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Pac-10 Notes 3/10/2008
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/10/2008
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No. 7 Seed Arizona (18-13, 8-10) at Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament

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Date: ? Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Time: ? 8:30 p.m. PDT

Location: ? Staples Center (19,282), Los Angeles, Calif.

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

TV: ?FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)

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Game Data: ? No. 7 seed Arizona (18-13, 8-10 Pac-10) travels to Los Angeles for the 2008 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament and opens play in the first round Wednesday night against No. 10 seed Oregon State (6-24, 0-18 Pac-10) ... Arizonaˇ?s 16 wins and four championships (1988-90, 2002) in this event are league bests ... Since the event was reincarnated in the Staples Center in 2002, the Cats are 7-5 in tournament play.

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The Rankings: ? Arizona is unranked in both polls for the ninth 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 19 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: ? A 15-2 Oregon run covering 3:09 of the second half broke open what was a tight game as the Ducks sprinted away for a 78-69 win Saturday.? Arizona was no match for an Oregon attack that placed five players in double figures, shot 58.3 percent from the field, including 10-of-19 from three-point range, and posted a +13 rebound advantage.? UOˇ?s Tajuan Porter proved to be the difference by scoring 14 of his points in the second half, including 11 points in the decisive run.? The Ducks connected on 13-of-16 (.813) field goal attempts in the second half.? Jerryd Bayless led four UA players in double figures with 19 points.

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Scouting Oregon STATE: ? The Beavers enter play Wednesday with a 6-24 record (0-18 Pac-10) following Saturdayˇ?s 77-64 loss to Arizona State.? Through 30 games, OSU averages 60.1 points per game, shoots 37.5 percent (663-of-1,767), and posts a -2.7 rebound margin per game.? Opponents shoot 46.3 percent from the floor and are outscore OSU by an average of 10.2 points per game.? Individually, one Beaver averages in double figures, Marcel Jones, who averages 10.5 points? per game.? He also leads the club with a 5.4 rebounds per game average.

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The Series: ? Tonightˇ?s game is the 66th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 48-17 series advantage. UA has won 15 of the last 17 meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 28, 1975, including the last meeting, 81-45, on March 6 in Corvallis. All-time, Arizona is 27-5 in series games played in Tucson, 19-12 in Corvallis, and 2-0 in neutral-site games.? These clubs have met three times in Pac-10 Tournament play (most recently in 2005) and Arizona has won all three such meetings.? See page 101 of the UA media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ??Arizona 81, Oregon State 45, March 6, 2008: ? Nic Wise returned to the lineup for the first time in eight games and the Wildcat offense exploded for 81 points in the 81-45 win Thursday at Oregon State.? UA shot 50 percent from the field, placed four players in double figures, and posted a 40-29 rebound advantage and posted its highest offensive output in six games.? Over the last 12 minutes of the first half, UA outscored OSU 34-8.? Wise tallied 15 points, six assists and two steals and joined Jerryd Bayless (20), Chase Budinger (17) and Jordan Hill (16) in double figures.

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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.? On March 10, UA announced that Olson would return once this year is complete.

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Miscellaneous Germinations: The Wildcats enter the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 7 seed. That is Arizonaˇ?s lowest seed in the tournamentˇ?s 11-year history. Previously, Arizona has been a No. 1 seed four times (1988, ˇ®89, 2003, ˇ®05), No. 2 three times (1987, ˇ®90, 2002) No. 3 once (2004), No. 4 once (2006) and a No.5 once (2007).

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It Suits US: ? No other Pac-10 team has played in as many conference postseason tournament games as Arizonaˇ?s 22.? Of those 22 contests, the Wildcats have played as the higher seed 19 times.? Even though this is Arizonaˇ?s first appearance in first round action, the Cats will be playing in their white jerseys as the higher seed in this 7-10 match-up.

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Bad Omen: ? As mentioned above, Arizona has a league-best 16-6 record in Pac-10 Tournament play.? However, three of those losses have come in the Catsˇ? first tournament game.? Arizona suffered quarterfinal defeats in 1987 (Oregon), 2003 (UCLA) and 2007 (Oregon).

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Snapped: ? Arizonaˇ?s 8-10 record in Pac-10 play was the teamˇ?s worst since the 1983-84 club also went 8-10.? The finish also snapped a streak of 23 consecutive seasons with 11 or more Pac-10 wins. The longest current streak by another Pac-10 school is UCLA with four.

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A Leading Indicator: ? Look no further than the field goal percentage column as a bellwether of Arizona success.? This season, the Cats are a spotless 14-0 when shooting better than their opponents and 4-13 when not.? On the year, UA is shooting 48.0 percent from the field (771-of-1,607), a figure that is 37 points higher than the opposition.? UA has held opponents to a FG percentage less than 40 percent nine times in 2007-08.

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All-Conference : Four Arizona players earned all-Pac-10 honors in voting released March 10 by the leagueˇ?s head coaches.? Jerryd Bayless was a second team all-conference honoree, while Chase Budinger was a second-team pick.? Additionally, Jordan Hill was an honorable mention all-league and all-defensive team selection and Jawann McClellan was and honorable mention all-defensive team honoree.? Bayless also was named to the all-freshman team.? Budinger was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year last year, and this is the first time the others have been recognized by the league.

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Going for Three: ? When Arizona faces Oregon State Wednesday, it does so having won both meetings during the regular season.? Winning three games against a conference opponent is always difficult, but the Cats have had some success in that area since the second incarnation of the Pac-10 Tournament in 2002.? In those six seasons, Arizona has faced five opponents in the tournament that it defeated twice during the regular season.? UA is 4-1 in games when going for that third victory of the season, defeating California in 2002, California and Oregon State in 2005 and Stanford in 2006.? The only loss in that span was to UCLA in 2003, a year in which UA was the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

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Welcome Back: ? ?In two games last week, Nic Wise averaged 13.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game as Arizona split a pair of conference games.? The sophomore from Houston, Texas., hit 7-of-20 (.350) shots from the floor and 11-of-12 (.917) from the free throw line to go with five steals.? He returned to action last Thursday following knee surgery on Feb. 6 (missing seven games), totaling 15 points (14 in the first half), three rebounds, six assists and two steals? in a win at Oregon State before following that with 12 points, three rebounds and a career-high equaling eight assists at Oregon.? He played a total of 74 minutes in the two contests, including all 40 minutes in Eugene.? All told, it was Wiseˇ?s 11th game in double figures.? On the year, he averages 8.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

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One of the Best: ? Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless has enjoyed quite a freshman season, and he was rewarded Monday by being named to the final ballot for the 2008 John R. Wooden Award.? Bayless, a 6-foot-3 freshman from Phoenix, Ariz., is one of 24 student-athletes to make the prestigious final ballot.? On the year, Bayless is averaging 20.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

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Scoring 1,000 : With 33 points last week, Chase Budinger became the 42nd player in Arizona history to score 1,000 points in a career (1,017 points in 62 appearances/16.4 ppg). Additionally, he is just the sixth sophomore in UA history to accomplish the feat. The 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif., joins Coniel Norman, Bob Elliott, Sean Elliott, Mike Bibby and Gilbert Arenas as the only Wildcat sophomores to break the 1,000-point barrier in their first two seasons in college.

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League Leader: ? Forward Jordan Hill enters the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament as the league leader with a 61.6 (165-of-268) FG percentage.? Whatˇ?s interesting is that the 6-foot-10 sophomore is averaging just 8.6 attempts per game, third on the team.? He ranks fourth on the team in minutes played (29.3), which may underscore his? true value. When Hill plays 30 minutes or more, UA is 11-3 and he takes an average of 12.8 shots.? When that number is 29 or fewer, the team is 7-10 with just 5.2 attempts.

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Get on the Glass: ? Rebounding has been an Arizona bugaboo all year long, as the club posted a -1.2 rebound margin during the regular season, the programˇ?s worst effort since 1982-83.? During Pac-10 play it was even worse at -4.5.? When Arizona outrebounds the opposition, the club is 8-2.? All told, the Wildcats were outrebounded in 14 of 18 Pac-10 games.? On the positive side, UA was 3-1 when it managed to win the rebounding battle.

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Life in Balance: ? Arizonaˇ?s tournament fate may be dependant upon its ability to be balanced offensively.? In the March 6 win at Oregon State, Arizona had four players finish in double figures.? On the year, Arizona has placed four or more scorers in double figures eight times, and the team is 6-2 when that happens to go with a 76.4 ppg scoring average.? In 2007-08 Arizona is 15-3 when scoring 70 or more points.

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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: ? Arizona will advance to Thursdayˇ?s 6 p.m. quarterfinal or return to Tucson to await its NCAA Tournament selection fate.

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