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Men's Basketball Hosts Washington in Battle for First Place
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 28, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 20:  No. 11 Arizona (16-3, 6-1) vs. No. 10 Washington (16-2, 6-1)


Date:  Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005

Time:  6:30 p.m. MST

Location:  Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

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

TV:  FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)


All-Access Coverage: Subscribers to All-Access,'s premium audio/video service, can watch a delayed webcast of the McKale Center video production (with Brian Jeffries and Ryan Hansen calling the action) of the Washington game, beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday, January 28. will also provide live and postgame coverage of the game, including:


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Postgame Story and Statistics (Free)

Postgame Lute Olson and Player Interviews (All-Access Video)


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Game Data:  No. 11 Arizona (16-3, 6-1 Pac-10) returns home to McKale Center to host No. 10 Washington (16-2, 6-1 Pac-10) Thursday evening as the Pac-10’s two nationally ranked clubs battle for sole possession of first place ... Expect an up-and-down affair as the Cats (77.5) and Dogs (88.1) combine to average 165.6 points per game ... In seven conference games, UA boasts a +4.1 turnover margin ... This game opens a stretch where six of Arizona’s next eight games are at home.


The Rankings:  After winning two games last week, Arizona jumped to No. 11 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls.  UA has been ranked in 296 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.


Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 22nd season at Arizona and his 32nd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 727-252 (.743) and 535-160 (.770) 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 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the second-most Pac-10 wins (296) in history, trailing UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.777/296-85) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles)  ... During his 22-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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, 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 best winning percentage over the past 17 years (449-111/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 47 NBA Draft picks, including 28 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 26 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 25 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 317-32 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 245 of its last 262 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 30-14 against Washington.


Last Time Out:  Arizona fought back from a 15-point first half deficit and used some hot shooting in the second to earn the 92-83 victory last Saturday at Oregon State and its first conference road sweep in over a year.  The UA bench keyed a 21-6 run late in the first half to tie the game then used 64.3 percent shooting in the second, including a stretch   where the Cats made nine consecutive field goals.  Salim Stoudamire led a balanced attack with a game-high 25 points, while Hassan Adams added 12 points, six rebounds and six assists.


Scouting Washington:  The Huskies enter Saturday’s game with a 16-2 record (6-1 Pac-10) after a 66-48 win Sunday vs. Washington State.  UW shoots 49.8 percent from the field (584-of-1172), posts a +6.5 rebound margin and outscores the opposition by 16.4 points per game.  Individually, five Huskies average in double figures, led by Tre Simmons, who averages 16.8 points per game.  Simmons also leads the club by averaging 5.9 rebounds per game.


The Series:  Thursday’s game marks the 55th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 36-18 series advantage.  UA has won eight of the last 11 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 29, 1964, but the Huskies captured the last three meetings, including a 90-85 win in Los Angeles on March 12, 2004.  All-time, Arizona is 20-5 in series games played in Tucson, 15-12 in Seattle, and 1-1 in neutral-site games.  For more series information, please see page 105 of the UA basketball media guide.


Last Meeting:  Washington 90, Arizona 85, March 12, 2004:  Washington made every play when it had to in earning a 90-85 win in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals.  Washington outrebounded Arizona, 40-31, knocked down 12 treys, and controlled tempo throughout in defeating the Wildcats for the third time in 2003-04.  UA forced 21 turnovers and held a 24-14 scoring advantage from the line, but had no answer for Washington’s balance as six Huskies finished in double figures.  Hassan Adams led the Cats with 30 points and nine rebounds.


Against Ranked Opponents:  Arizona is 2-1 this season against nationally ranked opponents.  Incidentally, Arizona’s defeat of 15th-ranked Mississippi State on Dec. 5 was its first over a higher-ranked opponent since Dec. 9, 2003, when No. 9 UA defeated No. 6 Texas, 91-83.  Between those victories, Arizona was 0-3 against such opponents.


Rolling Along:  Salim Stoudamire led Arizona to a road sweep last week by averaging 26.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists.  He connected on 55.2 percent (16-of-29) of his field goal attempts, including 61.5 percent (8-of-13) from three-point range, and went 12-of-13 from the free throw line.  He opened the week with a game-high 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, five rebounds and two assists in the 74-66 win at Oregon.  Against the Ducks, 20 of his points came in the first half.  Stoudamire followed that with 25 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor (3-of-5 from three-point range), three rebounds, an assist and a steal.  He’s riding a streak of four consecutive 20-point games.  On the season, Stoudamire is averaging a team-leading 16.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, while shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 56.9 percent from three-point range.


More on Salim:  Over his last five games, Salim Stoudamire is shooting 54.9 percent (39-of-71) from the field, including an impressive 57.1 percent (20-of-35) from behind the arc.  In the 10 games since sitting out the Marquette game on Dec. 18 for disciplinary reasons, the 6-foot-1 senior is averaging 19.1 points per game and shooting 60.4 percent (58-of-96) from the field, 64.8 percent (34-of-54) from behind the arc and 93.0 percent (40-of-43) from the line.  Incidentally, Stoudamire’s improved accuracy has helped the Wildcats as a whole shoot 47.2 percent (298-of-631) from the field in that span, an increase of 35 percentage points over the team’s season FG percentage.


A Top-10 Guy:  With 52 points last week, Stoudamire moved into 10th place on the Arizona career scoring list with 1,601 points.  In his 111-game career, Stoudamire is averaging 14.4 points per game.  He also moved into second place on the UA career three-point field goals made list with 280.  He trails on Jason Gardner, who knocked down 318 treys from 1999-2003.


Second Chances:  The Wildcats erased a 15-point first half deficit in earning Saturday’s victory, much of that due to its work on the offensive glass.  Arizona held an 18-7 advantage, which led to a 21-5 edge in second chance points.  The strong board work also helped the Cats post a 44-20 points in the paint advantage.


Finding the Range:  After hitting just 41 percent of its attempts in the first half at Oregon State, Arizona found its shooting eye in the second half by connecting on 64.3 (18-of-28) percent of its field goal attempts, which was UA’s best shooting half of the season.  Arizona hit 16 of its first 21 field goal attempts after the halftime break, including a stretch where the club made nine straight field goals.


From the Line:  Led by Channing Frye’s 10-of-12 shooting from the free throw line, Arizona made a season-high 24-of-27 free throw attempts (.889) in Saturday’s win.  Solid free throw shooting has been a staple for the Wildcats in 2004-05, as the team has made 76.2 percent (279-of-366) of its charity tosses.


Getting There:  Arizona’s 92 points Saturday marked just the eighth time this season that the team has scored 80 or more points.  The 92 points was UA’s highest offensive output since tallying 97 on Jan. 2 in a win over Arizona State.  Incidentally, Arizona is 8-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points and was 15-6 when accomplishing the feat last year.


Comfort Zone:  Hassan Adams continues to display a much more comfortable game on the perimeter, as he averaged 12.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and a team-leading 6.0 assists in two games last week.  He shot 52.4 percent (11-of-21) from the field, added six steals and, most impressively, passed out those 12 assists without committing a turnover in 57 minutes played.  On the year, the junior from Los Angeles is averaging 12.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.1 steals.  Adams also has a positive assist:turnover ratio at 55:43.


Depth on Display:  The Wildcat bench was a productive bunch on Saturday, totaling 23 points, 12 rebounds (six offensive), and four steals in the win at Oregon State.  Chris Rodgers, Jawann McClellan, Jesus Verdejo and Kirk Walters were the spark to the 21-6 run that got Arizona back into the game.  All told, UA reserves totaled 72 minutes against Oregon State.


Balanced Attack:  Arizona used a balanced offensive attack in Saturday’s win, as four players finished in double figures.  This season, Arizona is 9-1 when placing four or more players in double figures.


An All-Around Guy:  Freshman Jawann McClellan tallied eight points on Saturday, his highest point total in nine games.  The 6-foot-4 Houston product connected on 3-of-4 field goal attempts, grabbed four rebounds (three offensive) and added an assist, a block and a steal.  Through 19 games, McClellan is averaging 5.2 points, 3.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game.


Finding a Way:  In conference play, UA opponents are shooting a combined 49.2 percent (192-of-390) from the field and yet the Wildcats have a 6-1 record.  The squad has been able to overcome that by forcing 4.1 more turnovers per game and holding a 100-70 advantage on the offensive glass.  When combined, the turnovers and offensive rebounds give the Wildcats an average of 8.4 more possessions per game, which the team has used to outscore the opposition by eight points per game.


Safe at Home:  The 10-0 home record speaks for itself, but statistically speaking, the Wildcats do enjoy the comforts of home.  Through those 10 games, Arizona’s field goal percentage is 32 points higher in home games and the squad actually outshoots the opposition, .469-.448.  While the rebound margins are about the same, Arizona forces an average of 20.7 turnovers per game at home, and collects 10.5 steals per contest.  All told, Arizona averages 84.6 points per game, 16.4 points more than the opposition.


Plugging Away:  In the four games since coming out of his planned redshirt on Jan. 13, Kirk Walters has definitely added to the frontline depth.  The 6-foot-10 sophomore is averaging 2.3 points and 2.8 rebounds, while logging 14.5 minutes per game.


Controlling the Boards:  Arizona is 12-1 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and six times the squad has posted at least a +10 rebound margin.  UA has outrebounded 13 of 19 opponents in 2004-05.  Last season, Arizona was 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition.


Scoring 80:  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 131-16 (.891) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.  The Cats are 7-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.


Early Signees:  Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.  Fendi Onobun (F, 6-7, 215) from Houston, Texas, Alief Taylor High School; J.P. Prince (G, 6-6, 183) from Memphis, Tenn., White Station High School;  and Marcus Williams (F, 6-6, 190) from Seattle, Wash., Roosevelt High School, will join the squad next fall.


Up Next:  Following tonight’s game, Arizona hosts Washington State on Jan. 29 with tip-of scheduled for Noon MST on Fox Sports Net.


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