May 16, 2012
Complete Release as a PDF File
SEASON DATA: Arizona (23-12, 12-6 Pac-12) won 23 games, finished fourth in the Pac-12 regular-season standings and participated in the National Invitation Tournament ... It marked the 33rd 20-win season and the 34th postseason appearance in school history ... Arizona has posted 28 consecutive on-court winning seasons, the longest active streak in the Pac-12 ... UA ranked third nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense (.285) and 38th in three-point field goal percentage (.378) ... Guard Kyle Fogg and forward Solomon Hill were both first-team all-Pac-12 selections and both earned all-district kudos as well.
THE RANKINGS: UA finished the season unranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls, but was ranked in three polling periods during the 2011-12 campaign. Further, Arizona's No. 15 ranking in the Nov. 15 AP poll was the highest for a Pac-12 team all season.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . concluded his third season at the University of Arizona and his eighth overall as a college head coach with a record of 189-82 (.697) and 69-35 (.663) at Arizona ... In his eight-year career, Miller's teams have won 20 games six times and captured five regular-season or postseason tournament championships ... He guided UA to 30 wins and the 2011 Pac-10 regular season championship in a run that culminated in the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight ... He was named Pac-10 Conference and NABC District 20 Coach of the Year ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of their conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 16 trips to the postseason in his 19 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (9 NCAA/7 NIT) and has an 9-5 (.643) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, 22 of 23 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team ... He is assisted by James Whitford, Emanuel Richardson and Joe Pasternack.
ARIZONA IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICAL RANKINGS: As a team, Arizona ranked in the top 100 nationally in 10 statistical categories: three-point field goal percentage defense (.285/3rd), three-point field goal percentage (.378/38th), field goal percentage defense (.406/43rd), scoring defense (62.7/62nd), scoring margin (+6.3/67th), personal fouls per game (16.8/69th), three-point field goals per game (7.4/70th), winning percentage (.657/74th), assist:turnover ratio (1.08/83rd) and turnovers per game (12.5/83rd). Individually, Solomon Hill was the highest-ranked Wildcat, checking in at No. 110 nationally in rebounds per game (7.7).
AS GOOD AS ANY: Sean Miller's Wildcats posted a 12-6 record in conference play this season, giving him a 36-18 (.667) Pac-12 record in his first three seasons in the league. Not only does that record tie for the best in the Pac-12 in that span, but since the conference expanded to 10 teams back in 1978-79, Miller is one of only two coaches in that span to win 36 conference games in their first three years in the league, joining UCLA's Steve Lavin, who went 39-15 (.722) from 1996-99.
MORE ON MILLER: Additionally, Miller's 69 overall wins in his first three years in Tucson are more than any current Pac-12 coach in his first three years in the league. Additionally, no Pac-12 team has more road wins in conference play (14) than UA since Miller took over. Currently, Arizona is averaging 23 wins per season under Miller, an improvement over the six seasons (21.7) prior to his arrival.
ALL-DISTRICT: Two players, Kyle Fogg and Solomon Hill, were honored with all-district honors following the regular season. Fogg was a first-team all-District IX selection by the United States Basketball Writers Association, while Hill was a first-team all-District 20 pick by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. It marks the first all-district honor for each player.
PAC-12 HONORS: Five Arizona men's basketball players were recognized by the Pac-12 Conference, as the league announced its postseason honors on March 5. Kyle Fogg and Solomon Hill were first-team all-conference picks, while Nick Johnson was an all-freshman selection. Jesse Perry was an honorable mention all-conference honoree, while Josiah Turner was tabbed honorable mention all-freshman. Additionally, Fogg was a selected to the all-defensive team.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: In advancing to the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament championship game for the second consecutive season, Arizona placed three players on the all-tournament team in Kyle Fogg, Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry. It marks the fourth time in the 15-year history of the event that three Wildcats were voted to the all-tournament squad (1988, 1989, 2002). In Arizona's three games, Fogg, Hill and Perry combined to average 47.3 points and 21.3 rebounds.
AWARD WINNER: Junior swingman Kevin Parrom was named one of the winners of the 2012 Wilma Rudolph Award, the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) announced April 27. The N4A Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award is intended to honor student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. A 6-foot-6, 215-pound junior guard/forward from the Bronx, N.Y., overcame the loss of his grandmother and a gunshot wound to his right leg on Sept. 23, while visiting his mother who was in the final stages of a battle with cancer, to average 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 20 appearances (one start) this season before breaking a bone in his foot on Jan. 28 and missed the remainder of the year.
WE'RE PRETTY GOOD AT THIS: As mentioned above, Arizona's .285 (170-of-596) three-point field goal percentage defense figure ranked third nationally, which marked the second straight season that the Cats have ranked in the nation's top five. Not only are the 2011-12 and 2010-11 (.293) figures the two lowest in program history since the advent of the three-point shot in 1986-87, but UA's 170 treys allowed this year was the lowest opponent total since 1989-90. Over the last two seasons, UA opponents have connected on less than 29 percent of its three-point FG attempts (345-of-1,194).
CLOSE CALLS: Dating back to March 2011, Arizona has endured numerous of razor-thin defeats, as the program's 14 losses in that span have come by 76 total points (5.4 ppg). This year, UA was 1-4 in games decided by two points or less and nine of its 12 defeats were decided by fewer than 10 points. Included in last calendar year are a pair of two-point defeats in the Pac-12 Tournament title game and a two-point loss in the NCAA West Regional final. The Cats have proven to be in every ball game.
NUMBERS DON'T LIE: Field goal percentage and turnovers proved a good measure of success, as UA was 18-1 when outshooting the opposition and 5-11 when not; further, UA was 13-3 when committing the same or fewer turnovers and 10-9 when committing more.
LONG-RANGE THREAT: Arizona finished 2011-12 led the Pac-12 in three-point field goal made per game at 7.4 per game. The Wildcats also connected on 37.8 percent (258-of-683) of its attempts from behind the arc to rank second in the conference. Individually, three Cats ranked in the league's top 15: Brendon Lavender, 1st, .487 (55-of-113); Kyle Fogg, 3rd, .444 (72-of-162); and Solomon Hill, 11th, .389 (37-of-95). Four UA players averaged at least 1.0 made treys per game or better this season.
HOLD `EM DOWN: Arizona limited opponents to an average of 62.7 points per game in 35 outings this year, a figure that ranked in the top 20 percent of all Division I schools. It was the lowest scoring defense figure for the program since the 1985-86 team surrendered an average of 62.3 points per game. Arizona held 12 opponents to less than 60 points in 2011-12. It continues a positive trend for the Wildcats defense, as the squad has allowed fewer points per game in each of Sean Miller's first three seasons: 72.0 ppg in 2009-10, 67.9 ppg in 2010-11 and 62.7 ppg in 2011-12.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: The Wildcat defense stacked up pretty well in terms of scoring defense (62.7 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.406) and three-point field goal percentage (.285). So good, in fact, that Arizona proved to be the best Pac-12 team across the board in those categories, ranking fourth, second and first, respectively. UA's average ranking of 2.3 in those categories topped the conference. All told, Arizona finished in the top-four places in nine Pac-12 statistical categories, four of those were defensive.
TOEING TO THE LINE: The Wildcats did a solid job all season long of getting to the free throw line, as the club averaged 23.3 free throw attempts per game and made an average of four more free throws per game than the opposition. On the year, UA connected on 70.5 percent (568-of-806) of its charity tosses, marking the 15th consecutive season that the Cats have topped the 70-percent plateau as a team. During the Sean Miller era, Arizona has connected on 71.4 percent (1,784-of-2,499) of its free throw attempts.
BALANCED: Arizona achieved a measure of offensive balance, as three players - Kyle Fogg (472 pts./13.5 ppg), Solomon Hill (452/12.9) and Jesse Perry (428/12.2) - each scored more than 400 points this season. It marked a single-season high for each player, who also ranked in the top-20 places among Pac-12 performers, and marked the first time since 2008-09 that Arizona had three player score at least 400 points, when Chase Budinger (630/18.0), Jordan Hill (621/18.3), and Nic Wise (548/15.7) accomplished the feat.
OFF THE MARK: Forward Solomon Hill led Arizona with a .500 field goal percentage (151-of-302), and was the only Wildcat with 100 or more field goal attempts to shoot 50 percent or better from the field. That illuminates what may have been Arizona's Achilles' heel this season: poor shooting. UA ranked 10th in the Pac-12 with its .439 (795-of-1,812) field goal percentage, a figure that was the lowest for the program since 1982-83 (.438/741-of-1,690).
BOARD WORK: Arizona closed the 2011-12 campaign with a starting line-up that averaged 6-foot-4. Despite that fact, Arizona outrebounded 24 of 34 opponents on the season, posted a +1.8 rebound margin and had the second- and third-leading rebounders in the Pac-12 in Solomon Hill (7.7 rpg) and Jesse Perry (7.5 rpg). On the year, Arizona was 19-5 (.792) when outrebounding the opposition and is 50-13 (.794) when accomplishing the feat in the Sean Miller era.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: On the strength of 12 double-doubles apiece from its bookend forwards Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry, Arizona posted 26 double-doubles this season, a figure that led the Pac-12 Conference. In addition to Hill's and Perry's efforts, Kyle Fogg also added two of his own. Arizona posted a total of 10 double-doubles over its last 11 games played.
A HIGH PERCENTAGE: The Cats capped 2011-12 with 258 three-point field goals, a figure that led the Pac-12, and tied for the fourth-highest single-season total in school history. All told, Arizona's 258 treys led to 774 points from behind the arc, which accounted for 32.0 percent of the offense (2,416 total points). That output represents the highest percentage of the total points scored since the advent of the three-point shot in 1986-87. In fact, the only two seasons in which the percentage of three-point scoring has topped 30 percent have been the last two.
WHAT'S SCHEDULED TO RETURN: With eight letterwinners from this club scheduled to return in 2012-13, a total of 45.6 percent of the points scored (1,101 of 2,416), 46.2 percent of the rebounding (571 of 1,237), 51.8 percent of the assists (245 of 473) and 47.9 percent of the minutes played (3,377 of 7,050) should come back as well.
OUR OFFENSIVE WEAPON: Kyle Fogg finished the year as Arizona's top scorer with a career-best 13.5 ppg average. The 6-foot-3 senior guard from Brea, Calif., also led the Cats in three-point field goals (72), free throws percentage (120-of-152/.789) and steals (37) - all career highs. On the year, he had 25 games in double figures with seven games of 20 or more points. Additionally, his 1,124 minutes played in 2011-12 marked the first time Fogg had logged more than 1,000 minutes in a season.
QUITE A CAREER: Four years ago he was a late spring signee, and now as Kyle Fogg caps his UA career, he does so after making a significant impact on the Wildcat record book, finishing his career ranked in the top 10 in six career statistical categories: games played (139/1st), three-point field goals (193/T4th), games started (119/T5th), minutes played (3,829/7th), three-point field goal attempts (478/8th) and three-point field goal percentage (.404/8th), and was 22nd in points scored (1,341). For good measure, he knocked down a trey in 101 of 139 career games played, including the last 29 consecutive.
CONSISTENT: Junior Solomon Hill proved to be Arizona's steadiest player in 2011-12, as the 6-foot-6 native of Los Angeles, Calif., led the Wildcats with 27 games of 10 or more points and 29 games with five or more rebounds. He averaged career-best totals of 12.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game to go with a .500 (151-of-302) field goal percentage. In Arizona's four postseason games, Hill averaged a team-best 16.8 points per game to go with per-game averages of 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals.
A UNIQUE ACCOMPLISHMENT: In a year in which Solomon Hill ranked second in rebounding (7.7 rpg) and 16th in scoring (12.9 ppg) to earn all-Pac-12 honors, the junior forward also accomplished something unmatched in UA annals, as he is the first player in Wildcat history to lead the team in field goal percentage (.500), rebounding and assists (2.6 apg) in the same season.
DOUBLING UP: Forward Jesse Perry made quite an impact during his senior season, nearly doubling his output of points (6.6 ppg in 2010-11/12.2 ppg in 2011-12), rebounds (4.4 rpg/7.5 rpg), assists (27/45), free throws (63/123) and three-point field goals (7/11) en route to honorable mention all-conference kudos. In his two-year career in Tucson, the 6-foot-7 St. Louis, Mo., native posted 678 points (9.3 ppg) and 430 rebounds (5.9 rpg) in 73 games played (60 starts).
ON THE MARK: Senior Brendon Lavender's .487 (55-of-113) three-point field goal percentage led the Pac-12 and ranked fourth on UA's single season statistical list. After making just one trey as a freshman, his output increased in each of his last three seasons (23, 29, 55) and his career three-point FG percentage of .4111 (108-of-263) is tied for sixth place in UA history. Lavender saw action in 130 career games, a figure that is tied for the eighth most in school history.
FIRST-YEAR PHENOM: Guard Nick Johnson averaged 8.9 points, 2.4 assists and 28.1 minutes per game in 35 games as a freshman. He is the first Wildcat guard to make as many as 28 starts as a freshman and be as productive since Jerryd Bayless, who averaged 19.7 points and 4.0 assists in 30 starts in 2007-08. Over the last 11 seasons, only guards Salim Stoudamire (12.8 ppg/2001-02), Mustafa Shakur (9.2 ppg) and Bayless logged more minutes and averaged more points in their freshman seasons than Johnson, and that trio accounted for 3,870 points in nine combined collegiate seasons.
GRADUATION: Perhaps the best note of the season is the one that came last: all five of Arizona's basketball seniors - Kyle Fogg, Alex Jacobson, Brendon Lavender, Jesse Perry and Dondre Wise - completed their degree requirements in May. That all five members of the 2012 senior class completed the task is the most on record in any one season since 1983-84. Since becoming a head coach eight seasons ago, 22 of 23 student-athletes to complete their eligibility under Sean Miller have earned their degrees, including six of the seven seniors in the last three years at Arizona.
RECRUITING CLASS: The Arizona coaching staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent as part of the November early signing period and added two more signees in the spring. Brandon Ashley (F, 6-8, 215) from Oakland, Calif., who preps at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.; Grant Jerrett (F, 6-10, 220) from LaVerne, Calif., who preps at LaVerne Lutheran H.S.; Kaleb Tarczewski (C, 7-0, 220) from Southborough, Mass., who preps at St. Mark's School; and Gabe York (G, 6-1, 170) from Orange, Calif., who preps at Orange Lutheran H.S.; inked in the fall, while Matt Korcheck (F, 6-9, 218) from Tucson, Ariz., who attended Cochise College; T.J. McConnell (G, 6-1, 185) from Pittsburgh, Pa., who attended Duquesne University; and Mark Lyons (G, 6-1, 188) from Schenectady, N.Y., who attended Xavier University; make up a class that was ranked No. 3 nationally by espn.com and rivals.com.