No. 24 Arizona (16-7, 7-5 Pac-10) closes the current two-game road trip Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore., against No. 13 Oregon (20-4, 8-4 Pac-10) at McArthur Court ... Arizona looks for its first road sweep of the 2006-07 Pac-10 campaign.
Game 24: No. 24 Arizona (16-7, 7-5) at No. 13 Oregon (20-4, 8-4)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007
Time: 12:30 p.m. PST
Location: McArthur Court (9,087), Eugene, Ore.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: ABC (Brent Musberger/Steve Lavin)
Game Data: No. 24 Arizona (16-7, 7-5 Pac-10) closes the current two-game road trip Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore., against No. 13 Oregon (20-4, 8-4 Pac-10) at McArthur Court ... Arizona looks for its first road sweep of the 2006-07 Pac-10 campaign ... During the Lute Olson era, Arizona has a Pac-10-best 138-74 (.651) record in conference road games ... The last four UA-UO games at Mac Court have been decided by an average of 8.75 points ... While sporting high-scoring reputations, Arizona and Oregon have scored 80 or more points just one time in its last 10 games combined.
The Rankings: After splitting two games last week, Arizona slipped to No. 24 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and out of the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The Wildcats have been ranked in each AP 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 777-276 (.738) and 585-184 (.761) 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 (323) of any coach in league history ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.765/323-99) 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 344-38 (.901) in McKale Center and have won 272 of its last 294 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Josh Pastner and Miles Simon ... Olson is 35-12 against Oregon.
Last Time Out: Marcus Williams scored 23 points and Jordan Hill chipped in with a double-double (12 pts./11 reb.) as Arizona picked up a hard-fought 72-66 win Thursday in Corvallis. An 8-0 UA run over the last four minutes of the first half proved to be the difference with Hill collected four points in the span. Arizona’s 25-6 scoring advantage from the free throw line and 11 steals helped offset just 30.8 percent shooting in the second half. Ivan Radenovic’s 13-of-16 effort from the line doubled OSU’s output for the game.
Scouting Oregon: The Ducks (20-4, 8-4 Pac-10) enter today’s game with a 2-3 record in its last five games following Thursday’s 55-51 win over Arizona State. As a team, UO averages 77.5 points per game, shoots 44.4 percent (632-of-1,422) from the field and posts a +4.2 per game rebound margin. Defensively, Oregon allows 66.0 points per game and a .441 field goal percentage. Five Ducks average in double figures, led by Aaron Brooks’ 18.1 points per game figure. Maarty Leunen leads the club with a 9.3 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Tonight’s game is the 59th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 38-20 series advantage. UA has won seven of the last nine meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 12, 1979, but Oregon captured the last meeting, 79-77, on Jan. 14 in Tucson. All-time, Arizona is 23-6 in series games played in Tucson, 15-13 in Eugene, and 0-1 in neutral-site games. Please see page 100 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Oregon 79, Arizona 77, Jan. 14, 2007: Oregon held Arizona scoreless on its final four possessions to come from behind and earn a hard-fought win. UA led 77-73 with 2:40 to play before the Ducks clamped down with two blocks and a turnover to score the final six points. Aaron Brooks’ floater with two seconds remaining provided the final margin. Brooks’ heroics topped a stellar effort by Arizona’s Marcus Williams, who tallied a career-high 34 points and added 12 rebounds.
With a Ranking Attached: With Saturday’s game at No. 13 Oregon looming, it marks the sixth consecutive week in which Arizona will face a ranked opponent. Currently, Arizona is 2-4 this season against nationally ranked opponents. All-time, Arizona is 3-6 when playing the 13th-ranked team in the country. In the Lute Olson era, the Wildcats are 22-34 (.393) against nationally ranked team on the road. For more information, please see page 148 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Another in a long line: Saturday afternoon games seem to have become the norm for the Wildcats. In the six previous weeks since the Pac-10 schedule began Dec. 28-30, Arizona has played a Saturday afternoon game before on or before 1 p.m. local time in four of those weeks, including the last three consecutive and amassed a 2-2 record in those games. For good measure, the Cats host UCLA next Saturday at 11 a.m. MST on CBS-TV.
Just When You Thought It was Safe: Following last Saturday’s win over Washington, much was written (at least in this space) about the disappearance of the Wildcats’ shooting woes. Arizona shot 57.4 percent (31-of-54) from the field last week against the Huskies and followed that up with 60.9 percent (14-of-23) accuracy in the first half Thursday at Oregon State. But the wheels came off in the second half Thursday, as UA hit just 30.8 percent (8-of-26) of its field goal attempts after the halftime break. Thursday’s second-half effort included just two field goals in its first 13 attempts. Arizona ended up shooting 44.9 percent (22-of-49) from the field.
A Statistical Oddity: The Wildcats were outshot by Oregon State in Thursday win, .482-.449, marking the first time in Pac-10 play this season that the Cats had shot worse than the opposition and still won. Prior to Thursday, Arizona was 0-4 in such games.
A Leading Indicator: It took an 8-0 burst over the last four minutes of the first half Thursday to do so, but that run gave Arizona a 36-28 lead at halftime. This season, the Wildcats are 13-3 when leading at the break. That eight-point margin was UA’s biggest halftime advantage in a road game since a 38-22 lead at San Diego State on Dec. 9.
Turnover Margin: Arizona forced Oregon State into 16 turnovers Thursday, a figure that was five more than it committed. It was the 11th time that the Wildcats have posted a positive turnover margin this season, and the squad is 10-1 in those games.
Yet Again: Led by Jordan Hill’s career-best 11 rebounds, Arizona posted a 32-29 rebound advantage in Thursday’s victory. The effort continued a streak that has seen Arizona outrebound its last nine Pac-10 opponents three of the last four by 10 or more. Through 23 games overall, Arizona posts a +6.2 rebound margin. All told, UA has outrebounded 17 of 23 opponents in 2006-07.
Staying Close: Bolstered by a 25-6 scoring advantage from the free throw line, Arizona equaled a season low Thursday with 49 field goal attempts. Perhaps most impressively, Arizona didn’t rely on long jumpers, as the ballclub attempted only eight three-point field goals (also a season low). Why is that so important? In the five games prior to Thursday’s win, Arizona averaged 18 three-point attempts in that span.
Steal Away: Senior Mustafa Shakur took the defense into his own hands on Thursday, equaling a career high with six steals. The last time the 6-foot-3 guard from Philadelphia, Pa., collected that many steals was Dec. 21, 2004, against Manhattan. Shakur leads Arizona with 37 steals (1.6 spg). Incidentally, Arizona finished Thursday’s game with 11 steals, the fifth time the squad had collected 10 or more steals in a game.
Moving Up: Mustafa Shakur also passed out seven assists in Thursday’s win, which boosted his career total to 625. That figure places him third on the UA career assist list, currently behind Damon Stoudamire’s (1992-95) 663 assists. At his current pace of 7.4 assists per game, Shakur will finish his career with the most assists in the Lute Olson era.
Worth Noting: Ivan Radenovic knocked down 13-of-16 free throws en route to 19 points on Thursday. That was the most made free throws in a single game by a UA player since Salim Stoudamire made 13-of-15 FTs at Oregon on Feb. 19, 2005. Incidentally, Radenovic’s 16 charity attempts were the most by a Wildcat since Michael Wright attempted 18 (made 14) vs. USC on March 4, 1999. On the season, Radenovic is shooting 119-of-135 (.881) from the free throw line.
Topping 20: Sophomore Marcus Williams efficiently made his way to 23 points Thursday, as the Seattle product connected on 8-of-12 field goals, including all three three-point attempts, and 4-of-5 free throws. It was the team-leading 10th 20-point game of the season for the 6-foot-7 Williams, but was his highest offensive output since scoring 34 points vs. Oregon on Jan. 14. Williams currently leads the team with a .521 (149-of-286) field goal percentage.
Double Your Pleasure: As mentioned earlier, Jordan Hill registered his second double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds Thursday against Oregon State. All told, it was Arizona’s 15th double-double of the season. The Wildcats have had at least one double-double in seven of its last nine games.
At the Line: Aided by an effort that saw Ivan Radenovic (13-of-16) more than double that of Oregon State as a team (6-of-8), Arizona outscored OSU, 25-6, from the free throw line. It marked the 14th time this season that UA has posted a +12 or better scoring advantage from the free throw line this season. On the year, Arizona is averaging 19.5 points per game from the line, an average of 11.7 points better than the opposition. UA has made 179 more free throws than opponents have attempted in 23 games.
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. Arizona is 11-1 this season when scoring 80 or more points.
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)
25-8 run over 9:01 vs. Washington, Feb. 3, 2007 (UW 4-of-12 FG with five turnovers 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 today’s game, UA heads back to Tucson for its final two home games of the season. The penultimate home game is Thursday, Feb.15, against USC. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on FSN Arizona.