Date: Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (
TV: FSNAZ (
Game Data: Arizona (13-7, 6-3 Pac-10) opens the second half of the Pac-10 schedule Thursday at USC (14-6, 5-4 Pac-10) in the Wildcats’ final appearance at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena ... Tonight’s game is the first of what shapes up to be a key weekend in Southern California as the Wildcats will be at home for five of its last seven conference games once this road trip concludes ... UA hasn’t scored more than 70 points in back-to-back games since Jan. 5-7 ... Arizona is 4-0 this season in road games when the team scores 70 or more points.
The Rankings: For the third consecutive week,
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 754-263 (.741) and 562-171 (.767) 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 (311) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.776/311-90) 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 329-34 (.906) in
Last Time Out:
Scouting USC: The Trojans enter tonight’s game with an 14-6 record (5-4 Pac-10) following Saturday’s 84-78 win at
The Series: Today’s game is the 87th meeting of the two schools with
Leading the Way: In a pair of games last week, Mustafa Shakur averaged 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists. He connected on 52.4 percent of his field goal attempts (11-of-21), 83.3 percent (10-of-12) of his free throws, and added four steals in the effort. He opened the week with 17 points (5-of-8 FGs), six boards and four assists at Arizona State, and followed that up with a team-high 18 points (6-of-13 FGs), two rebounds, four assists, and two steals Saturday at North Carolina. He knocked down all five free throws in 34 minutes against the Tar Heels. On the season, Shakur is averaging 11.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, while shooting 45.9 percent from the field.
Should We Call Chicken Little?: Arizona split a pair of games last week to move its record to 13-7 overall and 6-3 in Pac-10 play, which was good for a share of second place, one game behind UCLA, at the midpoint of the conference schedule. Five of UA’s last nine league games will be at home, including the last three consecutively.
Ebb and flow: It was another up-and-down week for the
Usually these are closer: Saturday’s 86-69 loss to
A Top-10 Guy: With 12 points against North Carolina Hassan Adams moved into sole possession of 10th place on
In the Middle: Junior Kirk Walters posted a nice effort vs. North Carolina as he posted career-high totals of eight rebounds, three steals and 33 minutes played to go with six points (3-of-4 FG) and two blocked shots. On the year, Walters is averaging 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game, while shooting 53.0 percent (44-of-83) from the floor. Currently, he is the only Wildcat regular to be shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
Numbers Don’t Lie: While it would be expected that the statistics would favor the opposition in UA losses, but these differences are striking. In
Key to Victory: Field goal percentage has been a key stat when looking at Wildcat success.
And they’re Off: Fast starts are definitely helpful to the Cats are 10-4 this year when tied or leading 10 minutes into the game, and UA is 10-0 when leading at the half.
Forward March: Freshman Fendi Onobun also put forth a good effort in Saturday’s game. In just his fourth college game, the 6-foot-6 forward tallied two points, four rebounds and two steals in 16 minutes at
Toeing the Line: Junior Mustafa Shakur has picked up his productivity over the last 10 games, as the junior is averaging 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He’s connected on 82.9 percent (34-of-41) free throws in that span and has seven double-figure scoring efforts to his credit. The effort from the stripe has improved Shakur’s season-long free throw percentage to 80.3 percent (61-of-76), making him the only Wildcats shooting better than 80 percent from the line.
We Don’t Need It: As Lute Olson said earlier in the week, “We’re just at a point where we need to concentrate on the things we do well and eliminate the things we don’t do well.” He was addressing the Cats’ three-point shooting efforts. Through 20 games,
On the Glass: Through the first run through the conference slate,
Respectable: In conference play,
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 148-18 (.892) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Always On the Run: Throughout the season,
29-1 run over 10:43 vs.
33-15 run over 10:26 vs.
22-6 run over 8:19 at
21-6 run over 7:12 vs.
20-4 run over 9:10 vs.
21-5 run over 7:57 at
21-9 run over 12:23 vs.
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)
38-27 run over 13:52 at
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