Date: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005
Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls)
TV: FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
ONLINE: Live video of the consolation game between Central Florida and Sam Houston State at 4 p.m., and delayed video of the championship game between Arizona and Western Kentucky immediately following its conclusion, are available to subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium multimedia service. Live audio of the Arizona game is also available to subscribers. Free live stats for both games are available.
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Live Courtside with the Cats Chat (Free)
Game Data: Arizona (6-3, 0-0 Pac-10) hosts Western Kentucky (6-3, 0-0 SBC) Wednesday in championship game of the 21st annual Fiesta Bowl Classic presented by Chase ... The Wildcats enter the contest riding a four-game win streak ... In 20 previous Classics, Arizona has a 40-1 record ... WKU joins Florida International (1998) as the only Sun Belt Conference members to play in the FBC championship game.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 747-259 (.743) and 555-167 (.769) 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 most Pac-10 wins (305) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.778/305-87) and second-most league championships won (11) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only UCLA’s John Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 23-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, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 21 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, ?'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 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 326-33 (.908) in McKale Center and have won 254 of its last 271 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 1-0 against Western Kentucky and 40-0 in Fiesta Bowl Classic play.
Last Time Out:
Scouting Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers carry a 6-3 record into tonight’s game following Monday’s 73-68 win over
The Series: Tonight’s game is the second meeting of the two schools with
A rarity: For just the second time this season,
Shouldering the Load: Over the last five games, Hassan Adams has been the engine that pulls the UA offensive train. In that span,
Locked Down: It’s already happened five times in nine games ?-
Cause and Effect: It’s not surprising that a team that collects a lot of steals would (obviously) also force a lot of turnovers. So it’s not surprising that
Another Rung: With 15 points on Monday, Hassan Adams tied Steve Kerr (1,445 points/1984-88) for 17th place on the UA career scoring list. At his current season scoring pace,
The Century Mark: With his 5-of-8 shooting from behind the arc on Monday, Chris Rodgers knocked down the 100th three-point field goal of his career. That leaves him 44 treys behind Mike Bibby, who knocked down 144 from 1996-98, for 10th place on the UA career three-point field goals made.
Chucker: He entered the game as arguably the most efficient player in college basketball (three minutes played, two FG attempts, five points scored), and it took less than the six minutes he played for David Bagga to become ?- in the immortal words of Seinfeld’s George Costanza ?- a chucker. The 6-foot-4 walk-on hit 1-of-4 field goals, including 0-of-2 from three-point range, to boost his scoring average to 1.8 points per game, while his field goal percentage slipped to a modest .500 (3-of-6).
Lucky Seven: Junior Mustafa Shakur posted a nice stat line in Monday’s win with seven points, seven assists, two steals and no turnovers in only 17 minutes.
Feast or Famine: Through nine games, a trend has developed regarding Wildcat results. It turns out to be either a big win or a close defeat. In UA’s six wins, the margin of victory is 21.5 points. That figure drops to 5.3 points in UA’s three defeats.
Stepping Up: Freshman Marcus Williams continues to see his game flourish on the collegiate level as he is averaging 14.0 points and 3.7 assists per game, while shooting 56.4 percent (22-of-39) from the field, over his last four games. Monday against
Coming Along: Freshman J.P. Prince put forth a nice all-around effort against the Bearkats, finishing with season-high totals of six points and five rebounds to go with four assists and two blocked shots. Six of his eight points came courtesy of his first two collegiate treys. The 6-foot-6 Prince, who leads the Pac-10 Conference with a 3.11 assist:turnover ratio ranks second on the club with 28 assists.
Getting After it: Forward Mohamed Tangara enjoyed his most productive game, posting career-high totals of six points and five rebounds against
Balanced Attack: The Wildcats featured a balanced attack Monday vs. Sam Houston as 11 of the 12 players to see action scored at least two points. All told, the starters shot 17-of-34 (.500) from the floor and scored 46 of the team’s 87 points, while the reserves shot 17-of-31 (.548) from the floor and tallied the remaining 41 points.
Finding Positives: Despite the fact that
29-1 run over 10:43 vs.
33-15 run over 10:26 vs.
21-6 run over 7:12 vs.
20-4 run over 9:10 vs.
21-5 run over 7:57 at
21-9 run over 12:23 vs.
26-13 run over 13:04 vs. Saint Mary’s, Dec. 10 (nine SMC turnovers during run)
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 144-18 (.888) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Tops in the Pac-10: In the annual poll of media members who regularly cover the Pac-10 Conference,
Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Chase Budinger (F, 6-7, 190) from
Up Next: Following tonight’s game,