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Men's Basketball Game Notes, 2/3/2007
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/03/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 22:  No. 20 Arizona (14-7, 5-5) vs. Washington (14-7, 4-6)

 

Date:  Saturday, Feb. 3, 2007

Time:  11:30 a.m. MST

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

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

TV:  FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)

 

Game Data:  No. 20 Arizona (14-7, 5-5 Pac-10) attempts to get back on the winning side of the ledger Saturday morning by hosting Washington (14-7, 4-6 Pac-10) in McKale Center ... Arizona and Washington enter the game with nearly identical records and are trying to right the proverbial ship following near-disastrous stretches of the schedule ?- UW lost six of its first seven league games, while UA has lost six of its last eight tilts ... From the “Racehorse Basketball” file:  in conference games, both squads are allowing more than 74 points per game.

 

The Rankings:  After splitting two games last week, Arizona slipped to No. 20 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and to No. 22 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 775-276 (.737) and 583-184 (.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 (321) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.764/321-99) 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 343-38 (.900) in McKale Center and have won 271 of its last 293 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 33-17 against Washington.

 

Last Time Out:  Arizona fought back from an eight-point deficit and took a one-point lead only to surrender a decisive 8-0 run late in the second half as No. 18 Washington State claimed a 72-66 win Thursday in McKale Center.  The Cougars shot 50.9 percent from the field, including 50 percent from three-point range in earning its first sweep over Arizona since 1983.  Daven Harmeling’s trey with 19 seconds to go iced the win.  UA’s Chase Budinger led all scorers with 19 points.

 

Scouting Washington:  The Huskies (14-7, 4-6 Pac-10) enter today’s game riding a three-game win streak following Thursday’s 66-61 win at Arizona State.  As a team, UW averages 81.5 points per game, shoots 47.8 percent (630-of-1,318) from the field and posts a +9.6 per game rebound margin.  Defensively, Washington allows 75.6 points per game and a .450 field goal percentage.  Four Huskies average in double figures, led by Spencer Hawes’ 15.0 points per game figure.  Jon Brockman leads the club with a 9.6 rebounds per game mark.

 

The Series:  Today’s game marks the 61st meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 39-21 series advantage. Washington has won six of the last nine in the series, but UA claimed a 96-87 win in Seattle on Jan. 4 in the last get-together. All-time, Arizona is 21-6 in series games played in Tucson, 17-13 in Seattle, Wash., and 1-2 in neutral site games. See page 102 of the UA media guide for more series information.

 

Last Meeting:  Arizona 96, Washington 87, Jan. 4, 2007:  Arizona shot a blistering 76.2 percent (16-of-21) from the floor in the second half to outlast Washington.  Four Wildcats scored more than 20 points as the squad erased a 14-point first-half deficit and won its 12th straight game.  UA held Washington to just one field goal in the last 4:27 and outscored the Huskies 9-3 in that span.  Chase Budinger scored 23 points, while Marcus Williams and Jawann McClellan chipped in with 22, and Mustafa Shakur added 21 points and 11 assists.

 

Early to Rise:  This morning’s game is the third of four regular season games to tip-off at noon or earlier local time.  All of the games, coincidentally, were scheduled for McKale Center.  Currently, Arizona is 1-1 in those games.  The last such early tip comes on Saturday, Feb. 17, against UCLA, which will start at 11 a.m. MST and air on CBS-TV.

 

Dubious Distinction:  Thursday’s loss marked the Wildcats’ second straight loss at McKale Center, which marks the first back-to-back home defeats for Arizona since the 1983-84 season:  Jan. 12-14, 1984, vs. the Washington schools.

 

A Rarity:  Arizona enters today’s game with a 14-7 record.  Only nine times in Lute Olson’s previous 23 seasons in Tucson have the Wildcats finished the season with more than seven defeats.  If one takes a look at Pac-10 play, UA has finished the season with more than its current five league defeats only six times.

 

Decisive Stretch:  As mentioned above, Arizona fought back from an eight-point deficit in the second half Thursday and took a 57-56 lead over Washington State with 7:44 to go.  What transpired next proved decisive in WSU’s six-point victory.  The Cougars scored on four of it’s next six possessions, while Arizona scored on just one of its six possessions, which gave WSU a five-point lead.

 

The Antithesis of Clutch:  The Wildcats were just 1-of-6 from the field in the last five minutes of Thursday’s loss.  That 16.7 percent marksmanship is obviously difficult to overcome in any contest, and it has severely affected the Wildcats in its seven losses to date.  In those seven games, Arizona has shot a combined 18-of-51 (.353) from the field in the last five minutes of regulation (including overtime in the Jan. 6 game at Washington State).  Five of the seven losses have been by six points or less.

 

Off Target:  Arizona’s field goal shooting has dipped over the last eight games, as the Cats have connected on 194-of-459 (.423) of its attempts in that span, a figure that is down significantly from its season percentage of .487.  UA has shot 50 percent from the field only once in the last eight games after accomplishing the feat eight times in its first 13 outings.

 

Alter the Long Range Goals:  The greatest contributor to UA’s falling field goal percentage is its accuracy from three-point range.  Over the last eight games, Arizona has connected on only 22.4 percent (33-of-147) of its three-point field goal attempts.  By comparison, Arizona was shooting 42.3 percent (94-of-222) from three point range.

 

Book It:  Who wouldn’t take an 86 percent success rate.  Through 21 UA games to date, the team with the highest field goal percentage has won 18 times.  And in two of the three occasions that proved not to be true, Arizona posted the higher field goal percentage (at Virginia, vs. Oregon).  This year, Arizona is 13-2 when outshooting the opposition and 1-5 when not.

 

A Difference:  Arizona is in the middle of a stretch where it has lost six of its last eight games.  In the two victories in that stretch (Jan. 11 vs. Oregon State and Jan. 24 vs. Arizona State), Arizona shot a combined 53-of-107 (.495) from the field.  In those five losses, Arizona combined to shoot 141-of-352 (.401) from the field.  Additionally, in its last six losses, Wildcat opponents are averaging 79.5 points per game, nearly six points better than the season average.

 

Remember When?:  Prior to this recent eight-game slump, Arizona was shooting an impressive .527 (396-of-752) from the field as a team.  That high-water mark was reached on Jan. 4 following UA’s 96-87 win at Washington where the Cats connected on 32-of-49 (.653) field goal attempts in what Lute Olson called his team’s best offensive performance of the season.  In that contest, UA and UW combined to shoot 58.6 percent (68-of-116) from the field.

 

Off The Bench:  Due to an ankle injury suffered during the North Carolina game, Marcus Williams come off the bench for the first time this season.  The 6-foot-7 forward registered 12 points and seven rebounds, while equaling a season high with four assists in 29 minutes vs. Washington State.

 

Showing Consistency:  Freshman Jordan Hill seems to be displaying the kind of consistency (as much as could be expected in three games) needed in the post rotation.  The 6-foot-9 forward from Atlanta is averaging 10.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 25.3 minutes during that span, while shooting 75.0 percent (12-of-16) from the field.  Those stats far outdistance the 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds Hill is averaging on the year.

 

Dutch Boys:  The Wildcats proved to enjoy the paint on Thursday, as the club posted a 32-12 advantage in points in the paint.  All told, 16 of the team’s 22 field goals on Thursday were scored in the lane.  Included in the effort was a 24-6 advantage in the first half.  Despite those advantages, UA trailed by three at the break and by six at the final buzzer.

 

From the Line:  Senior Ivan Radenovic made 5-of-5 free throws Thursday to push his free throw percentage to .885 (100-of-113) this season.  That figure is currently tied for fifth place on the UA single-season FT percentage list.  The effort has also boosted his career FT percentage to .796 (292-of-367), which tied him for ninth on the current UA career chart.

 

Guarded Optimism:  Arizona collected five blocked shots in Saturday’s game against North Carolina, a figure that was one shy of its season high.  Interestingly, four of the five blocks were registered by its starting guards Mustafa Shakur (2) and Jawann McClellan (2).  For Shakur and McClellan it set and equaled a new career high for blocks in a single game.  It was McClellan’s 10th blocked shot of the season, which ties him for third on the squad.

 

Scoring 80:  Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 160-19 (.894) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.  Arizona is 10-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points, a feat that has happened in 11 of 20 games this year, but not in the last five games.

 

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)

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

 

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 game, UA will be on the road for five of its last seven tilts.  The trip begins Thursday, Feb. 8, when the club travels to Corvallis, Ore., to take on Oregon State.  Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.

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