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Game 19: No. 17 Arizona (13-5, 4-4) vs. Arizona State (6-13, 0-8)
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007
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/Tom Kuyper)
Game Data: Needing to see a friendly face, No. 17 Arizona (13-5, 4-4 Pac-10), should see around 14,500 of them as the Wildcats return home to face in-state rival Arizona State (6-13, 0-8 Pac-10) in McKale Center ... Arizona looks to snap a three-game losing streak, the program’s longest since 1983-84 ... Tonight’s game will be another study in contrasts as the Wildcats average a Pac-10-leading 84.1 points per game, while the Sun Devils have not allowed an opponent to score more than 76 points this season ... Someone will leave happy tonight as the clubs have combined for 12 consecutive defeats.
The Rankings: After losing two games last week, Arizona slipped to No. 17 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and to No. 19 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 774-274 (.739) and 582-182 (.762) 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 (320) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.766/320-98) 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 342-36 (.905) in McKale Center and have won 270 of its last 290 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 41-7 against Arizona State.
Last Time Out: Arizona followed a similar script ?- poor shooting and too many early turnovers ?- en route to its third consecutive conference defeat, 73-69, Saturday at UCLA. UA shot just 39.3 percent from the field, committed nine first half miscues and had to dig itself out of a double-digit deficit. Ivan Radenovic tallied 20 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus Williams added a double-double, but it wasn’t enough to offset steady play from the Bruins. It was Arizona’s first three-game Pac-10 losing streak since the 1983-84 season.
Scouting Arizona State: The Sun Devils (6-13, 0-8 Pac-10) enter tonight’s game riding a nine-game losing streak following Saturday’s 58-49 loss at USC. As a team, ASU averages 61.1 points per game, shoots 42.5 percent (425-of-999) from the field and posts a +4.2 per game rebound margin. Defensively, ASU allows 63.4 points per game and a .443 field goal percentage. Two Sun Devils average in double figures, led by Jeff Pendergraph’s 13.1 points per game figure. He also leads the club with an 8.9 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Today’s game is the 210th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 136-73 series advantage. Arizona has won 22 of the last 23 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, including the last meeting, 68-47, on Feb. 25, 2006, in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 76-25 in series games played in Tucson, 59-48 in Tempe, and 1-0 in neutral-site games. Please see page 99 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 68, Arizona State 47, Feb. 25, 2006: Arizona limited Arizona State to one field goal in the first 11 minutes then started an 18-0 run two minutes later to put away what would become a 21-point win. Ivan Radenovic led the way for the Wildcats with 14 points, seven rebounds and six steals. Arizona forced 26 ASU turnovers, including a season-high 16 steals, which helped UA hold a 30-8 points off turnovers advantage.
The Last Time: Most all of the “last-time” streaks date back to Lute Olson’s first season at Arizona when it comes to losing trends. The last time Arizona lost two successive home games was 23 years ago in January, when UA dropped three consecutive home games by a combined seven points ?- against UCLA (Jan. 7, 61-58), to Washington (Jan. 12, 55-53), and to Washington State (Jan. 14, 51-49). UA topped Arizona State a few days later by a 71-49 score to snap that streak.
In Case you Were Wondering: You could probably guess the answer to this based on the note listed above, but the last time Arizona lost four consecutive games (regardless of venue) was Jan. 5-14, 1984, in Olson’s first season in Tucson.
Not So CLose: Dating back to the start of the 2000-01 season, these intrastate rivals have met a total of 13 times and close games have been a rarity. Not counting one neutral-site game in 2002 (Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinal), only three of the 12 games played in the state of Arizona have been decided by less than 10 points. Over the last seven seasons, Arizona has outscored Arizona State by an average of 15.2 points in games played in Tucson and by 10.8 points in games played in Tempe.
Let’s Try this Again: A win today would be the 775th career victory for Lute Olson on the NCAA Division I level. Only 12 coaches in NCAA history (covering all levels) have won as many games. Now in his 34th year as a college head coach, Olson has a career record of 774-274 (.739).
Slow Starters of Late: Early in the season, Arizona made quite a habit of jumping out to sizeable first-half leads. Not surprisingly, that ability has cooled a bit since entering conference play, but the numbers are worth noting. In UA’s nine non-conference games, it averaged a total of 42.8 points and a first-half scoring margin of +9.6 points per game. In its eight Pac-10 games, the Cats are averaging 39.3 points and hold a +3.9 first-half scoring margin. By comparison, in its current three-game losing streak, Arizona is averaging 32.0 points per game in the first half and are being outscored by 3.0 points per game.
Nail-Biting Time: The end of the half has led to some uneasy moments of late for the Wildcats, especially during its current three-game losing skid. In the last three minutes Thursday at USC, Arizona missed its last three FG attempts and had a pair of turnovers as the Trojans posted a 5-0 run to end the half with a four-point lead. Saturday was even more striking as Arizona missed its last nine field goals of the opening period at UCLA (covering 6:21), as the Bruins reeled off an 18-4 run and carried a six-point advantage into the lockerroom. UA’s Jan. 14 game at Oregon was similar in that the Cats were outscored 7-0 over the last three minutes of the half in that two-point loss, but that run came during the second half.
Drawing Iron: Despite leading the Pac-10 with a 49.9 (523-of-1,049) cumulative field goal percentage, Arizona has struggled of late with its long-range shooting. Over the last five games, UA has connected on only 42.8 percent (127-of-297) of its field goal attempts, including only 22.6 percent (19-of-84) from behind the arc. In the same span, opponents are shooting a respectable 47.5 percent (143-of-301) from the floor. Over those five games, Jawann McClellan is 0-of-15 from three-point range.
Wasn’t that A Key to Victory?: Arizona posted a 37-33 rebound advantage in Saturday’s loss. It was the fifth straight game in which the Cats have outrebounded the opposition, yet the club managed to win just one of those games, and was the 13th time this season that UA has outboarded its opponent. On the year, Arizona is 9-4 when accomplishing the feat, and the club carries a +5.8 rebound margin.
One Liners: Arizona’s 69 points at UCLA equaled a season low (Dec. 9 at San Diego State)... The Cats’ .286 field goal percentage (8-of-28) in the first half at UCLA was a season low ... Saturday’s game marked the first time this year (in nine chances) that UA had lost a game with the same or fewer turnovers than the opponent (12 at UCLA) ... UA rebounded from an off-target first stanza Saturday to shoot 50.0 percent from the floor in the second (14-of-28), the first half of 50 percent shooting in five halves ... UA is now 0-4 in games decided by five points or less and 13-1 otherwise.
Toeing the Line: Arizona continues to do a solid job of knocking down free throws. In two games in Los Angeles last week, UA connected on 45-of-53 (.849) free throws. Arizona, which ranks second in the Pac-10 with an overall FT percentage of .752 (354-of-471), is shooting .803 from the stripe (159-of-198) in league play. However, Ivan Radenovic’s consecutive made free throw streak ended over the weekend at 31.
double-doubles: Marcus Williams’ 11 points and 11 rebounds marked his team-leading fourth double-double of the season (fourth career). It was Arizona’s 12th double-double of the year, which is six more than all of last season.
In Reserve: Junior guard Daniel Dillon came off the bench last week with his most productive week of the season. The 6-foot-3 native of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, averaged 4.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game, while shooting 60.0 percent from the field. On the year, Dillon is averaging 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game in 18 appearances.
600/600: Senior Ivan Radenovic grabbed the 600th rebound of his career last week in Los Angeles and is the Pac-10’s active rebounds leader with 612 caroms collected. In his 109-game career, Radenovic is averaging 5.6 rebounds per game. Fellow senior Mustafa Shakur is eight assists shy of becoming just the fourth player in school history to pass out 600 assists in a career. In his 118-game career, Shakur is averaging 5.0 assists per game.
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 12 of 18 games this year.
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 tonight’s game, Arizona steps out of conference for the final time during the regular season on Saturday, when the Cats host No. 4 North Carolina. The game will tip-off at 11 a.m. MST and can be seen nationally on CBS-TV.