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Wildcats Return Home to Host WSU Thursday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/15/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 15, 2011

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Date: Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)

Online Coverage: Gametracker | Live Audio

Game Data:  Twelfth-ranked Arizona (21-4, 10-2 Pac-10) hosts Washington State (17-8, 7-6 Pac-10) Thursday at McKale Center ... With two-thirds of the conference schedule in the rearview mirror, Arizona will play four of its last six regular season games at home ... Through 13 home games to date, Arizona is averaging 79.4 points per game in McKale Center to go with a 50.1 field goal percentage (340-of-678) ... UA has topped the 80-point plateau in its last three home games ... Tonight's game features the top two scorers in the Pac-10 Conference:  WSU's Klay Thompson (20.6 ppg) and UA's Derrick Williams (19.2 ppg) ... It is also a match-up of the Pac-10's top shooting club (UA/.481) against the top FG percentage defensive team (WSU/.387).

 

The Rankings:  Arizona is ranked 12th in this week's Associated Press poll and 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll.  UA's placement in the current AP top 25 is the highest this season for a Pac-10 team in the media poll.

 

Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller . . . is in his second season at the University of Arizona and his seventh overall as a college head coach with a record of 157-66 (.704) and 37-19 (.661) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 17 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 42, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 1-2 vs. Washington State as a head coach.

 

Last Time Out:  Kyle Fogg exploded for a career-high 26 points to lead Arizona to its sixth consecutive win, courtesy of a 67-52 win Sunday at Arizona State.  The junior connected on 7-of-13 field goal attempts, including 6-of-9 from three-point range to lead an offense that connected on just 40 percent of its attempts for the game.  UA outrebounded ASU, 36-31, and converted 13 Sun Devil turnovers into 13 points to build as much as a 19-point lead.  Derrick Williams tallied 11 points, while Jesse Perry scored all 10 of his points in the second half.

 

Scouting Washington State:  The Cougars enter tonight's game with a 17-8 record (7-6 Pac-10) following a 75-71 win Saturday over California.  On the season, Washington State averages 73.3 points, shoots 46.5 percent from the floor (661-of-1422), 35.4 percent (180-of-508) from three-point range and 69.5 percent (331-of-576) from the line.  Opponents average 65.5 points, outrebound WSU by 1.5 boards per game and shoot 38.7 percent from the floor (554-of-1433).  Individually, three WSU players average in double-figures, led by Klay Thompson's 20.6 points per game figure.  DeAngelo Casto leads Washington State with a 6.4 rebounds per game average.

 

The Series:  Tonight's game is the 69th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 52-16 series advantage. Arizona has won 45 of the last 51 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 22, 1959, including the last, a 65-63 win on Jan. 22 in Pullman.   All-time, Arizona is 25-8 in series games played in Tucson, 22-8 in Pullman, Wash., and 5-0 in neutral-site games.  For more series information, please see page 46 in the UA media guide.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona 65, Washington State 63, Jan. 22, 2011:  Each half followed the same script, but what mattered most was that Arizona earned a hard-fought road win.  Sluggish starts nearly doomed the Cats in both halves, as UA fell behind by 12 in the first and eight in the second before coming back strong and holding the lead at the final buzzer.  Derrick Williams tallied 17 points and 19 rebounds and Jamelle Horne hit three key treys in the last five minutes to push the Cats into the lead.  Led by Williams, Arizona outrebounded Washington State, 40-30, and enjoyed a 17-3 advantage in second chance points.

 

Beware of the Fogg: Kyle Fogg led Arizona to its sixth consecutive win (a Sean Miller era high) by posting 26 points, two rebounds and three assists in Arizona's lone game last week.  The junior guard connected on 53.8 percent of his field goals (7-of-13), including 66.7 percent shooting (6-of-9) from three-point range, to go with a spotless night from the line (6-of-6).  Fogg's 26 points equaled a career high, while his six three-point field goals set a new Arizona single-game individual high this season.  He scored 13 points in each half and added two boards, three assists and a steal in 31 minutes of action.  It was a breakout performance for Fogg, as it was his first 20-point game of the season and turned around his season-long .302 three-point field goal percentage entering the game.  The effort boosted Fogg's season per game averages to 8.6 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

 

Off the Mark:  Outside of Kyle Fogg and Derrick Williams, who combined to connect on 11-of-18 attempts, the rest of the Wildcats were off the mark Sunday at Arizona State, as the club shot 40 percent from the field (20-of-50).  It was the third-lowest single-game field goal percentage of the season, and the 20 made field goals equaled a season low.  That effort was a bit of an anomaly for the Wildcats, as the team leads the Pac-10 and ranks 12th nationally with a .481 field goal percentage (643-of-1336).

 

It was Tougher on Them:  As mentioned above, Arizona shot just 40 percent from the field in Sunday's win, but that was better than the opposition as Arizona State shot just 37.7 percent (20-of-53) from the field.  For the Wildcats, who limit opponents to a .427 field goal percentage (593-of-1389), it marked the ninth time this season that UA has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting in a single game.  Field goal percentage has a tendency to loom large, as Arizona is 14-1 this season when outshooting the opposition.

 

On the Glass:  One of Arizona's keys to victory Sunday was its 36-31 advantage on the boards.  Four Wildcats grabbed at least five rebounds - including Kevin Parrom's season-high eight - in the contest as Arizona outrebounded its 17th opponent in 25 games.  All told, Arizona is 16-1 this season when outrebounding the opposition and UA ranks second in the Pac-10 and 37th nationally with a +5.1 rebound margin.  Rebounds proved to be a difference maker in the first meeting with Washington State as well.  Arizona used a +10 rebound margin to score 17 second-chance points in a game decided by two points.  In that game, Derrick Williams grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, which is the single-game high in the Pac-10 this year.

 

Taking Care of the Ball:  It might not seem like much, but Arizona's +2 turnover margin Sunday was a telling number.  It marked just the second time in the last six games that Arizona forced more turnovers than it committed (13-11).  On the season, Arizona is 13-1 when accomplishing the feat.  It's head scratching at times to see the Wildcats continue to win games - 10-2 in Pac-10 play - despite a -2.7 turnover margin in conference play.

 

Starting Fast:  The Wildcats jumped out to a 34-24 halftime lead Sunday at Arizona State and improved to 19-0 this season when leading at the half.  In Pac-10 action, Arizona has outscored opponents, 192-159, in the first half of its five league home games and carries an average halftime lead of 6.6 points.  In the first 20 minutes, Arizona shoots a cumulative .493 (68-of-138) from the field.

 

20-Point Games:  Bolstered by a career-high 26 points, Kyle Fogg recorded his first 20-point game of the season, and the 18th for Arizona as a team in 2010-11.  On the season, Derrick Williams leads the Cats with 11 games with 20 or more points, followed by MoMo Jones (3), Kevin Parrom (2), and Solomon Hill and Fogg (1 each).  On a related note, Williams notched his 25th game in double figures this season Sunday at Arizona State, while Fogg posted his 10th and Jessee Perry registered his fifth.

 

The Century Mark:  By knocking down a season-best six treys in Sunday's win Kyle Fogg now has 104 career three-point field goals.  Averaging 1.14 made treys per game in his 91-game career, the 6-foot-3 junior guard from Brea, Calif., has connected on 38.4 percent (104-of-271) of his three-point field goal attempts.  Currently, he leads Arizona with 32 three-pointers made this season and has made at least one trey in 19 of 25 games to date.

 

Not to Be Overlooked:  Sometimes it's easy to overlook a guy like Jesse Perry, but the junior forward continues to fill up the boxscore.  Sunday at Arizona State, Perry posted 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high three assists to go with a block and steal in 26 minutes.  The 6-foot-7 product of St. Louis, Mo., scored all 10 of his points in the second half and collected five or more rebounds for the 12th time this season.  On the year, Perry averages 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

 

Contributing to Victory:  After averaging 19.0 ppg in his previous four games, Lamont "MoMo" Jones found an important way to contribute to a win Sunday, despite totaling just two points.  The 6-foot sophomore guard passed out a career-high six assists at Arizona State with four of those coming in the second half.  It's another step in the all-around development of Jones, who ranks second on the team with a 2.6 assists per game average.  Furthermore, his current 1.2:1 assist:turnover ratio is the highest of his career.

 

Making An Adjustment:  Freshman guard Jordin Mayes continues to re-emerge as an offensive threat.  Over his last two outings, the 6-foot-2 native of Los Angeles, Calif., is averaging 8.0 points per game while shooting .462 (6-of-13) from the floor, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from behind the arc.  Sunday against the Sun Devils, Mayes hit 3-of-5 shots and finished with seven points.  Through 25 games, he averages 4.9 points to go with a .446 field goal percentage.

 

Toeing the Line:  The Wildcats connected on 18-of-21 free throws (.857) Sunday at Arizona State, recording its highest free throw percentage in Pac-10 play.  Overall, Arizona leads the league and ranks 31st nationally with a .744 (462-of-621), but that figure has slipped to .709 (219-of-309) in Pac-10 action.  The Cats are averaging 25.8 free throws per game in conference play, a figure that trails only California (28.5 ft/g).

 

Scoring 80:  Arizona scored 107 points Feb. 5 at California, topping the 80-point plateau for the 11th time this year (11-0).  Arizona has scored 80 in eight of 13 home games this season.  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 197-19 (.912) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.   Arizona was 6-0 last season when topping the 80-point plateau.

 

Early Signees:  The Arizona coaching staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letter-of-Intent in the November early signing period.  Nick Johnson (G, 6-2, 180) from Gilbert, Ariz., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Sidiki Johnson (F, 6-8, 220) from the Bronx, N.Y, who preps at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.; and Josiah Turner (G, 6-3, 185) from Sacramento, Calif., who preps at Quality Education Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C.; make up a class that was ranked in the top-10 nationally by both espn.com and rivals.com.

Up Next:  Following tonight's game, Arizona returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 19, hosting Washington.  Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.

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