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Men's Basketball Hosts Washington to Close Regular Season
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 04, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Game 29:  Arizona (18-10, 11-6) vs. No. 14 Washington (23-5, 12-5)


Date:  Saturday, March 4, 2006

Time:  4 p.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)


ONLINE: Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium multimedia service, can watch a delayed webcast of the McKale Center production of the game with Brian Jeffries and Ryan Hanson calling the action immediately following the conclusion of the game.  Live audio is also available to subscribers.

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Game Data:  Arizona (18-10, 11-6 Pac-10) closes the regular season against No. 14 Washington (23-5, 12-5 Pac-10) Saturday in McKale Center ... A shot at second place in the league standings and a whole lot of pride is at stake ... The Cats have won five of six games overall and seven straight home games ... In 13 home dates this year, UA averages 2.5 more points (76.1 ppg), shoots 14 points better from the field (370-of-808/.458) and holds opponents to 4.2 fewer points (63.7 ppg) than its 28-game averages.


The Rankings:  For the seventh consecutive week, Arizona remained unranked in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.  The Cats saw its string of 312 consecutive regular-season AP poll appearances end on Dec. 19.


Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 23rd season at Arizona and his 33rd overall as a college head coach with a career record of 759-266 (.740) and 567-174 (.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 (316) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.773/316-93) 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 21 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 best winning percentage over the past 18 years (479-118/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 49 NBA Draft picks, including 30 at Arizona ?- 21 alone since 1990 ... He’s led UA to 18 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 27 overall in his career, making him one of only four head coaches in NCAA history to record 27 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 333-34 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 261 of its last 279 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 32-16 against Washington.


Last Time Out:  Arizona made just enough plays down the stretch and benefitted from three late Washington State turnovers to earn the 66-61 win on Saturday.  A 24-9 WSU run midway through the second half trimmed a 15-point UA lead to two, but Arizona hit 5-of-6 free throws and got a key bucket from Marcus Williams in the final three minutes to seal it.  Williams led all scorers with 17 points, including 11 in the second half, and pulled down a game-high six rebounds.


Scouting Washington:  The Huskies enter today’s game with a 23-5 record (12-5 Pac-10) and winners of seven straight following Thursday’s 91-66 win at Arizona State.  As a team, UW shoots 47.6 percent from the field (850-of-1785), including 36.5 percent (185-of-507) from three-point range, while averaging 83.2 points per game.  Opponents shoot at a 43.0 percent clip and are averaging 69.0 points per game.  Three Huskies averages in double figures, led by Brandon Roy’s 19.7 ppg mark.


The Series:  Today’s game is the 59th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 38-20 series advantage. Arizona has won 10 of the last 15 meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 29, 1964, including the last meeting, a 96-95 double overtime thriller in Seattle on Dec. 31.  All-time, Arizona is 21-5 in series games played in Tucson, 16-13 in Seattle, Wash., and 1-2 in neutral-site games. Please see page 104 in the UA media guide for more series information.


Last Meeting:  Arizona 96, Washington 95 (2OT), Dec. 31, 2005:  A Kirk Walters free throw with five seconds remaining in the second overtime provided the difference in this early-season thriller.  Arizona erased a 13-point halftime deficit and withstood UW buzzer-beaters at the end of regulation and the first overtime to snap the Huskies 32-game homecourt win streak.  Hassan Adams scored a career-high 32 points, including eight in the extra sessions, while Mustafa Shakur equaled a career best with 23 points and Marcus Williams added 16 points and a team-high nine boards.


A Sea of Red:  Saturday’s game is being billed as a “Red Out in McKale Center.”  UA fans have been asked to wear red to the game in an effort to turn McKale Center into a sea of red.  The Wildcats will wear the red road uniforms and Lute Olson has promised to wear a red blazer on the sidelines.  When all is said and done, it should make for interesting viewing, but do not try to adjust the picture at home.


Senior Class:  Arizona’s senior class, which includes Hassan Adams, Isaiah Fox, Chris Rodgers, manager Joseph Jensen, and video manager Greg Rosborough, makes its final appearance in front of the home fans today.  Over the last four years, the Cats have won nearly 100 games, including a 53-5 (.914) record in McKale Center, claimed two Pac-10 championships and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final twice.


Regular Season Finales:  During the Lute Olson era, Arizona is an impressive 21-1 (.955) in regular season home finales.  The only Senior Day blemish in Olson’s 22-plus year tenure was a 103-98 double overtime loss to Arizona State on March 11, 1995.  Over the last five seasons, the winning margin in those games has been 27.8 points.


Take Note:  A win today would give Arizona at least a share of the Pac-10’s best home record in conference play this season at 8-1.


Day Games:  Today’s game marks Arizona’s 16th day game of the season (tip-off prior to 6 p.m. local time), and the Cats are 10-5 in those games.  UA is 6-0 in such contests at McKale Center this year.


Against Ranked Teams:  Arizona faces its first nationally ranked opponent in seven games Saturday when it hosts No. 14 Washington.  The Wildcats are just 1-5 this season against ranked opponents.  The lone win came on Dec. 31 in the 96-95 win at Washington.


Good Start:  In its last two home games, Arizona has done a good job of starting strong.  Why does that matter?  On the season, UA is 14-0 when leading at the half.  In those last two games, the Cats have limited Arizona State and Washington State to a combined 34 first half points and led in those games by 25 and 11 points, respectively.


Close Calls:  Thursday’s 66-61 win improved Arizona’s record to 6-3 in games decided by five points or less.  The Wildcats are 5-1 in close contests in Pac-10 play.


The totals mount:  Despite getting just six steals on Thursday, Arizona still forced Washington State into 15 turnovers, five more than it committed.  Through 28 games Arizona opponents have committed 556 turnovers (19.9 per game), which is an average of 6.1 more than Arizona commits (13.8 per game).  The Wildcats are 18-7 this season when forcing more turnovers than it commits and lead the Pac-10 in turnover margin.


Just Enough:  Bolstered by 54.2 percent shooting (13-of-24) of its own and limiting Washington State to just 32.1 percent (9-of-28) in the first half, UA managed to out-shoot WSU from the floor on Thursday, .460-.424.  Fifteen times this season Arizona has outshot the opposition and won 13 of those ballgames.


No Fouls:  The Wildcats committed a season-low 12 personal fouls in Thursday’s win, which went a long way towards keeping Washington State off the free throw line.  The Cougars hit 7-of-9 charity tosses in the game and those nine attempts were a 2005-06 season low for a UA opponent.


Conversely:  Arizona managed to convert 24 Cougar fouls into 23 free throw attempts Thursday of which UA sank 18.  UA’s 18-7 free throw advantage proved to be the difference, especially when the Cats made 5-of-6 from the line in the final 41 seconds.    It was the fifth time this season that Arizona held a scoring advantage of 10 or more from the free throw line.


Dubious Distinction:  Arizona managed to win Thursday despite being outrebounded, 38-29.  The win moved UA’s record above .500 when it has been outboarded (9-8).  Interestingly, the Cats are 6-1 when that happens in McKale Center.


A Late Push:  Junior forward Ivan Radenovic continues to play his way into the all-Pac-10 consideration, as he collected 12 points, four rebounds and two assists on Thursday.  It was his eighth straight game of 10 or more points, which is a career best.  In those eight games, the 6-foot-10 native of Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, is averaging 16.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists, while shooting 60.5 percent (52-of-86) from the field and 77.4 percent (24-of-31) from the line.


Not to Be overlooked:  Freshman forward Marcus Williams has been nothing if not consistent during Pac-10 play.  He ranks third on the club in scoring (13.4 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.8 rpg) through the first 17 games, which are both improvements over his season averages.  Overall, he leads all Pac-10 freshmen with a 12.1 points per game average.


Using the Reserves:  Sophomore Bret Brielmaier earned 14 minutes of playing time Thursday and responded with three rebounds and a steal to go with 1-of-2 made free throws.  In 25 appearances, the 6-foot-6 walk-on from Mankato, Minn., averages 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.


Picking Up the Pace:  Mustafa Shakur tallied seven assists Thursday against Washington State, and has now notched 22 in each of his last four games (5.5 apg).  In those last four games, the 6-foot-3 guard has only nine turnovers and a 2.44 assist:turnover ratio, which is markedly better than his 1.63 assist:turnover ratio for the season (4th in the Pac-10).  Arizona is 38-9 (.809) in Shakur’s career when he passes out five or more assists, including 10-4 this year.


Always On the Run:  Throughout the season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity.  The Wildcats’ have 14 scoring runs of 11 or more points this season:

29-1 run over 10:43 vs. Virginia, Nov. 27 (UVa went 0-of-12 with seven turnovers during the run)

33-15 run over 10:26 vs. Sam Houston State, Dec. 19 (UA 13-of-20 in run)

18-0 run over 6:09 vs. Arizona State, Feb. 25 (ASU 0-of-7 with six turnovers in run)

24-7 run over 9:53 at UCLA, Feb. 4 (UA 9-of-13 FG, 6-of-6 FT in run; UCLA 3-of-10 FG)

22-6 run over 8:19 at Oregon State, Jan. 12 (Seven TO and just 7 OSU FG attempts in run)

21-6 run over 7:12 vs. Michigan State, Nov. 23 (no MSU field goals in last 5:44 of regulation)

20-4 run over 9:10 vs. Kansas, Nov. 21 (KU hits 3-of-first-12 FG attempts with nine TO)

21-5 run over 7:57 at Houston, Dec. 3 (two UH FGs in last eight minutes of first half)

21-9 run over 12:23 vs. Connecticut, Nov. 22 (UA hits 7-of-11 FG in run)

25-11 run over 9:27 vs. USC, Jan. 7 (USC 4-of-13 FG, eight turnovers during run)

26-13 run over 13:04 vs. Saint Mary’s, Dec. 10 (nine SMC turnovers during run)

16-3 run over 5:47 at Stanford, Feb. 19 (Stanford 1-of-12 FG with 6 turnovers in run)

38-27 run over 13:52 at Washington, Dec. 31 (UA makes 10-of-first-14 FG to ignite 2nd half run)


Early Signees:  Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period.  Chase Budinger (F, 6-7, 190) from Carlsbad, Calif., LaCosta High School; Jordan Hill (F, 6-8, 210) from Atlanta, Ga., The Patterson (N.C.) School;  and Nic Wise (G, 5-10, 180) from Kingwood, Texas., Kingwood High School, will join the squad next fall.


Up Next:  Arizona heads to Los Angeles to participate in the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament, March 8-11, at Staples Center.  Bracketing will be finalized following the outcome of Saturday’s action, however Arizona will begin competition in the quarterfinals on March 9.  Times are to be announced, but those games will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

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