Frye Leads Wildcats Past N. Arizona
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Lute Olson earned his 500th victory as Arizona's coach on Monday night. This year's Wildcats should give him quite a few more.
'We've got a lot of things that need to be improved,' Olson said, 'but you can see with the quickness and athleticism this can be a really good team.'
Isaiah Fox, suspended from the two previous exhibition games for stealing a candy bar and bagels from a school store, had his first career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Freshman point guard Mustafa Shakur had 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting in his college debut for the Wildcats.
'I think I let the game come to me as far as offensive goes,' said Shakur, the latest in a long line of outstanding Arizona point guards. 'I just have to work more on my decision making.'
Salim Stoudamire, along with Frye the only returning starters for Arizona, was just 2-for-12 shooting and 1-for-9 on 3-pointers, but had a game-high seven assists. Iguodala had four of his team's 11 steals.
'Arizona is so quick,' Lumberjacks coach Mike Adras said. 'I don't think you'll see too many teams in the country that quick.'
Kodiak Yazzie scored 16 points to lead the Lumberjacks. Ruben Boyken and Adrian Hayes added 14 apiece.
Northern Arizona shot just 32 percent for the game and was outrebounded 62-44, 27-20 on the offensive boards.
'A lot of the Arizona players are much bigger from last year,' Adras said. 'Channing Frye and Andre Iguodala have done tremendous jobs on their bodies and their shooting ability. You watch them and you are in awe. They can do some amazing things on the court.'
Olson, beginning his 21st season at Arizona, is 500-147 with the Wildcats. The 69-year-old coach needs eight victories to reach 700 overall. His record is 692-239 at Long Beach State, Iowa and Arizona.
Olson was reminded that his first win at Arizona also came against Northern Arizona.
'The fans here are great and we've had a lot of great kids to coach,' he said. 'The environment has been great for me, and I'm happy we've been able to develop consistency in this program.'
The Wildcats are on a string of 16 consecutive 20-wins seasons.
'I talked about when I first came I didn't want to develop a team, I want to develop a program so we could be a competitive team every year,' Olson said. 'I certainly didn't expect that it would be the way it's been, when I've think we've averaged 25 wins or something a season. That's beyond anything I would have been able to imagine.'
Northern Arizona led 2-0, then the Wildcats scored 13 in a row and the rout was on.
Arizona took a 53-28 lead on Adams' layup with six seconds left in the half, then Chris Ferguson sank one from half-court at the buzzer to make it 53-31 at the break.
Stoudamire, 0-for-7 in the first half, sank a 3-pointer to ignite a 22-5 run to open the second half and put the Wildcats up 75-36 on Shakur's driving layup with 14:39 to play. Arizona made nine of 13 shots during that stretch.
Frye said Olson wasn't pleased with much of the team's play - especially the 12 turnovers - in the first half, and said so at halftime.
'Coach O went in there and got us going again,' Frye said. 'We went out there and played Arizona basketball, taking care of the ball, cutting back on the turnovers and doing what we have to do.'
Northern Arizona (1-1), playing without returning starter Aaron Bond - out with an ankle injury - shot 29 percent in the first half, including 4-for-20 on 3-pointers, and was outrebounded 35-20.
Arizona plays No. 8 Florida Friday night at the MassMutual Classic in Springfield, Mass.
The Wildcats begin the season ranked in the top 10 for fourth time in five years. They won't play a home game again until Dec. 13 against Marquette.