Men's Basketball Game Notes

Jan. 30, 2004

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Date: Saturday, Jan. 31, 2004
Time: 1 p.m. PST
Location: Friel Court (12,058), Pullman, Wash.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)

Game Data: Ninth-ranked Arizona (13-4, 5-3 Pac-10) heads to the Palouse for a Saturday afternoon game at Washington State (9-9, 3-5 Pac-10) ... In its last six games, Arizona is shooting 51.9 percent (175-of-337) from the field and averaging 90.2 points per game, but is only 3-3 in those games ... UA is in the middle of its first four-game conference road swing since the 1993-94 season ... Thursday's loss marked just the second time this season that Arizona has held the halftime lead and lost the game (Florida).

The Rankings: Arizona rose to No. 9 in both the Associated Press poll and in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll after last week's action. The Cats opened the season ranked No. 4 in both major college basketball polls. UA has been ranked in 280 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . is in his 21st season at Arizona and his 31st overall as a college head coach with a career record of 704-243 (.743) and 512-151 (.772) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson recorded his 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and became Arizona's career victories leader (510) on Jan. 17, 2004 ... He has the second-most Pac-10 wins (284) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.780/284-80) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 21-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 10 Pac-10 Conference titles, four Pac-10 Tournament crowns (1988, '89, '90, 2002) and been to the NCAA Tournament for the past 19 years, 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 16 years (429-101/.809) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 46 NBA Draft picks, including 27 at Arizona - 20 alone since 1990 ... He's led UA to 16 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 25 overall in his career, making him one of only five head coaches in NCAA history to record 25 or more 20-win seasons... Under Olson, the Cats are 303-31 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 231 of its last 247 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner ... Olson is 38-2 against Washington State.

Last Time Out: Arizona had no answer for Washington's Nate Robinson as he poured in a career-high 31 points and helped the Huskies dig out of an eight-point, second-half deficit and earn the 96-83 decision. Robinson scored 20 of his 31 points in the second half, including 16 in the final 12 minutes as UW outscored UA 42-21 in that span. Arizona shot 52.5 percent from the field, but committed 21 turnovers which led to 32 Washington points. Hassan Adams led four UA players in double figures with 19 points.

Scouting Washington State: The Cougars enter Saturday's game with a 9-9 record (3-5 Pac-10) after Thursday's 63-56 win over Arizona State. As a team, WSU shoots 39.7 percent from the floor (358-of-902) and averages 55.4 points per game, 2.1 points per game less than the opposition. Individually, one Cougar averages in double figures, Marcus Moore's 12.7 ppg average, and nine players see double-figure minutes per game. Shami Gill leads the team with a 5.9 rebounds per game average.

The Series: Saturday's game marks the 53rd meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 43-10 series advantage. Arizona has won 36 consecutive games in the series, which dates back to Dec. 22, 1959, including the last meeting, an 75-62 triumph on Feb. 8, 2003, in Pullman. All-time, Arizona is 21-5 in series games played in Tucson, 18-5 in Seattle and 4-0 in neutral-site games. See page 127 in the UA media guide for more series information.

Last Meeting: Arizona 75, Washington State 62, Feb. 8, 2003: Arizona got the job done when it needed to in posting a 13-point win over Washington State. The Wildcats outscored the Cougars 21-8 and held WSU to 3-of-16 shooting over the final 7:15 to remain unbeaten on the road in Pac-10 play. Jason Gardner led four Arizona players in double figures with 19 points to go with four steals, while Channing Frye chipped in with 15 points, four rebounds and three blocked shots.

Wooden Award Candidate: Sophomore forward Andre Iguodala was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top-30 list. The 6-foot-6 Springfield, Ill., product is averaging 12.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists through 17 games. The 10-member Wooden Award All-America team will be announced on March 30 and the winner of the 2004 Wooden Award will be introduced on April 10.

Road Woes: In posting a 13-4 record through 17 games, Arizona has struggled a bit on the road, at least by its own standards, amassing a 4-3 (.571) record away from McKale Center this season. In the previous four seasons combined, Arizona has a 52-21 (.712) record in road or neutral-site games. Since the start of the 1999-2000 season, Arizona's worst single-season road record was 11-6 (.647) in 1999-2000. Over the past 20-plus seasons, Arizona has a Pac-10 best 123-61 (.668) road record.

Slow Start: The Cats' loss Thursday at Washington dropped its Pac-10 record to 5-3. The last time UA opened the conference slate 5-3 or worse came in 1995-96 when the Club also opened 5-3. In that season, Arizona defeated Washington State, 96-78, in Tucson in its ninth league game of the year en route to a 13-5 conference record and second-place finish.

Tables Turned: After establishing the big scoring run as one of its calling cards, Arizona had the tables turned Thursday night by Washington, as the Huskies used a 42-21 run over the last 12 minutes to turn an eight point deficit into a 13-point win. During four minute stretch of that run late in the game in which Washington took control, Arizona made just 1-of-8 field goal attempts. Despite that fact, Arizona still managed to shoot 52.5 percent (32-of-61) from the field.

In Need of Improvement: Certainly, Arizona's defense could use some tweaking. In Pac-10 play, Wildcat opponents are shooting 45.7 percent (203-of-503) from the field and averaging 79.9 points per game. Obviously, those numbers are just for eight games, but extrapolated for an entire season, those numbers would be the highest in some time. The last time the opponent FG percentage was that high was the 1985-86 season (.460), while the point output is the highest since 1976-77 (82.5 ppg).

College Boards: Arizona posted a 31-30 rebound advantage in Thursday's game, marking the fourth consecutive game in which the Wildcats have outrebounded the opposition. However, it was just the second time this season that Arizona has outrebounded the opposition and lost the game (Florida). Overall, Arizona is 10-2 this season when outrebounding the opposition.

Straight Shooters: The Wildcats shot 52.5 percent (32-of-61) from the field Thursday at Washington, continuing UA's good-shooting trend. In Pac-10 play, UA is shooting 50.3 percent (270-of-537) from the field. All five UA starters are shooting 50 percent or better from the floor in league action.

Similar Features: Arizona's last two conference losses (at USC/at Washington) have shared some similar features. In both contests, the home team posted a shooting percentage better than 50 percent (USC .523/Washington .516), collected more than 10 steals (USC 14/Washington 12), and had a player score a bunch of points (USC's Desmon Farmer 40/Washington's Nate Robinson 31).

Turning It Over: One of the key stats in Thursday's loss was the fact that Washington converted 21 Arizona turnovers into 32 points. At times, Arizona has displayed a knack for turning it over, as the club has four games with 20 or more turnovers this season. On the season, UA is averaging 15.4 turnovers per game.

Big Numbers: Channing Frye enters Saturday's game on the cusp of several milestone achievements. The 6-foot-11 center from Phoenix, Ariz., is four rebounds shy of 600 career rebounds and 18 points shy of becoming the 38th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.

A Rarity: Arizona managed to lose a game Thursday despite shooting better than 50 percent from the floor. Since the start of the 2000-01 season, that was just the second time the club has lost a game when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor. In that span, Arizona is 34-2 when shooting 50 percent from the field.

Getting In Gear: Andre Iguodala posted 17 points, a game-high nine rebounds, six assists and two steals in Thursday's loss at Washington, which was his third straight strong outing. Over the last three games, The 6-foot-6 sophomore is averaging 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists, while shooting 63.6 percent (21-of-33) from the field.

On Point: Freshman Mustafa Shakur continues to get better each time out. Shakur has five or more assists in 11 of his last 14 games, connected on 52.4 percent of his field goal attempts (55-of-105), and averaged 9.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in that span. Thursday vs. Washington, Shakur connected on 5-of-6 FGs en route to 13 points, four boards, five assists and a career-high four steals.

Rising to the Top: Salim Stoudamire continues to move his way up Arizona's career statistical lists. With 16 points Thursday, he moved to within five points of a share of 30th place on the UA career scoring list with 1,081 points. Just ahead of Stoudamire, and currently in 30th place, is Joseph Blair (1992-96), who tallied 1,086 career points. He is also tied for third place on the school's career three-point field goals list with Jason Terry (1996-99) with 193. Only Jason Gardner (318) and Damon Stoudamire (272) have more treys in an Arizona uniform.

On Target: Sophomore Chris Rodgers had a nice night Thursday, as he did not miss a shot. In totaling nine points, Rodgers hit 2-of-2 field goals, including one from behind the arc, and all four free throws.

Swatting Shots: Bolstered by Channing Frye (41) and Hassan Adams (34), Arizona continues to lead the Pac-10 with a 5.35 blocked shots per game average. Frye and Adams rank first (Frye, 2.41) and third (Adams, 2.00) individually in the conference in that category. Adams has recorded blocks in 16 of 17 games played this season.

Scoring in Bunches: Sophomore Hassan Adams has established himself as Arizona's most consistent scorer this season. Through 17 games, Adams is averaging 17.2 points per game, and his 292 points scored is more than he tallied in all of last season. To date, he has 15 double-figure scoring games this season (25 career) and has led the team in scoring seven times in 2003-04. The Los Angeles product is tied for the team lead with a .534 field goal percentage.

Short Bench: Arizona used a season-low seven players in Thursday's loss, marking the third time the team has used so few a number (Saint Mary's/Stanford).

Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 120-13 (.902) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 11-2 this season when scoring at least 80 points.

Early Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed three student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Daniel Dillon (G, 6-4, 190) from Hampton, Victoria, Australia, and North Laurel High School in London, Ky.; Jawann McClellan (G, 6-5, 202) from Houston, Texas, Charles H. Milby High School; and Mohamed Tangara (F, 6-9, 230) from Mali, West Africa, and Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C., will join the squad next fall.

Up Next: Arizona heads to the San Francisco Bay area next week for a pair of Pac-10 games. The Cats play at California on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m. PST, and at Stanford on Saturday, Feb. 7.

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