Twenty-fourth-ranked Arizona (10-5, 3-2 Pac-10) wraps up its two-game swing to the State of Oregon with a Saturday afternoon affair at Oregon (8-8, 2-2 Pac-10) ... The Wildcats are in the midst of a stretch where it plays six of eight games away from
Game 16: No. 24 Arizona (10-5, 3-2) at Oregon (8-8, 2-2)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006
Time: 3 p.m. PST
Location: McArthur Court (9,087), Eugene, Ore.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
Game Data: Twenty-fourth-ranked Arizona (10-5, 3-2 Pac-10) wraps up its two-game swing to the State of Oregon with a Saturday afternoon affair at Oregon (8-8, 2-2 Pac-10) ... The Wildcats are in the midst of a stretch where it plays six of eight games away from home ... Over the last five seasons, Arizona is 6-3 on the Oregon road swing ... UA leads the league with an average of 10.93 steals per game and has posted 10 or more in seven of its last 10 games.
The Rankings: Arizona slipped to No. 24 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll after a two-week absence. 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 751-261 (.742) and 559-169 (.768) 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 (308) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.776/308-89) 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 328-34 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 256 of its last 274 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 34-10 against Oregon.
Last Time Out: Arizona fell behind by as many as 23 points in the first half, came back to tie the game with just over three minutes to go, then saw Oregon State pull away with a 10-0 run to close the contest and win 75-65 Thursday in Corvallis. Oregon State hit nine of its first 10 shots en route to a lead that was 17 at the break. Arizona rebounded to force 15 Beaver turnovers in the second half and eventually tied the game twice the last coming at the 3:24 mark before Marcel Jones got consecutive buckets to spur the decisive run.
Scouting Oregon: The Ducks stand at 8-8 record (2-2 Pac-10) into today’s game following Thursday’s 67-53 win over Arizona State. As a team, Oregon shoots 45.6 percent from the field (412-of-903), including 32.8 percent (103-of-314) from three-point range, while averaging 71.1 points per game. Opponents shoot at a 43.0 percent clip and are averaging 63.6 points per game. Three Ducks average in double figures, led by Malik Hairston’s 14.8 ppg mark.
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 56th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 37-18 series advantage. UA has won the last six meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 12, 1979, including the last get-together, 92-67, in Tucson on Feb. 17, 2005. All-time, Arizona is 22-5 in series games played in Tucson, 15-12 in Eugene, Ore., and 0-1 in neutral-site games. Please see page 102 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 92, Oregon 67, Feb. 17, 2005: Arizona shot 70 percent from the field in the second half and turned a close game into a rout. The Cats hit 21-of-30 shots in the second half in building as much as a 29-point lead. A 25-10 run over 8:24 put this game out of reach. Channing Frye notched 19 points and a career-high seven blocks, while Chris Rodgers added a career-best nine assists and no turnovers in 29 minutes.
Continuing his climb: Senior Hassan Adams continues his climb up the UA career statistical charts Saturday, as he is just 16 points shy of 1,600 for his career. In Thursday’s game at Oregon State, the 6-foot-4 Adams moved into a tie for ninth place on the career blocked shots list with 80 and became just the fifth player in school history to register 200 career assists. Currently, Adams resides on four Arizona career top-10 lists: field goals (T6th/646), field goal attempts (8th/1,276), blocked shots (T9th/80) and steals (T4th/200).
Blitzed: Despite the final score, Arizona never really recovered from Oregon State’s game-opening blitz. The Beavers hit nine of its first 10 shots from the floor and led 20-4 just 8:11 into the contest. OSU finished the half shooting 65.4 percent (17-of-26) and held a 41-24 advantage at halftime.
The Path of Least Resistance: In each of Arizona’s last two losses, its first half defensive efforts have been, well, less than stellar. Combining the Jan. 5 game vs. UCLA and Thursday’s OSU game, Arizona allowed those teams to shoot 66.7 percent (34-of-51) from the field, including 68.0 percent (17-of-25) shooting by the Bruins. OSU’s 41 points scored Thursday marked its best first-half output this season.
Slow Starts: In five Pac-10 games to date, Arizona has found itself trailing at the half three times. During conference play, the Wildcats average 30.6 points per game in the first half, 4.6 points less than the opposition. Incidentally, UA’s 24 points scored in the first 20 minutes on Thursday was its second-lowest first-half output of the season. Overall, Arizona is 3-5 when trailing at the half this year.
Toughening Up: The Wildcats were able to claw their way back into Thursday’s game on the strength of a defensive effort that saw the team force 15 Oregon State turnovers in the second half. In that span, UA held a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers. For the game, Arizona did force Oregon State into 23 turnovers, marking the 10th time this season that a UA opponent has committed 20 or more miscues in a game.
Positive Ratios: Thursday’s game was only the fourth time this season that Arizona failed to post a positive assist:turnover ratio, as the club posted 10 assists against 11 turnovers. After posting a 4:8 ratio in the first half, Arizona turned it around and had a 6:3 ratio down the stretch vs. Oregon State.
On the Glass: Rebounding has proven to be an Arizona sticking point to this point of the season, as the Cats have been outrebounded nine times. Oregon State outrebounded Arizona, 35-22, Thursday, which was the fourth time this season that Arizona had been outrebounded by 10 or more. On the year, the Wildcats face a -0.9 rebound margin. Not since 1985-86 has a Lute Olson-coached team failed to outrebound the opposition. That year, the Wildcats were outrebounded by 0.2 boards per game or seven total rebounds in 32 games played.
Denting the Scoreboard: As mentioned earlier, Arizona amassed only 24 first-half points Thursday en route to a 65-point night. This season, Arizona is 1-2 when scoring less than 70 points and 9-3 when breaking the 70-point plateau.
A Career Night: After gaining his academic eligibility on Wednesday, sophomore guard Jawann McClellan responded with eight points, two rebounds and two steals in a career-high 32 minutes played. The native of Houston, Texas, hit 3-of-8 field goal attempts, including the Cats’ first bucket of the evening. He also equaled a career best with a blocked shot, the fifth of his career. It was McClellan’s first action since the NCAA Chicago Regional final on March 26.
Pulling the Train: Hassan Adams continues to be the engine that drives the Wildcat train. Not only does he lead the team with a 20.6 points per game scoring average, he also leads the team in total rebounds (89) and steals (44). Adams also ranks second on the club with 39 assists and nine blocks. Thursday at Oregon State, Adams scored 22 points, his 10th 20-point game of the year, and added three rebounds and a game-high five steals. He has scored in double figures in all 15 games in 2005-06.
Point the Way: Junior guard Mustafa Shakur posted his second strong game in a row with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. The 6-foot-3 Shakur hit 7-of-13 field goal attempts and five of his six boards came on the offensive end. Over his last two games, Shakur is averaging 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while shooting 66.7 percent (14-of-21) from the field.
Among the Leaders: Following a slow start, forward Marcus Williams turned things around nicely and leads the team and ranks sixth in the conference with a 51.6 field goal percentage. Over his last 10 games, Williams is averaging 13.4 points and 3.4 rebounds, while shooting 57.0 percent (53-of-93) from the field. He is one of four Wildcats currently averaging in double figures.
From The Line: Thursday’s game saw Oregon State post a 15-8 scoring advantage from the free throw line, which was the second largest free throw deficit of the season. Despite shooting 67.6 percent from the stripe as a team, Arizona has managed to outscore the opposition, 215-188, from the free throw line in 15 games this season.
Off the Bench: Freshman J.P. Prince collected five points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals Thursday at Oregon State. His 18 minutes played were the most for Prince since Dec. 29 at Washington State. On the year, Prince is averaging 2.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Full Count: Not counting Lute Olson’s first season in Tucson in which he went 8-10 in Pac-10 play, Arizona has started conference play with a 3-2 record four times (1985,’87, 97 and 2002). In only one of those seasons (1985) did the team end up 3-3 after six games.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 146-18 (.890) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 4-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points.
Always On the Run: Throughout the season, Arizona has shown the ability to post large scoring runs with some regularity:
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)
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)
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: Following today’s game, Arizona will next be in action on Thursday, Jan. 19, when the Wildcats host Stanford. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.