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WSU Notes 2/22/2008
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/22/2008
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Game 27:? Arizona (16-10, 6-7) at No. 17 Washington State (21-5, 9-5)

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Date: ? Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008

Time: ? 7 p.m. PST

Location: ? Friel Court (11,671), Pullman, Wash.

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

TV: ?FSN (Barry Thompkins/Dan Belluomini)

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Game Data: ? Arizona (16-10, 6-7 Pac-10) caps the Washington road swing with a Saturday night game at No. 17 Washington State (21-5, 9-5 Pac-10) in Pullman ... The Wildcats look to get on the winning side of the ledger after dropping four of its last five ... Three of the last four UA-WSU games in the Palouse have been decided by four points or less with two going into overtime.

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The Rankings: ? Arizona is unranked in both polls for the sixth consecutive week.? For the season, the Wildcats have been ranked in either or both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coachesˇ? Top 25 polls in eight of 16 polling periods this season.

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Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . ?will begin his 25th season at Arizona and his 35th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 780-280 (.736) and 589-187 (.759) at Arizona upon his return from a leave of absence, which was announced on Nov. 4 ... 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 Arizonaˇ?s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (327) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/327-101) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLAˇ?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, ˇ®89, ˇ®90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 23 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, ˇ®88, ˇ®89, ˇ®93, ˇ®94, ˇ®98, 2003), the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice (1979 & ˇ®81) and directed the UA program to the nationˇ?s third-best winning percentage over the past 20 years (519-142/.785) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 52 NBA Draft picks, including 31 at Arizona ?C 25 alone since 1990 ... Heˇ?s led UA to 20 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 29 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 29 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 Kevin Oˇ?Neill, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.

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Last Time Out: ? Sloppy play and too much Washington depth proved to be Arizonaˇ?s downfall as the Cats lost for the fourth time in the last five games, 75-66, at Washington on Thursday.? UA turned it over 17 times, including 10 in the first half, and shot just 38.9 percent from the field. Washington played nine players at least 13 minutes and eight of those scored at least five points apiece as the UW bench outscored UAˇ?s 23-3.? Jerryd Bayless (22) and Jawann McClellan (19) combined for 41 points, be the remainder of the Wildcat offense was largely ineffective.

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Scouting Washington State: ? The Cougars enter play Saturday with a 21-5 record (9-5 Pac-10) following Thursdayˇ?s 59-47 win over Arizona State.? Through 26 games, Washington State averages 67.3 points per game, shoots 48.5 percent (609-of-1,255), and posts a +1.5 rebound margin per game.? Opponents shoot 41.5 percent from the floor and are outscored by an average of 12.1 points per game.? Individually, four WSU players average in double figures, led by Derrick Low, who averages 13.8 points? per game.? Aron Baynes leads the club with a 5.9 rebounds per game average.

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The Series: ? Tonightˇ?s game is the 63rd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 49-13 series advantage.? Arizona has won 42 of the last 45 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 22, 1959, including the last one, 76-64 on Jan. 24 in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 24-7 in series games played in Tucson, 20-6 in Pullman, Wash., and 5-0 in neutral-site games. See page 102 of the UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ??Arizona 76, Washington State 64, Jan. 24, 2008: ? Arizona placed four players in double figures, shot 55.0 percent from the field and earned a 12-point win over sixth-ranked Washington State.? Led by Jerryd Bayless (23) and Chase Budinger (22), who combined for 24 second-half points and 45 in the game, UA shot 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from the field in the second half and built as much as an 18-point lead in outscoring WSU, 42-33, in the period.? Arizona hit 20-of-23 free throws in the contest and held a 20-9 scoring advantage from the line.

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In The Coaching Box: ? Prior to the Nov. 4 exhibition game, it was announced that UA head coach Lute Olson would be taking a leave of absence due to a personal matter.? It was announced on Dec. 7 that Olson would not return this season.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.? Oˇ?Neill, who was tabbed as Olsonˇ?s successor on Dec. 18, has 11 seasons of experience as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern. Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.? During Olsonˇ?s leave of absence all games will be credited to Oˇ?Neillˇ?s coaching record.

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Against Ranked Teams: ? Arizona faces 17th-ranked Washington State on the road Saturday, which marks the Wildcatsˇ? seventh game this season against a nationally ranked opponent (2 wins, 4 losses).? Tonightˇ?s game will be the first time Arizona has faced an opponent not ranked in the top 10.? Previously, UA has faced no opponent ranked lower than ninth in the polls.

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Against the No. 17 Slot: ? All-time, Arizona is 4-6 (.400) against teams ranked No. 17 nationally.? In fact, the Cats have lost its last three games to the nationˇ?s 17th ranked and have not won against such a foe since 1994.? For more information on UA vs. ranked opponents, please see page 148 of the Arizona basketball media guide.

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Not Quite 30: ? Freshman Jerryd Bayless saw his string of three straight games with 30 or more points end Thursday with 22 points at Washington.? The 6-foot-3 guard from Phoenix, Ariz., played a game-high 38 minutes, grabbed six rebounds, passed out four assists and blocked a shot.? On the season, Bayless is averaging 21.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

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You know itˇ?s not your night: ? This fact became readily apparent Thursday when the Cats held Washington to just two field goals in 13 attempts in a span of 10:44 of the first half and the team managed to make up only one point on the score board.? Arizona outscored Washington 7-6 in that span.? Arizona was 3-of-6 from the floor in that span, but managed to turn it over eight times to stall any efforts at building momentum.

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Inefficient: ? Prior to Thursdayˇ?s loss at Washington, Jerryd Bayless was shooting .508 (32-of-63) from the field, including .480 (12-of-25) from behind the arc, and .870 (40-of-46) from the line and averaging 29.0 points in the previous four games.? Washington did a good job of making Bayless inefficient as the freshman guard needed a career-high 19 shots (6-of-19 FG), including 1-of-7 from three-point range, and 9-of-13 shooting from the line to get 22 points.

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A bit off the Mark: ? Lucky for Arizona that the club entered the week as the Pac-10ˇ?s leading three-point shooting team (.395) or the Cats would have really struggled from the field Thursday.? Against Washington, Arizona knocked down 7-of-17 (.412) field goal attempts from behind the arc, which looks even better against its .381 figure (21-of-54) overall.? Take away the long distance attempts, and the Wildcats shot just 14-of-37 (.378) from the field.? Aside from Jawann McClellan and Jordan Hill, who combined to hit 11-of-17 (.647) FG attempts, the rest of the team shot 27.0 percent.? Field goal percentage looms large for the Cats, as the team is 10-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the field, and 12-0 when outshooting the opposition.? Over its last five games, UA is shooting just 41.7 percent (103-of-247) from the field.

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Too Much Contact and the results to Prove it : ? One figure that has been elevated recently is UAˇ?s personal fouls.? Against Stanford, Arizona committed 19, while the Cats committed a season-high 27 Thursday at Washington.? For a team averaging 16.6 fouls per game, the added contact has just one result:? more free throws for the opposition.? In the last two games, Stanford and Washington have made 22 free throws each, while the Huskies attempted a UA opponent high 35 charity tosses Thursday.

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Stepping Up : ? Senior Jawann McClellan continues to do about everything he can for this club, as the 6-foot-4 guard poured in 19 points on Thursday, his ninth double-figure effort of the year (30th career) and his second-highest point total.? McClellan knocked down 7-of-9 shots, including 4-of-5 from thee-point range, against Washington.? The seven buckets equaled a career high, while the four treys were a season high.? In the last 12 games, McClellan is shooting 49.4 percent (39-of-79) from the floor.

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Double Your Pleasure: ? Sophomore Jordan Hill notched his eighth double-double of the season (11th career) Thursday with 10 points and 13 rebounds against the Huskies.? The 6-foot-10 forward from Atlanta, Ga., hit 4-of-8 shots, while four of his 13 rebounds were offensive.? Hill ranks fifth in the Pac-10 Conference with those eight double-doubles.

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He is Needed on the Court: ? Whether it be his eight double-doubles, .595 field goal percentage or 1.8 blocked shots per game, Arizona needs Jordan Hill on the court.? The Wildcats are 10-1 this season when the sophomore forward plays 30 or more minutes.? In those 11 games, Hill averages 15.5 points, a figure 3.0 points higher than his overall season scoring average.

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A Good Start Would Help: ? Look no further than the halftime score to get a read on the outcome, as Arizona is just 4-7 this season when trailing at the half, including a 1-4 record in road games.? Halftime leads have been hard to come by in conference play, as the Wildcats are being outscored by an average of 1.3 points per game in the first half.

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In Reserve: ? While injuries might be the cause (18 games lost by starters or key reserves), the Arizona bench has taken a beating of late.? Over the last three games the UA bench has been outscored 63-5.? To put it mildly, Arizona must find some productivity from its reserves.

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Just Filling Space: ? The Wildcats are just a bit better in day games than at night this season.? In games that start prior and up to 6 p.m. local time this season, Arizona carries a 7-4 (.636) record.? In games that start after 6 p.m., the Cats are 9-6 (.600).? UA is 0-1 this year in Saturday night starts this season.

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Thatˇ?s Rare: ? Daniel Dillon tallied three points at Washington Thursday, which were his first points scored in six games. Additionally, Fendi Onobun recorded his first two blocked shots of the season Thursday in Seattle.

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Scoring 80: ? Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 169-19 (.899) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.? Arizona is 7-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.

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Early Signees: ? The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.? Brandon Jennings (G, 6-0, 170) from Lakewood, Calif., Oak Hill Academy; Brendon Lavender (G, 6-4, 180) from Mesa, Ariz., Mountain View High School;? Emmanuel Negedu (F, 6-7, 230) from Bloomington, Ind., Brewster Academy; Jeff Withey (C, 6-11, 240) from San Diego, Calif., Horizon High School, will join the squad next fall.? According to rivals.com, this class was ranked as the seventh-best nationally.

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Up Next: ? Following tonightˇ?s game, Arizona heads back to Tucson to host USC on Thursday, Feb. 28.? Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST and will be shown nationally on ESPN.

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