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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 12/30/2006
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/29/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 12:  No. 7 Arizona (10-1, 1-0) vs. Stanford (8-2, 1-0)

 

Date:  Saturday, Dec. 30, 2006

Time:  Noon MST

Location:  Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.

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

TV:  FSN (Barry Tompkins/Dan Belloumini)

 

Game Data:  No. 7 Arizona (10-1, 1-0 Pac-10) closes a four-game homestand and the calendar year 2006 Saturday in McKale Center against Stanford (8-2, 1-0 Pac-10) ... Slightly different philosophies will be on display as the Cats and Cardinal take the court ?- Stanford averages 69.0 points per game and has topped 80 points just three times this season, while Arizona averages 86.6 points and has scored fewer than 80 points three times this season ... Over the last five seasons, the UA-SU game in Tucson has been decided by an average of 9.4 points.

 

The Rankings:  Following a victory on Dec. 20, Arizona rose to No. 7 in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.  The Wildcats have been ranked in each poll to date 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 771-270 (.741) and 579-178 (.765) 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 750th collegiate victory on Dec. 31, 2005, and became Arizona’s career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the most Pac-10 wins (317) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/317-94) 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 19 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 28 overall in his career, making him one of only three head coaches in NCAA history to record 28 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 340-35 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 268 of its last 287 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 34-15 against Stanford.

 

Last Time Out:  Once the Arizona starters got it going, the Cats gave California all it could handle in a 94-85 win on Thursday.  Trailing 24-20 with 9:22 to go in the first half, UA closed the period on a 31-9 run and put the game out of reach.  The UA starting five shot .632 from the floor for the game and built as much as a 29-point lead in the second half.  Olson went to the bench with about nine minutes to go and the reserves surrendered 20 of those points down the stretch.

 

Scouting Stanford:  The Cardinal (8-4, 0-0 Pac-10) enter today’s game having won six of its last seven games after Thursday’s 71-60 win at Arizona State.  As a team, Stanford averages 69.0 points per game, shoots 45.2 percent (254-of-562) from the field and outrebounds the opposition by a +6.2 per game margin.  Defensively, Stanford allows just 61.5 points per game.  Two Cardinal players average in double figures, led by Lawrence Hill’s 14.8 points per game figure.  Robin Lopez leads the club with a 6.7 rebounds per game mark.

 

The Series:  Today’s game marks the 72nd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 46-25 series advantage.  Arizona has won four straight in the series, including a 73-68 win in Los Angeles on March 9, 2006 in the last get-together.  All-time, Arizona is 24-7 in series games played in Tucson, 18-16 in Palo Alto, Calif., and 4-2 in neutral site games. See page 101 of the UA media guide for more series information.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona 73, Stanford 68, March 9, 2006:  Turnovers and free throws proved to be the difference as Arizona pulled out a 73-68 win over Stanford.  Arizona forced Stanford into a season-high 23 turnovers, including three in the final minute, and held a 26-7 points off turnovers advantage.  The Cats also outscored the Cardinal 24-10 from the free throw line to offset a lackluster day from the field, as UA shot just 39 percent for the game.  Seventeen of Arizona’s last 21 points came from the stripe.

 

No Time to Sleep In:  Today’s noon tip-off is the first of five regular season games scheduled to begin prior to 1 p.m. local time.  Last year, Arizona was 7-1 in such contests.

 

Streaking:  UA’s current 10-game win streak equals the longest streaks of the last five seasons.  The last Arizona team to win 10 straight games was the 2002-03 club that posted two 10-game streaks during that season.  The last time Arizona had a winning streak of 11 games came during the 2000-01 campaign.  Incidentally, all of the wins in this year’s streak have been by seven points or more, and during the streak Arizona has outscored the opposition by an average of 16.2 points per game.

 

Very Accurate:  Led by its starting front line, Arizona shot a season-best 60.3 percent (35-of-58) from the field in Thursday’s win over California.  UA’s forward combination of Marcus Williams, Chase Budinger and Ivan Radenovic combined to make 19-of-23 (.826) of its field goal attempts.  When adding in the guards, the UA starting five combined to shoot 71.1 percent from the field (27-of-38).

 

High Water Mark:  Arizona’s 72.0 percent (18-of-25) shooting in the first half Thursday was it’s best effort in any half this season.  The figure was boosted by 11-of-13 (.846) shooting during a span of 7:54 that saw the Cats turn a four-point deficit into an 18-point lead.  The last time Arizona shot 72 percent or better from the field in a half came on Feb. 3, 2001, at Oregon State when the Cats connected on 77.3 percent (17-of-22) of its attempts in the second half of a 68-41 win.

 

Nicely Done:  Sophomore forward Marcus Williams knocked down all eight field goal attempts against the Golden Bears.  The effort was a UA individual season best for field goal percentage and improved Williams’ season field goal percentage to .522 (71-of-136).  Over the last nine seasons, no Arizona player has attempted as many as eight field goals and made all of them.

 

Sharing the Ball:  The Wildcats displayed a healthy dose of ball movement in Thursday’s win, amassing a season-high 24 assists.  It marked the fourth time this season that the team has had 20 or more assists.  Perhaps more impressively, UA collected those 24 assists on 35 total field goals (68.6 percent).  That’s the highest ratio of assists to field goals this season.

 

Toeing the Line:  Look no further than the free throw line for an indication of success, as the Wildcats have made 88 more free throws than opponents have attempted this season.  But here is something a little more interesting.  Over the last nine games, UA has outscored the opposition by a 166-41 margin from the stripe ?- or an average of 18.4-4.6 points per game.  In that span, opponents have attempted at least 10 free throws only twice, while Arizona has attempted 20 or more charity tosses seven times.  In case you were wondering, here is the team foul tally in those nine games:  Opponents 187, Arizona 98.

 

Yin and Yang:  There was a certain good news/bad news quality to Thursday’s win.  The good news:  the UA bench played 65 minutes, the most since Nov. 22, and notched 20 points and 14 rebounds.  The bad news:  the reserves squandered most of a 29-point lead over the last 12 minutes of the game.  All told, California tallied a UA opponent season-high 33 field goals Thursday, and 15 of those buckets came in the game’s last 12 minutes.

 

Playing from Behind:  Thursday’s game marked the fourth time this season that Arizona trailed at the 10-minute mark of the first half.  In each of those games, the Wildcats have come from behind to win each of those games.  Interestingly, UA has come back to take the lead in all four contests prior to the five-minutes remaining in the second half.

 

Mac Daddy:  Jawann McClellan has been one of the Cats’ most consistent performers through the first 11 games.  The 6-foot-4 junior from Houston is averaging 13.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, while shooting 46.9 percent from the field.  Over his last three games, McClellan is shooting 48.0 percent (12-of-25) from the field to go with 12 assists, a figure that is exactly half of his season total.

 

Topping 20:  By connecting on all eight of his shots Thursday, forward Marcus Williams quickly finished with a game-high 21 points.  It was his team-leading fifth 20-point game of the season and the team’s 14th this year.  For his career, Williams has 10 20-point to his credit.

 

College Boards:  Both Mustafa Shakur (9) and Jordan Hill (6) equaled career rebounding highs Thursday night.  The duo helped Arizona post a 39-30 rebound advantage vs. California.  On the year, Arizona is 8-0 when outrebounding the opposition.  Six times this year Arizona has outrebounded an opponent by nine or more.

 

Moving Up:  As mentioned above, Jordan Hill grabbed a season-high six boards against California.  The 6-foot-9 forward from Atlanta has seen his profile rise of late, as he is averaging 3.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 11.7 minutes over his last three appearances.  All of those numbers are improvements over his season-long averages.

 

Stat Sheet Stuffer:  To borrow a phrase from CBS-TV’s Clark Kellogg, Ivan Radenovic is a “stat sheet stuffer.”  That certainly was on display Thursday, as the senior forward tallied 17 points (6-of-7 FG), nine rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in 27 minutes.  The best part...he did so without a turnover.  On the year, Radenovic leads Arizona is scoring (15.5 ppg), rebounding (7.5 rpg), field goal percentage (.600) and free throw percentage (.864).

 

Auld Lang Syne:  With the end of another calendar year nearly upon us, it’s worth noting that the Wildcats are a spotless 22-0 under Lute Olson in the team’s final game of December.  It’s worth noting that 19 victories came during the Fiesta Bowl Classic and two were non-conference games.  Only last year’s win at Washington was a Pac-10 tilt.

 

Scoring 80:  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 157-19 (.892) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.  Arizona is 7-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points, a feat that has happened in eight of 11 games this year.

 

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)

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)

 

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:  Following today’s affair, Arizona will be on the road for four of its next six games, beginning at No. 14 Washington on Thursday, Jan. 4.  The game will begin at 7 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.

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