Date: Thursday, March 1, 2007
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Haas Pavilion (11,877),
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSNAZ (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
Game Data: Arizona (18-9, 9-7 Pac-10) opens the final regular season road trip Thursday night at California (14-14, 6-10 Pac-10) ... In the previous five seasons, Arizona is 6-4 on the Bay Area road swing ... A win tonight would clinch a winning record in true road games this season ... Currently, the Wildcats are 5-4 in such contests after finishing 5-7 on the road last year ... UA leads the Pac-10 with a 79.6 ppg scoring average, but has only scored that many points once in the last 12 games.
The Rankings: For the second consecutive week,
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 779-278 (.737) and 587-186 (.759) 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 (325) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.763/325-101) 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 344-40 (.896) in
Last Time Out: Chase Budinger and Marcus Williams combined for 42 of
Scouting California: The Golden Bears (14-14, 6-10 Pac-10) enter Thursday’s game riding a two-game losing streak following an 88-64 loss last Saturday at USC. As a team, Cal averages 70.6 points per game, shoots 45.1 percent (712-of-1,578) from the field and posts a -2.9 per game rebound margin. Defensively, the Golden Bears allow 70.3 points per game and a .466 field goal percentage. Three
The Series: Tonight’s game marks the 74th meeting of the two schools with
In March: Since the start of the 1996-97 season,
Closing Strong: As the Wildcats head into the last weekend of the regular season, it does so with history on its side. Over the last decade,
Coming from Behind:
Points at a Premium: The Wildcats tallied a season-low 61 points in Sunday’s win, which was the fifth time in the last 12 games that
Close Calls: UA’s three-point win Sunday was the team’s seventh game this season decided by five points or less. In those games,
Credit the Defense: The Wildcats may not have been offensively efficient in Sunday’s win, but its defense deserves a bit of credit for a nice road win.
Rampant Theft: Through a balanced attack,
Leading the Way: Chase Budinger led
20-Point Games: Chase Budinger’s 23-point night (mentioned above) at
On the Glass:
Stepping In: Junior forward Bret Brielmaier definitely impacted Sunday’s game, as the 6-foot-6 native of Mankato, Minn., posted season-high totals of eight points and six rebounds in a career-best 27 minutes played. Brielmaier hit all three shots from the floor in the effort. The display boosted his per game averages to 1.8 points and 2.1 rebounds.
Breaking 100: Mustafa Shakur enters Thursday’s game one three-point field goal shy of 100 for his career. In 127 career games played, the Bob Cousy Award finalist has connected on 99-of-270 (.367) three-point field goal attempts.
A Familiar Theme: Arizona’s 6-foot-3 senior guard from Philadelphia, Pa., also enters tonight’s game just five assists shy of becoming the fourth player in Arizona history (accomplished five times) to pass out 200 or more assists in a single season. Mustafa Shakur currently averages 7.2 assists per game (195 in 27 games) and has passed out five or more assists 26 times in 27 games this season. He is on pace to tally more assists in his career than any other UA player in the Lute Olson era.
Rare Indeed: Forward Ivan Radenovic stepped to the line last week as the Pac-10’s free throw percentage leader (122-138/.878) and promptly missed 2-of-5 charity attempts at
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 161-19 (.894) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points.
Always On the Run: Early this season,
25-0 run over 7:45 vs.
34-11 run over 9:00 vs. Northern
31-9 run over 7:54 vs.
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.
21-4 run over 8:08 vs.
25-8 run over 9:01 vs.
24-8 run over 9:17 at
18-3 run over 4:15 at
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
22-10 run over 8:25 at
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 tonight’s game,