Game 29: No. 9 Arizona (24-4, 14-2) at No. 14 Washington (22-4, 12-3)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005
Time: 1 p.m. PST
Location: Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Game Data: No. 9 Arizona (24-4, 14-2 Pac-10) heads to Seattle to take on No. 14 Washington (22-4, 12-3 Pac-10) Saturday at Bank of America Arena ... Not only does Saturday’s game feature the Pac-10’s two nationally ranked teams, but also the league’s best home team (8-0 Washington) vs. the best road team (6-1 Arizona) ... In 22 seasons, Arizona is a Pac-10-best 131-65 (.668) in conference road games ... A win today would give Arizona its 12th 25-win season under Lute Olson.
The Rankings: After a pair of wins last week, Arizona rose to No. 9 in the Associated Press Top 25 and to No. 8 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 300 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 735-253 (.744) and 543-161 (.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 is tied with UCLA’s John Wooden (304, 1949-75) for the most Pac-10 wins (304) in history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.779/304-86) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only 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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 20 years, 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 31-14 against Washington.
Last Time Out: Ivan Radenovic made two free throws with nine seconds remaining in overtime to clinch the come-from-behind 57-56 win over Washington State Thursday by scoring the final four points of the ballgame. Channing Frye tallied 26 points, eight rebounds and four blocks to lead the UA frontline that 46 of Arizona’s 57 points and grabbed 24 of 33 rebounds. UA hit 16-of-20 free throws en route to a 16-9 advantage from the line.
Scouting Washington: The Huskies enter Saturday’s game with a 22-4 record (12-3 Pac-10) after a win Thursday vs. Arizona State. Entering the week, UW was shooting 48.6 percent from the field (791-of-1628), posted a +4.8 rebound margin and outscored the opposition by 14.4 points per game. Individually, five Huskies average in double figures, led by Tre Simmons, who averages 16.1 points per game. Bobby Jones leads the team by averaging 5.7 rebounds per game.
The Series: Thursday’s game marks the 56th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 37-18 series advantage. UA has won nine of the last 12 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 29, 1964, including the last get-together, 91-82, in Tucson on Jan. 27. All-time, Arizona is 21-5 in series games played in Tucson, 15-12 in Seattle, and 1-1 in neutral-site games. For more series information, please see page 105 of the UA basketball media guide.
Last Meeting: Arizona 91, Washington 82, Jan. 27, 2005: Arizona set a school record by making 38-of-40 free throws and held Washington to 38.6 percent shooting from the field in posting the come-from-behind win. Salim Stoudamire scored a game-high 25 points and Channing Frye tallied 14 of his 18 points in the second half as the Wildcats rallied from an 11-point first half deficit. In limiting UW to just 32.4 percent shooting in the second half, UA outscored the visitors, 51-35, in the final stanza.
Matching a Legend: Thursday’s win gave UA coach Lute Olson his 304th career Pac-10 victory, equaling UCLA’s John Wooden for most career conference wins by a league head coach. Entering today’s game, Olson has a career Pac-10 record of 304-86 (.779), while Wooden amassed a 304-74 (.810) mark while the mentor in Westwood. Incidentally, Olson currently stands 14th on the NCAA all divisions coaching victories list with a record of 735-253 (.744). He is also ranks third on the NCAA Division I active victories list behind only Texas Tech’s Bob Knight and Oklahoma State’s Eddie Sutton.
A Win Today: An Arizona win today would give the Wildcats its 11th Pac-10 regular season championship and its 24th league title in school history. Of the 10 Pac-10 titles that Olson has won since 1986, eight of those have been of the outright variety. Additionally, it would also be Arizona’s third road sweep of the conference season.
Against Ranked Teams: Heading into Saturday’s game with 14th-ranked Washington, Arizona has a 3-1 record against ranked opponents this season. While at Arizona, Olson has a 98-62 (.613) record vs. ranked foes.
In Overtime: Ivan Radenovic’s clinching free throws on Thursday improved the Wildcats’ record to 2-0 in overtime contests.
A Win Nonetheless: Featuring 19 second half points, a season-low 45 field goal attempts and a season-high 21 turnovers, it certainly wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but it counts just the same. Arizona held Washington State scoreless over the last 2:34 of regulation and 2:02 in overtime in erasing four- and three-point deficits, respectively and earn the one-point win. In that span, Arizona held WSU to 0-of-4 shooting and forced two turnovers.
A Career Night: Senior center Channing Frye proved to be the difference in Thursday’s game, as he connected on 11-of-13 field goals en route to a career high 26 points. The 6-foot-11 Frye added eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals in 43 minutes. The effort raised his season field goal percentage to 51.6 percent (162-of-314).
Elite Company: Frye’s 26 points Thursday vaulted him past Chris Mills into 10th place on the Arizona career scoring list with 1,621 points. In 124 career games, Frye is averaging 13.1 points per game. Now that Frye has joined Salim Stoudamire near the top of UA’s career scoring list, it marks the first time since 1998 that two active Wildcats were top-10 career scorers. Seven years ago, Michael Dickerson (1,791 points) and Miles Simon (1,664) were the last to accomplish the feat.
Last Line of Defense: Center Channing Frye tallied four blocked shots in Thursday’s win, marking the fifth time this season he has had four or more blocks in a game. The interesting part is that all five have come in his last 11 games played.
Heating Up: Arizona has scored 90 or more points in four of the last seven games, a pace that has boosted the Wildcat season scoring average to 79.4 points per game. In 16 conference games, Arizona has topped the 90-point plateau seven times and is averaging 83.2 points per game, a figure that is 10.4 points per game higher than the opposition.
Three for the Show: Channing Frye became just the third player in Arizona history to collect 900 career rebounds. Frye, who currently ranks third in UA history with 905 rebounds, has a career average of 7.3 rebounds per game. He trails only Al Fleming, who grabbed 1,190 career boards from 1973-76, and Bob Elliott, who collected 1,083 career caroms between 1974-77.
Playing From Behind: The Wildcats didn’t let a 32-30 halftime deficit bother them on the way to victory on Thursday. While it was just the ninth time the team trailed at the break, the Cats have rebounded to post a 7-2 mark in those contests, including a 5-1 record in Pac-10 play.
Winning the Close ones: The one-point win over Washington State improved the Arizona record to 6-1 in games decided by five points or less. That’s a marked improvement over last season, as the 2003-04 Wildcats were just 4-6 in those games.
A Bad Night Turned Good: Despite hitting just 1-of-7 field goal attempts, Salim Stoudamire managed help in other ways. The senior guard hit 6-of-6 free throws and passed out a season-high four assists to go with a steal in a season-best 38 minutes played. Incidentally, his eight points snapped a streak of 13 consecutive games in double figures.
Streaking: During its current seven-game win streak, Arizona is shooting 52.8 percent (226-of-428) from the field, 45.0 percent (50-of-111) from three-point range, and four of UA’s five starters are shooting 53 percent from the field or better in that span. Furthermore, UA is posting a 96-57 scoring advantage from the free throw line, a +6.0 rebound margin and a +15.4 scoring margin.
Controlling the Boards: Arizona is 18-2 this season when outrebounding the opposition, and six times the squad has posted at least a +10 rebound margin. UA has outrebounded 20 of 27 opponents in 2004-05. Last season, Arizona was 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition.
On the Tube: Arizona’s March 5 men’s basketball game at Arizona State will tip-off at 4 p.m. MST, the Pacific-10 Conference office announced Monday. The contest was selected for national broadcast by Fox Sports Net. It marks Arizona’s 17th national television appearance of the season.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Fourteen 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
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 139-16 (.897) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 15-0 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.
Up Next: Following today’s game, Arizona closes the regular season against Arizona State. The contest, scheduled for Saturday, March 5, in Tempe, tips off at 4 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.