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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 3/8/2007
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/07/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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No. 5 Seed Arizona (20-9, 11-7) at Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament

 

Date:  Thursday, March 8, 2007

Time:  12:20 p.m. PST

Location:  Staples Center (19,282), Los Angeles, Calif.

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

TV:  FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belluomini)

 

Game Data:  No. 5 seed Arizona (20-9, 11-7 Pac-10) travels to Los Angeles for the 2007 Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament and opens play in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon against No. 4 seed Oregon (23-7, 11-7 Pac-10)  ... Arizona’s 16 wins and four championships (1988-90, 2002) in this event are league bests ... Since the event was reincarnated in the Staples Center in 2002, the Wildcats are 7-4 in tournament play ... Arizona is 2-0 in neutral-site games this year.

 

The Rankings:  For the third consecutive week, Arizona is unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.  Arizona fell out of both polls on Feb. 19.  Prior to Feb. 19, the Wildcats had been ranked in each AP poll this season.

 

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 781-278 (.737) and 589-186 (.760) 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 775th collegiate victory on Jan. 24, 2007, and became Arizona’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 UCLA’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, ?'89, ?'90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for 22 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 second-best winning percentage over the past 19 years (499-131/.792) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’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 Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 36-12 against Oregon.

 

Last Time Out:  Ivan Radenovic scored a career-high 37 points, and played what Lute Olson called, “one of the best games I’ve ever had anyone play for me,” to lead Arizona to the 85-80 overtime win at Stanford last Saturday.  The senior forward hit two key free throws with 12 seconds to go in regulation and scored six of the team’s points in the extra session to clinch the victory.  The Cats built as much as a 20-point lead in the first half and then withstood a Stanford rally that ultimately tied the game with seven seconds remaining in regulation, but most importantly, never trailed in the contest.

 

Scouting Oregon:  The Ducks (23-7, 11-7 Pac-10) enter the tournament as the league’s hottest team having won its last four games, including a 70-49 triumph over Oregon State last Saturday.  As a team, Oregon averages 76.3 points per game, shoots 44.2 percent (781-of-1,765) from the field and posts a +2.7 per game rebound margin.  Defensively, the Ducks allow 66.9 points per game and a .447 field goal percentage.  Five Oregon players average in double figures, led by Aaron Brooks’ 18.0 points per game figure.  Maarty Leunen leads UO with an 8.6 rebounds per game mark.

 

The Series:  Today’s game is the 60th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 39-20 series advantage. UA has won eight of the last 10 meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 12, 1979, including the last meeting, 77-74, on Feb. 10 in Eugene. All-time, Arizona is 23-6 in series games played in Tucson, 16-13 in Eugene, and 0-1 in neutral-site games. Please see page 100 in the UA media guide for more series information.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona 77, Oregon 74, Feb. 10, 2007:  In a second half full of runs by both teams, Arizona made the necessary plays late to win by three.  Ivan Radenovic’s field goal with six seconds to go put the Cats up by one and Chase Budinger added two free throws four seconds later to clinch it.  UA trailed by as many as nine in the second half, the last time coming at the 8:25 mark, but outscored Oregon 22-10 the rest of the way.  Budinger finished with game-high totals of 30 points and 10 rebounds. 

 

Green With Envy:  Arizona’s 16-5 (.762) record in the Pac-10 Tournament is a league best, however, UA is 0-1 against the Ducks in tournament action.  Oregon defeated Arizona, 72-63, on March 6, 1987, in the only previous postseason meeting.  It is one of two first-game exits for the Wildcats (2003) in this event.

 

Up and At ?'Em:  With tip-off scheduled for 12:20 p.m., today’s game marks the eighth game this season that has started on or before 1 p.m. local time.  The Cats have a 4-3 record in the seven prior early-afternoon affairs.

 

In the Bag:  Saturday’s victory over Stanford gave Arizona is 20th win of the season and extended to 20 UA’s streak of consecutive 20-win seasons, which is the longest active streak in the country. It was the 29th 20-win season for Lute Olson, extending an NCAA record he shares with Bob Knight and Jim Boeheim, and was the 30th 20-win season in Arizona history.

 

Against Ranked Teams:  With 16-ranked Oregon on the docket this afternoon, it marks Arizona’s 10th game against a nationally ranked opponent this season.  To date, the Wildcats are 3-6 in such contests.

 

Strong to the finish:  After struggling for much of the season in tight games, Arizona’s luck seems to have turned in games decided by five points or less.  After starting 0-4, UA has won four of its last five close calls.  Interestingly, all four of Arizona’s victories in such contests have come on the road in those games in Pac-10 play.  Additionally, Arizona has won its last five road games this season.

 

In March:  Since the start of the 1996-97 season, Arizona has a 49-19 (.721) record in the month of March.  In that span, 25 of those games have been played in the regular season and UA is 19-6 (.760) in them.

 

The Week’s Best:  Ivan Radenovic was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season on March 5 after averaging 28.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 68.0 percent (17-of-25) from the field in wins at California and Stanford.  The senior forward also connected on 2-of-2 (1.000) three-point attempts and added two blocks and two steals.  He opened the week with 19 points (5-of-7 FGs) to go with eight rebounds and two blocks in the win over California.  He followed that up with a career-high 37 points, nine rebounds, a career-high seven assists and zero turnovers in 44 minutes of the overtime win at Stanford.  Radenovic connected on both three-point attempts and all 11 free throws en route to the second-highest point total by a Pac-10 player this season and the most for a UA player in two seasons.  On the year, Radenovic is averaging 15.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.

 

Something Special:  Ivan Radenovic’s 37-point, nine-rebound, seven-assist, zero-turnover effort Saturday at Stanford could simply have been noteworthy for the career highs (points, assists, minutes played), or the shooting (12-of-18 FG, 11-of-11 FT), but it may have been more so for this reason.  At a school dominated recently by perimeter players, Radenovic’s 37 points are the most in a single game by a Wildcat post player since F/C Larry Demic poured in 38 points at UCLA on Feb. 17, 1979.

 

Elite Company:  Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chase Budinger’s 25 points last week elevated him further among some elite company.  The 6-foot-7 forward from Encinitas, Calif., is one of just nine freshmen in Arizona history to score more than 400 points in his debut season.  He currently has 459 points scored through 29 games (16.1 ppg).  Here is the list:  1.) Coniel Norman (1972-73), 576; 2.) Gilbert Arenas (1999-2000), 523; 3.) Sean Elliott (1985-86), 499; 4.) Eric Money (1972-73), 492; 5.) Chase Budinger (2006-07), 459; 6.) Mike Bibby (1996-97), 458;  7.) Salim Stoudamire (2001-02), 434; 8.) Marcus Williams (2005-06), 430; and 9.) Bob Elliott (1973-74), 429.

 

Miscellaneous Germinations: The Wildcats enter the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament as the No. 5 seed. That is Arizona’s lowest seed in the tournament’s 10-year history. Previously, Arizona has been a No. 1 seed four times (1988, ?'89, 2003, ?'05), No. 2 three times (1987, ?'90, 2002) No. 3 once (2004) and No. 4 once (2006).

 

All-Conference: Four Arizona players earned all-Pac-10 honors in voting released March 5 by the league’s head coaches. Marcus Williams was a first team all-conference honoree, while Ivan Radenovic and Musta Shakur were honorable mention picks, and Chase Budinger was named Freshman of the Year. Williams moved up to first team honors after being an all-freshman selection last year. Previously, Radenovic was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2006.

 

Streaking: Arizona is riding a streak of 23 consecutive seasons with 11 or more Pac-10 wins. The longest current streak by another Pac-10 foe is UCLA with three.

 

Trends Worth Watching:  On average, Arizona outscores the opposition by 10.1 points per game from the free throw line ... This season, the Wildcats are 12-1 when committing the same or fewer turnovers than the opponents ... Arizona is 18-2 when posting a higher field goal percentage than the opposition.

 

Board Work: One figure that almost unfailingly continues is Arizona’s ability to control the boards. The Wildcats outrebounded the Cardinal, 35-34, Saturday, which marked the 22nd time in 29 games that Arizona has collected more caroms than the opposition. In conference play, Arizona outrebounded 15 of 18 overall. In the last 15 league games, Arizona outrebounded eight of them by seven rebounds or more. In conference games, UA’s rebound margin in +4.9.

 

Scoring 80:  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 162-19 (.895) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.  Arizona is 12-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points.

 

Always On the Run:  Early this season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  Here are the ones of note to date:

25-0 run over 7:45 vs. New Mexico State, Nov. 19 (UA went 11-of-16 during run: NMSU 0-of-10)

34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern Arizona, Nov. 15 (UA went 12-of-16 during run: NAU 3-of-16)

31-9 run over 7:54 vs. California, Dec. 28 (UA went 11-of-13 during the run; Cal 4-of-14)

28-9 run over 11:22 vs. Samford, Nov. 22 (SU went 3-of-16 with four turnovers during run)

20-2 run over 5:59 vs. Louisville, Dec. 5 (UL went 1-of-10; UA 7-of-8 during the run)

21-4 run over 8:08 vs. Illinois, Dec. 2, 2006 (UA 8-of-12 FGs during run)

25-8 run over 9:01 vs. Washington, Feb. 3, 2007 (UW 4-of-12 FG with five turnovers during run)

24-8 run over 9:17 at San Diego State, Dec. 9, 2006 (SDSU 4-of-18 FG with five TO during run)

18-3 run over 4:15 at Virginia, Nov. 12 (UA went 6-of-8 during run: UVa 1-of-8)

23-8 run over 7:11 vs. UNLV, Nov. 28 (UNLV 3-of-7 with six turnovers during run)

22-7 run over 9:10 at Stanford, March 3 (Stanford 2-of-12 FG during the run, UA 8-of-12)

15-0 run over 2:28 at Washington, Jan. 4 (McClellan 3-of-3 from three-point range, UA 6-of-6 FTs)

22-10 run over 8:25 at Oregon, Feb. 10 (UA 9-of-12 FGs during run, Oregon 2-of-10)

 

Early Signees:  Coach Olson and his staff signed five student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.  Jerryd Bayless (G, 6-3, 193) from Phoenix, Ariz., St. Mary’s High School; Jamelle Horne (F, 6-7, 205) from San Diego, Calif., San Diego High School;  Alex Jacobson (C, 7-1, 223) from Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School; Zane Johnson (F, 6-6, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., Thunderbird High School; and Laval Lucas-Perry (G, 6-1, 191) from Grand Blanc, Mich., Powers Catholic High School, will join the squad next fall.

 

Up Next:  A win today would vault Arizona into tomorrow’s semifinal at 6:20 p.m. PST.  A loss sends the Cats back to Tucson to await placement in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.  Sunday’s announcement is scheduled to air on CBS-TV at 3 p.m. PDT.

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