No. 3 Seed Arizona (29-6) at NCAA Chicago Regional
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2005
Time: approx. 9:15 p.m. CST
Location: Allstate Arena (17,500), Rosemont, Ill.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: CBS (Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas)
Game Data: The University of Arizona (29-6, 15-3 Pac-10) heads to the NCAA Regional Semifinals for the fourth time in the last five seasons ... The No. 3 seed in the Chicago Region, the Wildcats face No. 2 seed Oklahoma State (26-6, 11-5 Big 12) Thursday ... Arizona has a 39-22 (.639) record in its 24 NCAA Tournament appearances ... UA is 8-4 vs. the 2005 NCAA Tournament field ... This year’s appearance is the 12th “Sweet 16” berth in school history with 11 of those coming under the guidance of Lute Olson.
The Rankings: A runner-up finish at the Pac-10 tourney slid Arizona into the No. 9 spot in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 303 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 740-255 (.744) and 548-163 (.771) 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 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 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 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 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 322-33 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 250 of its last 267 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 2-0 against Oklahoma State.
Last Time Out: A solid defensive effort on one end of the court balanced by better than 50 percent shooting on the other enabled Arizona to defeat UAB, 85-63, Saturday’s second round NCAA Tournament game. UA limited the Blazers to just 27.3 percent shooting (9-of-33) and shot 53.8 percent (14-of-26) themselves in outscoring UAB 45-32 in the second half and sprinting to the 22-point win. Salim Stoudamire poured in 28 points while Hassan Adams added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Scouting Oklahoma State: The Cowboys enter Thursday’s game with a 26-6 record (11-5 Big 12) after an 85-77 win Sunday vs. Southern Illinois in its second round game in Oklahoma City. OSU shoots 49.9 percent from the field (882-of-1767), posts a +5.3 rebound margin and outscores the opposition by 13.5 points per game. Individually, three Cowboys average in double figures, led by John Lucas, who scores at a 17.7 points per game clip. Senior forward Ivan McFarlin leads the club by averaging 7.5 rebounds per game.
The Series: Thursday’s game marks the third meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 2-0 series advantage. Both prior meetings came on a neutral court, including UA’s 73-63 win on Nov. 26, 1994, in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout, which was the last get-together. All-time, Arizona is 0-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-0 in Stillwater, and 2-0 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 167 of the UA basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 73, Oklahoma State 63, Nov. 26, 1994: A balanced offensive attack by Arizona in which four players finished in double figures offset Bryant Reeves’ 21 points and seven rebounds in earning the 10-point win. The Wildcats posted a 39-26 rebound advantage and outscored the Cowboys 12-3 from the free throw line. Ray Owes tallied 18 points and six boards, while Joseph Blair added 13 and 11.
Against the Big 12: Arizona has a cumulative 60-65 (.480) record against schools that currently reside in the Big 12 Conference. The last time Arizona faced a Big 12 foe came on Dec. 9, 2003, a 91-83 win over Texas at Madison Square Garden. In NCAA Tournament play, UA is 2-6 against the current Big 12 membership.
As a No. 3 Seed: All-time, Arizona has a 6-3 (.667) record when playing as a No. 3 seed. The last time the Wildcats entered the tournament as a No. 3 seed came in 2002 out of the West Region, where the squad advanced to the regional semifinal. Arizona also played as a three seed in 1992 and 1996.
Second City, Second Place: Arizona’s visits to the Windy City haven’t exactly been kind, as the Cats are 1-4 all-time in the Chicago metropolitan area. UA’s first trip to Chicago resulted in a 37-26 loss at DePaul on Jan. 3, 1934. More recently, Arizona has dropped three consecutive games at the United Center (to Kansas and Connecticut, respectively, in the 1997 and 1999 Great Eight), and its last trip, an 81-73 loss to Illinois on Dec. 16, 2000. The only win for UA in Chicagoland came on Nov. 27, 1978, an 83-80 win at Northwestern.
Sweet 16: 2005 marks Arizona’s 12th regional semifinal berth and its seventh in the last 10 years. The Cats are one of six schools nationally to have made six or more Sweet 16 appearances in the decade. Here is the list and each program’s best finish in that span (1995-2005):
1. Kentucky 8 National Champions 1996, 1998
Duke 8 National Champions 2001
3. ARIZONA 7 National Champions 1997
4. Michigan State 6 National Champions 2000
Connecticut 6 National Champions 1999, 2004
Kansas 6 Runner-Up 2003
A Nice Pairing: More than 1,500 coaching victories will be on the sidelines in Thursday’s second regional semifinal when Arizona’s Lute Olson (740 victories) meets Oklahoma State’s Eddie Sutton (781). Sutton and Olson rank second and third, respectively, on the active NCAA Division I victories list. With a combined 65 years of Division I experience between them, the pair have only faced each other twice, both UA wins over Oklahoma State in December 1993 and November 1994.
All-America: Senior guard Salim Stoudamire picked up a pair of All-America accolades after averaging a career-best 18.4 points per game and leading the nation (as of March 7) with a 52.5 (107-of-204) three-point field goal percentage. Stoudamire was a second team All-America selection by the United States Basketball Writers Association and a first team pick by collegeinsider.com. The All-America accolades were a first in Stoudamire’s career.
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 43-15 (.741) record in the month of March.
All-Conference: Three Arizona players earned all-conference honors in voting released March 7 by the league’s head coaches. Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire were all-conference honorees, while Hassan Adams was an honorable mention selection. For Frye, it was his second all-Pac-10 honor, while it was the first for Stoudamire. Adams was an honorable mention pick last season as well.
Champions Again: Arizona’s 70-68 win over Arizona State on March 5 clinched the 11th Pac-10 regular season championship for Arizona and the 24th conference championship in school history. Of Arizona’s 11 Pac-10 titles, nine have been of the outright variety. It is also UA’s third league championship since 2000 (2000, 2003).
Top of the Charts: That ASU win on March 5 also gave Lute Olson his 305th career Pac-10 victory, moving him past UCLA’s John Wooden for most career conference wins by a head coach. In 22 seasons, Olson has a career Pac-10 record of 305-87 (.778), while Wooden amassed a 304-74 (.810) mark in 27 seasons at the UCLA helm.
The Legacy Rides Lives On: Seniors Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire enter the NCAA Chicago Regional with a four-year record of 101-30 (.771). This continues an Arizona basketball legacy that has seen every four-year player to enter the program since the fall of 1985 win at least 100 games in his career, a streak that covers the last 17 senior classes.
Beyond the Arc: Salim Stoudamire continues to move his name up the NCAA statistical charts with some solid shooting in the NCAA Tournament. The 6-foot-1 guard currently carries a career three-point field goal percentage of 46.0 percent (337-of-733), a figure that is tied for fifth place in NCAA history. Stoudamire’s 337 career treys leaves tied for 22nd place all-time, just two shy of moving into a tie for 20th place on the career three-point field goals made list.
Hitting the Boards: Through 35 games this year, Arizona has outrebounded the opposition 25 times, and is 23-2 when accomplishing the feat. Arizona has posted at least a +10 rebound margin six times in 2004-05.
Getting After it: Arizona has done a good job to date of making it tough for opponents to score as the club has limited the opposition to just 43.3 percent shooting (892-of-2058). Ten times this season UA has held the opposition to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor, including both NCAA Tournament foes.
A Strong Second Half: Arizona has been very good at getting out to first half leads this season, but it’s been some outstanding play in the second half of the NCAA Tournament that has made the difference. In games against Utah State and UAB, Arizona combined to limit them to a .270 field goal percentage (17-of-63) after the break, while shooting .542 (26-of-48) in the same span. All told, the second half opponent field goal percentages were the second and third lowest figures of the season. In those two NCAA Tournament games, Arizona also posted a 40-31 rebound advantage in the second half.
From the Line: One place Arizona has been good all season long is at the free throw line. The Cats enter the regional ranked second nationally (as of March 14) with a 77.8 (513-of-659) free throw percentage. Ten of Arizona’s 13 active players, including all five starters, are shooting better than 70 percent from the charity stripe. Last season, Arizona ranked second nationally with a school-record 78.6 free throw percentage.
Dialing it In: The Wildcats’ .472 (1014-of-2147) field goal percentage is nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s definitely impressive when looking at where it was three months ago. Nine games into the season, Arizona was shooting a combined 39.3 percent from the floor (232-of-581). In the 26 games since, Arizona is shooting 49.9 (782-of-1566) percent from the floor. Not surprisingly, Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye have fueled the run. The duo combined to shoot 43.5 percent (80-of-184) in those first nine games and 55.6 percent (330-of-593) since.
In the Postseason: Counting conference tournament action, Arizona has been good at both ends of the court. In its five postseason games, the Wildcats are shooting 52.8 percent (150-of-284) from the floor and averaging 80.2 points per game. Defensively, UA limits the opposition to just 38.3 percent shooting (116-of-303) and 63.8 points per game.
Center of Attention: Center Channing Frye has been so consistent for the Wildcats that it’s easy to overlook his contributions. In 35 games to date, the 6-foot-11 Frye averages 15.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots per game. His six-point effort vs. UAB snapped a streak of 25 consecutive games in double figures, and was a bit of an anomaly in Tournament play. In 10 career NCAA appearances, Frye is averaging 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds with double-doubles in six of those games.
His Time: Freshman Jawann McClellan has seen his productivity rise as his playing time has increased in the postseason. The 6-foot-4 guard from Houston is averaging 9.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in five postseason appearances to go with a 61.3 (19-of-31) field goal percentage. His 22.2 minutes per game average in the postseason is 6.9 minutes per game more than his season average.
Seeking Balance: Arizona is at its best when there are plenty of points to go around. The Wildcats are 19-2 this season when four or more players score 10 or more points. Not surprisingly, UA averages 83.3 points per game in those contests, 3.1 points higher than its season scoring average.
A Record of Some Significance: At a school known for its guards, senior Salim Stoudamire broke Steve Kerr’s conference and school record when he sank his fifth trey Saturday against UAB. It was Stoudamire’s 115th trey of the season, one more than Kerr tallied in 1987-88.
That’s His Role: Maybe it was good timing, but it was convenient that sophomore center Kirk Walters stepped up and notched a career high with eight points and a steal vs. UAB on a day where senior Channing Frye tallied a season-low six points. It’s the kind of productivity Lute Olson envisioned when he pulled the 6-foot-10 Walters out of a redshirt 15 games into the season on Jan. 13. In 19 games, Walters is averaging 2.6 points and 1.5 rebounds per game while shooting 54.8 percent from the floor.
Family Tradition: The statistical comparisons have hung around Salim Stoudamire since he arrived in Tucson in the Fall of 2001. So as the senior guard from Portland, Ore., runs through his final NCAA Tournament, lets look at his career numbers against those of his cousin Damon (1991-95).
Player GP-GS Min FG-A Pct. 3FG-A Pct. FT-A Pct. Reb/G A TO St Pts-Avg.
Damon 123-92 3666 614-1343 .457 272-677 .402 349-343 .804 3.8 663 378 174 1849-15.0
Salim 127-115 3787 606-1282 .473 337-733 .460 383-440 .870 2.2 242 260 95 1932-15.2
Doubling Up: Generally speaking, it’s a good sign for the Wildcats when Hassan Adams is active on the boards. That was the case Saturday vs. UAB, as the 6-foot-4 junior posted his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds. On the year, Adams is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
In Close: The Wildcats did a nice job of pounding the ball inside against Utah State and UAB in Boise, as 66 percent of Arizona’s field goals came from inside the lane. In its first and second round games, 35 of UA’s 53 made field goals came in the paint, including 22 on dunks, lay-up or tip-ins.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Fifteen times during the 2004-05 season UA has posted a scoring run of more than 15 points. Here is a look at the list:
24 points ?- 38-14 run over 11:33 vs. Oregon, Feb. 17
21 points ?- 29-8 run over 8:58 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
19 points ?- 27-8 run over 8:10 vs. Wright State, Nov. 18
19 points ?- 22-3 run over 8:49 vs. Richmond, Dec. 30
19 points ?- 19-0 run over 4:10 at UCLA, Feb. 12
19 points ?- 19-0 run over 4:32 at Arizona State, March 5
18 points ?- 20-2 run over 8:11 vs. San Diego, Nov. 16
18 points ?- 22-4 run over 7:50 vs. California, Feb. 3
18 points ?- 31-13 run over 9:59 vs. Oregon State, Feb. 20
17 points ?- 25-8 run over 10:15 vs. Eastern Washington, Dec. 28
16 points ?- 18-2 run over 5:00 vs. Wyoming, Nov. 30
16 points ?- 23-7 run over 5:59 vs. Manhattan, Dec. 21
16 points ?- 21-5 run over 5:12 vs. Arizona State, Jan. 2
16 points ?- 16-0 run over 4:24 at Oregon, Jan. 20
16 points ?- 29-13 run over 10:56 vs. Stanford, Feb. 5
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 142-17 (.893) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 18-1 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.