is 7-2 when leading at the break. After a sluggish start to the second half, UA did a nice job of protecting the lead, as its 50 points scored in the second high were a season high for the period.
SCORING 80: Arizona scored 87 points Jan. 10 vs. Washington, breaking the 80-point barrier for the fifth time this year. Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 185-19 (.907) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 5-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
EARLY SIGNEE: The Arizona coaching staff signed one student-athlete to a National-Letter-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Daniel Bejarano (G, 6-5, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., North High School. According to Bob Gibbons' All-Star Sports Top 250, he is No. 40 overall prospect in the country.
UP NEXT: The Wildcats return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 16, to take on the University of Oregon. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.