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Virginia Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/16/2007
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Complete Release as a PDF File

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Game 2:? No. 17 Arizona (1-0) vs. Virginia (2-0)

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Date: ? Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007

Time: ? 8:30 p.m. MST

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

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

TV: ?FSN (Ted Robinson/Marques Johnson)

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Game data: ? No. 17 Arizona (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10) hosts Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia (2-0, 0-0 ACC) Saturday night in McKale Center ... The Cavaliers and Wildcats have now met in each of the last four seasons.? Tonightˇ?s game marks the first of at least 17 national television appearances for Arizona in 2007-08.

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The Rankings: ? Arizona currently is ranked No. 17 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.? 2007-08 marks the 20th time in the last 21 seasons that the Cats opened the season nationally ranked.

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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: ? Chase Budinger and Jawann McClellan combined to hit 17-of-17 free throw attempts and Arizona needed every one in Tuesdayˇ?s 76-69 win over Northern Arizona.? Outrebounded (39-31) and hampered by poor shooting (38.3 %), the Catsˇ? 24-12 free throw advantage provided the difference.? Jerryd Bayless added 18 points and five assists as UA collected more blocked shots (7) than turnovers (5).

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Scouting Virginia: ? The Cavaliers enter play Saturday with a spotless 2-0 record after earning a 92-53 win over Howard on Wednesday.? Through two games, Virginia averages 91.0 points per game, shoots 51.6 percent (66-of-128) from the field and outrebounds the opposition by an average of 23 rebounds per game.? Individually, four Cavs average in double figures, led by Sean Singletaryˇ?s 21.0 points and 7.0 assists per game averages.

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The Series: ? The contest marks the fifth meeting of the two schools with the series knotted at two wins apiece.? Virginia captured the last meeting in the series, 93-90, on Nov. 12, 2006 in Charlottesville, Va.? These teams have met in each of the last four seasons.? All-time, Arizona is 1-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-2 in Charlottesville, Va., and 1-0 in neutral-site games..? See page 102 in the Arizona basketball media guide for more series information.

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Last Meeting: ? Virginia 93, Arizona 90, Nov. 12, 2006:? Arizona spent the first 18 minutes building as much as a 19 point lead then spent the next 18 minutes giving it back and then some in the three-point loss.? The Cats placed four players in double figures for the game, but allowed Virginia to score 57 points in the second half on 59.3 percent shooting as the Cavs rallied to win in the John Paul Jones Arena debut.

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Against the ACC: ? Arizona carries an all-time record of 18-15 (.545) record against teams that currently reside in the Atlantic Coast Conference.? Over the last three seasons, the Cats have played six games against ACC opposition.

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A Different Look on the Sidelines: ? 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.? There has been no timetable set for his return.? During this period, assistant coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill will handle the head coaching responsibilities.

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Back At It: ? Interim head coach Kevin Oˇ?Neill has 11 seasons as an NCAA Division I head coach, where he compiled a 152-165 (.479) record while at Marquette, Tennessee and Northwestern.? His last appearance on the collegiate sidelines prior to this came March 9, 2000, in a 51-41 loss to Wisconsin at the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Chicago.? Oˇ?Neill spent the last seven seasons in NBA circles.? During Lute Olsonˇ?s leave of absence all games will be credited to Oˇ?Neill.

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Letˇ?s Start at the Line: ? The Wildcats turned 27 Northern Arizona fouls into 33 free throws in Tuesdayˇ?s game of which Arizona connected on 24 of those attempts (72.7 percent).? Such an effort gave UA a 24-12 scoring advantage from the line, including 6-of-8 as a team in the final five minutes.? In the contest, the Cats made 12 more free throws than NAU attempted, which extended a trend.? In 31 games last year, Arizona made an average of 5.5 more free throws per game than the opposition attempted.?

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Follow My Lead: ? Speaking of free throws, Chase Budinger and Jawann McClellan combined to hit 17-of-17 charity tosses against Northern Arizona.? The made free throws, nine for McClellan and eight for Budinger, were career highs for both players.? The rest of the squad didnˇ?t fare as well, combining to shoot .438 (7-of-16) from the line.?

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Value the Ball: ? Arizona committed just five turnovers in Tuesdayˇ?s win.? Thatˇ?s the fewest turnovers in a game since Feb. 13, 1992, a span of 503 games.? The five miscues Tuesday was one shy of the school record (4), last matched in a 94-72 win over Washington State on that day in February of 1992.

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Piling Up the Minutes: ? The Wildcat starters logged quite a bit of playing time Tuesday, amassing 151 of the 200 total minutes played.? Of the 49 minutes allocated to the bench, senior forward Bret Brielmaier equaled a career high with 27 minutes played.

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Stepping In, Stepping Up: ? Senior guard Daniel Dillon has earned a reputation over the course of his career as a staunch defender.? The 6-foot-3 senior from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, notched career highs in rebounds (4) and steals (4) Tuesday vs. Northern Arizona.? He also collected an assists and a field goal in 13 minutes.

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A Nice Debut: ? Freshman Jerryd Bayless shook off whatever freshman jitters may have existed en route to 18 points, five assists ?C against two turnovers ?C and a steal in 34 minutes.? The 6-foot-3 guard from Phoenix, Ariz., wasnˇ?t afraid to be a part of the action as he took 14 shots from the floor and got to the free throw line 12 times.

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Protecting the Basket: ? The Cats last line of defense around the basket proved to be effective Tuesday, as all five starters combined to register seven blocked shots in the contest.? Each member of the starting five tallied at least one swat, while Jordan Hill and Jawann McClellan posted a pair.? The number equaled the season high from last year, and it took the Cats 30 games to accomplish the feat.

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A Positive Note: ? Regardless of your view of the final margin, one thing is certain.? Arizona was in control of the game for the vast majority of time.? A three-pointer by Jerryd Bayless at the 8:17 mark of the first half gave Arizona a lead it would not relinquish.? Of that 28:17 of time, Arizona held a double-figure advantage for more than 16 of those 28 minutes.? All told, held the lead for 36:57.

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In November: ? Fast starts have become the? norm for the Cats.? Over the last 24-plus years, Arizona is 58-15 (.795) in the month of November.? The numbers are even more impressive considering the quality of competition.? Thirty-six percent (26-of-73) of Arizonaˇ?s games in November have come against nationally ranked opponents.? In those contests, Arizona is 18-8 (.692).? UA will play six times during November this season.

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Honorably Mentioned: ? The Associated Press released its preseason top 25 (at left) and the list of preseason All-Americans on Nov. 5.? Wildcat sophomore Chase Budinger was an honorable mention selection after averaging 15.6 points and 5.8 rebounds a year ago. ?He is the first UA player to be recognized in the preseason by the Associated Press since Channing Frye in 2004-05.

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Preseason KUDOS: ? Two Arizona players have garnered a few preseason accolades, as Chase Budinger and Jerryd Bayless have found themselves included on a few lists to watch.? Budinger has been tabbed a preseason All-American by both collegeinsider.com and collegehoops.net and heˇ?s also on both the John R. Wooden and Naismith Awards preseason watch list.? Bayless was a second team all-freshman pick by collegehoops.com.

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An Educated Guess: ? According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference, Arizona was picked to finish fourth in this yearˇ?s Pac-10 race.? Arizona received 238 points, trailing UCLA, Washington State and Oregon. The last time UA was predicted to finish this low was in the 2001-02 preseason poll.? On a historical note, the Wildcats have been the preseason favorite 11 times in the last 18 years.? The complete poll is listed at left.

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Springboard to the Next Level: ? With the 2007-08 National Basketball Association regular season underway, no fewer than 10 former Arizona Wildcats are on the opening day NBA rosters.? Only three schools nationally have more alumni in the league (Connecticut, 13; North Carolina, 12; Duke, 12).? Here is the complete list:? Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings; Channing Frye, Portland TrailBlazers; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers; Richard Jefferson, New Jersey Nets; Mustafa Shakur, Sacramento Kings; Damon Stoudamire, Memphis Grizzlies; Salim Stoudamire, Atlanta Hawks; Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks; and Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers.? There have been at least 10 former Wildcats in the NBA in six of the last eight seasons and no fewer than eight during that span.

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More on the NBA: ? Bolstered by UAˇ?s 10 alumni in the NBA, the Pac-10 Conference had a total of 45 former players on opening day rosters, a figure that ranks third among conferences nationally.? Here is the breakdown by league:? 1.) Atlantic Coast and Big East, 54; 3.) Pac-10, 45; 4.) Southeastern, 41; 5.) Big 12, 35; and 6.)? Big Ten, 33.

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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 next be in action on Monday, Nov. 19, against UMKC.? Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.? The Cats also play Adams State (Nov. 21) and at No. 4 Kansas (Nov. 25) next week.

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