Feb. 28, 2013
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time: 6 p.m. PST
Location: Pauley Pavilion (13,800), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas/Samantha Ponder)
GAME DATA: No. 11 Arizona (23-5, 11-5 Pac-12) plays its last true road game of the regular season Saturday at UCLA (21-7, 11-4 Pac-12) at Pauley Pavilion ... The contest is this week's featured telecast on ESPN's GameDay franchise, the Cats' third appearance all-time ... Arizona is 4-0 in Pac-12 road games this season on Saturday or Sunday, averaging 74.5 ppg and posting a +8.8 scoring margin ... A win today would be UA's sixth Pac-12 road win this year, the most in the Sean Miller era.
THE RANKINGS: UA is ranked 11th in both the Associated Press poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll, moving up one slot from the Feb. 18 editions. The Wildcats are one of six teams nationally to have been ranked 12th or better in every poll this season (Arizona, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan, Syracuse).
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Joe Pasternack ... Miller is 5-5 vs. UCLA as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: USC shot 61.1 percent from the field, including 65.2 percent in the second half, in putting away Arizona, 89-78, Wednesday. Eric Wise and Byron Wesley combined for 40 points as the Trojans scored the most points by a UA opponent this season. Arizona trimmed the deficit to four points on two occasions, but USC answered each challenge and was 12-of-12 from the free throw in the last four minutes. Solomon Hill tallied 21 points, six assists and five steals.
SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins enter tonight's game with a 21-7 record (11-4 Pac-12) following Wednesday's 79-74 overtime win over Arizona State. On the season, UCLA averages 76.1 points per game, shoots 46.2 percent from the floor (789-of-1,706), 34.5 percent (137-of-397) from three-point range and 71.6 percent (415-of-580) from the line. Opponents average 69.0 points, are outrebound UCLA by 0.9 per game and shoot 41.6 percent from the floor (740-of-1,779). Individually, four UCLA players average in double figures, led by Shabazz Muhammad's 18.3 ppg figure. Kyle Anderson leads the Bruins in rebounding at 9.1 rebounds per game.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game is the 88th meeting of the two schools with UCLA holding a 50-37 series advantage. UA has won 17 of the last 33 meetings in the series, which dates back to Feb. 19, 1923, but the Bruins captured the last, 84-73, in Tucson at Jan. 24. All-time, Arizona is 22-15 in series games played in Tucson, 13-30 in Westwood, and 2-5 in neutral-site games (includes last year's game in Anaheim. For more series information, please see page 49 in the UA media guide.
LAST MEETING: UCLA 84, Arizona 73, Jan. 24, 2013: UCLA jumped out to a 21-5 lead in the first eight minutes and fended off every UA charge. All the damage was done in the first half, as the Bruins shot 56 percent from the field and limited the Cats to just 31 percent marksmanship. Four times the lead was trimmed to five points or less, but each time a more efficient UCLA answered, mostly by getting to the line 27 times in the second half. Nick Johnson shared game-high honors with 23 points, while Solomon Hill added a double-double (13 pts./10 reb.).
300: Arizona head coach Sean Miller will coach in his 300th career game Saturday. Now in his ninth season as a head coach Miller has a career record of 212-87 (.709) overall and a 92-40 (.697) mark at Arizona.
OUCH: USC blistered the nets Wednesday by shooting 61.1 percent (33-of-54) against Arizona, a figure that included a UA opponent high .581 mark (18-of-31) in the first half and equaled a UA opponent high .652 (15-of-23) in the second half. It was the highest field goal percentage allowed by the Wildcats since Jan. 12, 2006, when Oregon State connected on .614 percent (27-of-44) of its shots in a 75-65 OSU win in Corvallis - a span of 249 games.
AN EXPECTED OUTCOME: The Trojans' red-hot shooting enabled it to record the scoring offense trifecta against the Cats, posting the highest offensive output this season in the first half (42), second half (47) and game (89). Interestingly, Arizona's 78 points were the most the team has scored in seven games. On the season, Arizona averages 73.6 points per game and allows 63.2 ppg. UA is 15-2 in 2012-13 when scoring 70 or more points.
BEATEN INSIDE: Look no further than the paint to see the difference in Wednesday's game, as USC bested UA 42-32 in points in the paint. That's a bit of an anomaly, as the Cats have outscored its opponents in the paint by an average of 6.2 points per game over the last 11 outings.
AT THE LINE: Led by Mark Lyons, who got to the charity stripe a career-high 16 times, Arizona managed to take 30 free throw attempts against USC. It marks just the third time this season that the Wildcats have attempted 30 or more free throws in a game and first since the Pac-12 opener on Jan. 3 (36). This year, Arizona averages 21.6 free throws per game (4.4 more than the opposition) and outscores foes by an average of 4.0 points per game from the free throw line.
WINNING MARGINS, USUALLY: The Wildcats enjoyed a +4 turnover margin (13-17) in Wednesday's game. While that usually leads to success, it didn't against the Trojans. This year, Arizona is 15-2 when committing the same or fewer turnovers than the opposition. In 10 true road games to date, Arizona averages 13.0 turnovers per game, 1.6 less than the opposition.
ON THE GLASS: The Wildcats were outrebounded by USC, 34-29, marking just the eighth time in 28 games that the squad was beaten on the glass. Of those eight occurrences, five have come in Pac-12 play. Despite the results, Arizona still carries a +6.1 rebound margin and has four players averaging 5.0 rebounds per game or better.
STEAL AWAY: Senior forward Solomon Hill picked up five of his own as Arizona collected 10 steals Wednesday at USC. In its last two road games, the Wildcats are averaging 10.0 steals per game. On the season, UA averages 7.1 steals per game and has finished a game with 10 or more steals six times this season.
L.A. STORY: The Southern California road swing is never easy, and the results bear that out. Over the previous 10 seasons, Arizona is a combined 8-13 on this road swing, including Wednesday's result, with two sweeps and four splits to its credit. Of those eight wins, four have come against UCLA.
THIS GUY IS GOOD: Forward Solomon Hill continues to give the Cats all they could hope for. Wednesday at USC, the 6-foot-7 senior from Los Angeles, Calif., tallied 21 points, a season-high six assists and five steals. He equaled a season high with seven field goals, hit 6-of-7 free throws and added three rebounds and a blocked shot. It was Hill's third 20-point game and his 23rd game in double figures this season. He averages a 13.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
DIALED IN: Senior swingman Kevin Parrom knocked down 6-of-9 shots from the floor on the way to 16 points Wednesday at USC. The effort included 3-of-6 marksmanship from behind the arc. Over the last two games, the 6-foot-6 Parrom is shooting .750 from the field (12-of-16), including 8-of-12 (.667) from three-point range, scoring 35 points on a combined 16 field goal attempts. Wednesday's effort was Parrom's 25th career game in double figures and his seventh this season. Through 28 games, Parrom averages 8.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while shooting .400 (34-of-85) from three-point range.
FINDING A WAY: Mark Lyons connected on just 1-of-9 FG attempts at USC, including 0-of-5 from three-point range, but he managed to find a way to get to double figures, mainly by connecting on 12-of-16 free throw attempts - both were career highs for Lyons and UA highs this season. Lyons equaled a season-high three steals. On the season, Lyons leads all Wildcats in free throw percentage (.846), free throws made (104) and free throw attempts (123),
IN RESERVE: Freshman forward Grant Jerrett posted 10 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots at USC. The 6-foot-10 native of Chino Hills, Calif., hit 4-of-8 shots from the floor, including 2-of-5 from three-point range. For Jerrett, it was his first game with 10 or more points since Jan. 3. He's shooting .393 (24-of-61) from three-point range this season.
IN MARCH: Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 63-33 (.656) record in the month of March. In that span, 40 of those games have been played in the NCAA Tournament and UA is 28-12 (.700) in them. In the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 11-6 (.647) in March.
QUICK BURST: Over the last three games, UA's Kaleb Tarczewski is averaging 10.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.
BEFORE THEY MAKE ME RUN: Arizona has displayed a knack for timely runs so far this season. February 23 vs. Washington State, the Wildcats used a 21-9 run in the first half that game UA a double-figure lead it would not relinquish. Here is a look at UA's notable runs to date:
26-3 run over 8:41 (2nd) at Texas Tech, Dec. 1
30-8 run over 12:57 (1st+2nd) vs. Washington, Feb. 20
27-8 run over 6:53 (2nd+ot) vs. Colorado, Jan. 3
21-4 run over 9:07 (2nd) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
23-6 run over 7:55 (1st) vs. Long Beach State, Nov. 19
22-7 run over 8:56 (2nd) at Clemson, Dec. 8
18-4 run over 6:28 (1st) vs. USC, Jan. 26
13-0 run over 4:26 (2nd) vs. UTEP, Nov. 15
14-2 run over 4:10 (2nd) vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 28
22-10 run over 9:27 (1st) vs. Charleston Southern, Nov. 11
21-9 run over 11:02 (1st) vs. Washington State, Feb. 23
11-0 run over 3:38 (2nd) at Arizona State, Jan. 19
11-0 run over 3:13 (2nd) vs. Oral Roberts, Dec. 18
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed two student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (F, 6-7, 215) from Chester, Pa., who preps at Chester H.S.; and Elliott Pitts (G, 6-5, 180) from Dublin, Calif., who preps at De La Salle H.S.; make up a class that is ranked No. 18 nationally by espn.com.
UP NEXT: Following tonight's game, the Wildcats next will be in action on Saturday, March 9, when the squad hosts Arizona State in its regular-season finale. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on FSN.