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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 11/8/2006
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 07, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Cats Face Univ. of Victoria in Last Exhibition Tune-Up


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Date:  Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006

Time:  7:30 p.m. MST

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

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

TV:  FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)


Game Data:  No. 10 Arizona (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) closes the 2006-07 exhibition portion of the schedule with a game against the University of Victoria ... The Vikes are a Canadian college team from Victoria, British Columbia, that finished as the CIS national runners-up last season ... It will be a short turnaround for the Wildcats with a cross-country flight and the season opener at Virginia on Sunday, Nov. 12.


The Rankings:  Arizona will open the 2006-07 campaign ranked 10th in the preseason editions of both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls.  It marks the 19th time in the last 20 seasons that the Wildcats have been nationally ranked to start the season in either or both polls.


Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is set to begin his 24th season at Arizona and his 34th overall as a college head coach with a career record of 761-269 (.739) and 569-177 (.763) 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 (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.771/316-94) 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 23-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 333-35 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 261 of its last 280 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon.


Last Time Out:  Chase Budinger and Nic Wise each scored 24 points to lead Arizona to a 125-74 exhibition win over Team Georgia last Saturday.  The freshmen were a combined 18-of-28 (.643) from the floor in helping the Wildcats shoot 52.3 percent from the field (45-of-86) as a team.  Budinger and Wise led a balanced attack that saw five players finish in double figures and 11 of 12 players to see action tally at least one field goal.  Mustafa Shakur added 16 assists in the game.


(Still) Plenty Of Minutes:  Despite the fact that Arizona played outside competition for the first time in 2006-07, Lute Olson was still able to spread the minutes around generously in the Team Georgia exhibition.  All told, 12 players saw action in the 51-point win with 10 players logging double-digit minutes.


On Target:  Fifty-one point wins will do wonders for one’s confidence, even if it is an exhibition game.  The Wildcats managed to generate 125 points of offense (a figure that would have equaled the third-highest total in school history had the game actually counted), and more importantly, shot better than 50 percent from the field.  Against Team Georgia, UA shot 52.3 percent from the field (45-of-86).  Why is that so important?  Arizona broke the 50 percent barrier from the field only eight times last season.


Leading by Example:  They are numbers any coach would love from his point guard:  14 points, eight rebounds, 16 assists (only three turnovers) and three steals.  That’s what senior Mustafa Shakur tallied against Team Georgia in 31 minutes of action.  The passing must have been infectious, as the Wildcats collected 30 assists (on 45 field goals) against just 15 turnovers.


Take Notice:  Freshman Nic Wise took an efficient route to his game-high 24 points vs. Team Georgia by knocking down all eight field goal attempts.  The 5-foot-9 guard finished 8-of-8 from the floor, including 4-of-4 from three-point range, to go with four assists, three steals and two boards.  Oddly enough, the only shots he missed on the day were two shots where there was no defense ‑ he was 4-of-6 from the line.


Not to be outdone:  While teammate Nic Wise was a spotless 4-of-4 from behind the arc, Jawann McClellan was also perfect from the same territory (3-of-3) against Team Georgia.  McClellan, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds, helped Arizona connect on 51.9 percent (14-of-27) of its three-point FG attempts in the exhibition game.  Incidentally, UA shot 50 percent or better from three-point range just five times last year.


Sneaking Up:  Junior Daniel Dillon continues to quietly play his way into the regular rotation.  Against Team Georgia, the 6-foot-3 guard from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, amassed 15 points and five assists in 23 minutes.  Dillon connected on 3-of-8 three-point FG attempts on the day and finished 5-of-12 from the field.


Balanced There as well:  If you’ve read this far, you already know that Arizona sported a balanced scoring attack, as well as evenly distributed minutes, in the Team Georgia game.  Well, the Wildcats were also pretty balanced on the boards as well.  A total of six players grabbed five or more rebounds in the contest and 10 of the 12 to see action collected at least one.  The effort led to a 55-47 rebound advantage.


Some things Don’t Change:  Last season, Arizona ranked 11th nationally with an average of 9.76 steals per game.  One game into the exhibition season and the Cats are right back on pace, as the team collected nine steals against Team Georgia.  Led by Mustafa Shakur and Nic Wise, who each collected three, a total of four players tallied a pilfer last Saturday.


Preseason Prognostications:  According to media members that regularly cover the Pacific-10 Conference, Arizona was picked to finish second in this year’s Pac-10 race.  Arizona received 13 first-place votes and 280 points overall and trailed only UCLA in the poll.  It is the firs time in five seasons that Arizona has not been selected as the preseason team to beat.  Incidentally, the Cats have been the preseason favorite in 11 of the last 17 seasons.


Preseason Kudos:  Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams were named to the 2006-07 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America team, the award’s national selection committee announced Oct. 17.  Shakur, a 6-foot-3, senior guard from Philadelphia, and Williams, a 6-foot-7 sophomore forward from Philadelphia, are among 50 student-athletes on the list.  Arizona is one of only nine schools nationally to have two or more players on the list.


Up Next:  The 2006-07 regular season tips-off on Sunday, Nov. 12, when Arizona travels to Charlottesville, Va., to take on Virginia.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.


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