Feb. 7, 2003
Date: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003
Time: 7 p.m. PST
Location: Friel Court (12,058), Pullman, Wash.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
GAME DATA: Second-ranked Arizona (17-2, 9-1 Pac-10) looks to remain perfect on the road in Pac-10 play Saturday at Washington State (5-14, 0-10 Pac-10) ... The Wildcats are 5-0 in conference play away from McKale Center and has won those games by an average of 14.2 points ... Over the last 19-plus seasons, Arizona has a 117-59 (.665) record in Pac-10 road games, the best mark in the conference ... Arizona has swept the Washington road swing in each of the last three seasons ... With two points in Saturday's game, Jason Gardner will move into fifth place on the Arizona career points scored list with 1,792.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona slipped to No. 2 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls after spending Jan. 20-Feb. 2 in the No. 1 position. The Cats also spent the first six weeks of the season as the nation's top-ranked club. UA has been ranked in 264 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH LUTE OLSON . . . is in his 20th season at Arizona and his 30th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 680-237 (.742) and 488-145 (.771) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona during the 2000 campaign and has the third most Pac-10 wins (271) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75) and Oregon State's Slats Gill (276, 1929-64) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage (.779/271-77) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74) ... During his 20-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 nine Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, '89, '90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 18 years in a row, 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 six times (1986, '88, '89, '93, '94, '98), 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 15 years (401-97/.805) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 45 NBA Draft picks, including 26 at Arizona - 20 alone since 1990 ... He's led UA to 15 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 24 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 24 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 290-30 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 218 of its last 233 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 37-2 against Washington State, including a 16-1 mark at Friel Court.
LAST TIME OUT: A Salim Stoudamire trey with 1:18 to go in overtime put Arizona ahead for good as the Wildcats escaped from Seattle Thursday with an 88-85 win over Washington. Stoudamire connected on 9-of-13 field goal attempts, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, en route to a game-high 25 points. Channing Frye scored 15 of his career-high 24 points and added 12 rebounds in the second half to help UA erase a 10-point deficit. It was Frye's second consecutive double-double this season.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: The Cougars (5-14, 0-10 Pac-10) enter Saturday's game riding a 10-game losing streak after Thursday's 87-54 loss to Arizona State. Overall, WSU averages 71.3 points and 36.0 rebounds per game, but those figures drop to 66.3 points and 32.3 rebounds per game in conference play. Cougar opponents are shooting 48.6 percent from the floor, including 52.5 percent in Pac-10 play. Thomas Kelati currently leads WSU with a 10.9 points per game average.
THE SERIES: Today's game marks the 53rd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 42-10 series advantage. Arizona has won 35 consecutive games in the series, which dates back to Dec. 22, 1959, including an 82-69 win over the Cougars in Tucson on Jan. 9. All-time, Arizona is 21-5 in series games played in Tucson, 17-5 in Pullman and 4-0 in neutral-site games. See page 125 of the UA media guide for more series information.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 82, Washington State 69, Jan. 9, 2003: Arizona snapped out of a lethargic performance just long enough to post a 15-0 run midway through the second half in earning its third straight Pac-10 victory. Channing Frye, Jason Gardner and Luke Walton combined for 13 points and four assists in the decisive run, which covered 3:37 and pushed the lead to 19. A balanced UA attack, featuring four players in double figures, offset a 35-point effort by WSU's Marcus Moore while Frye and Rick Anderson each posted double-doubles.
MAKING THE CUT: Seniors Jason Gardner and Luke Walton were among 30 players that were included on the John R. Wooden Award's Midseason Top 30 list. Arizona is one of only two schools in the nation (Kansas) to have two players appear on the midseason list. Through 19 games, Gardner is averaging a team-leading 14.6 points per game to go with 3.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, while Walton is averaging 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 15 games played.
CLOSE CALLS: Arizona's three-point win Thursday equaled its closest margin of victory of the season. In close calls this season, Arizona is 2-2 in games decided by five points or less. Close games were more common a year ago, as the Cats were 7-4 in games decided by five points or less.
TRUE TO FORM: The Wildcats managed to keep a season-long trend intact against Washington, as UA outshot the Huskies, .443-.387. On the season, Arizona is 16-1 when shooting better than the opposition. Arizona shot 50 percent from the floor (17-of-34) in Thursday's game in the second half and overtime, while Washington managed just .429 accuracy (15-of-35).
EXTRA SESSIONS: Thursday's overtime contest was the first of the season for Arizona, and the first for the team since Feb. 2, 2001, in an 88-82 win at Stanford. All told, Arizona is 35-38 (.479) in overtime games, including a 15-20 mark in road games. Under Lute Olson, Arizona is 16-13 (.552).
REBOUNDING EDGE: Washington accomplished something Thursday that only one other Pac-10 team had managed: outrebound the Wildcats. Bolstered by a 28-18 first half edge, Washington outrebounded Arizona, 44-39, to mark just the second team to post a rebound against Arizona in Pac-10 play (Stanford). Overall, Arizona has outrebounded 11 of the last 13 opponents.
DOUBLE PLAY: Sophomore Channing Frye posted his second straight double-double with a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds Thursday at Washington. In playing a season-best 38 minutes, Frye hit 10-of-16 field goal attempts (both career-high totals) and scored 15 of his points in the second half. It was his ninth career double-double and UA's sixth this season. Frye leads UA with three double-doubles in 2002-03.
COLLECTING ASSISTS: Senior point guard Jason Gardner passed out a game-high seven assists Thursday in 41 minutes (against one turnover). The effort moved him into third place on the school's career assist list with 564. Only Russell Brown (810/1978-81) and Damon Stoudamire (663/1992-95) have more assists than Gardner. Incidentally, Jason Gardner is averaging 6.0 assists over his last 10 games.
SIMPLE CONTRIBUTIONS: Freshman Andre Iguodala chipped in with eight points and three rebounds in Thursday's win. In those 15 minutes played, Iguodala hit 2-of-3 FG attempts, 4-of-7 FT attempts and added a blocked shot
SOLID EFFORT: In addition to his seven points and six rebounds Thursday, Rick Anderson also tallied season-high totals of four assists and three steals. In those 29 minutes against the Huskies, Anderson did not turn the ball over and also chipped in with a blocked shot. On the year, Anderson is averaging 10.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
FINDING THE RANGE: Salim Stoudamire connected on 5-of-8 three-point attempts Thursday en route to 25 points against Washington, which was his 10th double-figure effort of the season. Stoudamire's accuracy continues to improve, as he is shooting 55.7 percent (49-of-88) from the field over his last nine games, including 50.0 percent (28-of-56) from three-point range. His 41 treys on the season lead the team.
SELECT COMPANY: With a lay-up at the 14:22 mark Thursday, Luke Walton became the 32nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. The majority of those points have come over his last two seasons, as Walton has averaged 13.5 points per game in the 46 games since the start of his junior season. In that span, he has scored 620 of his 1,011 career points. Damon Stoudamire, Jason Gardner, Walton and Matt Othick are the only players in Arizona history to notch more than 1,000 points and 500 assists in a career.
SCORING 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 75-7 (.915) since the start of the 1998-99 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats were 16-4 last season when scoring at least 80 points.
EARLY SIGNEES: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Ndudi Ebi (F, 6-8, 192) from Houston, Texas, Westbury Christian High School, Mustafa Shakur (G, 6-3, 175) from Wynnewood, Pa., Friends Central High School and Kirk Walters (C, 6-10, 210) from Grand Rapids, Mich., South Christian High School will join the squad next fall.
UP NEXT: The Wildcats return home to host the Southern California schools next week. UA hosts UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 8:30 p.m. MST and USC on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m. MST.