Men's Basketball Game Notes

Nov. 5, 2003

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Date: Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2003
Time: 7 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: None
TV: None

Game Data: Eight lettermen return from last season's 28-4 club that won the Pac-10 championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional final ... The 2003-04 edition of the Wildcats may not be overly deep, but they are a talented and versatile bunch ... As for the makeup of tonight's game, the teams will be divided up as evenly as possible with three players available for both sides ... The Wildcats have two exhibition games scheduled (Nov. 12 and Nov. 20) before it opens the regular season against Northern Arizona on Nov. 24.

The Rankings: Arizona opens the 2003-04 season ranked No. 4 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The preseason Associated Press top 25 poll has yet to be released. With its No. 4 ranking to start the season, it marks the fourth time in the last five seasons that Arizona will open a year ranked in the nation's top 10. UA has been ranked in 270 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.

Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . begins his 21st season at Arizona and his 31st overall as a college head coach with a career record of 691-239 (.743) and 499-147 (.772) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson recorded his 600th career win and his 400th victory at Arizona during the 2000 campaign and has the second-most Pac-10 wins (279) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage (.784/279-77) and second-most league championships won (10) in Pac-10 history (minimum three years), trailing only Wooden (.810/304-74/16 titles) ... During his 20-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 294-30 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 222 of its last 237 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner.

Ebb and Flow: Last year, the Wildcats opened the season with the nation's No. 1 ranking. This season, Arizona enters the campaign with a bit less hype, but still carrying a lofty No. 4 ranking according to the coaches poll. A pair of seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen make up the 12-man roster.

What to Look For: While not as deep as this point last season, Arizona does have a number of players that can play multiple positions. With a preponderance of perimeter players, don't be surprised to see four such players surrounding one post player in 2003-04. Additionally, can the Wildcats replace the leadership provided by last year's senior class?

An Even Number: It's the start of an even-numbered basketball season (2004), so that means UA must not be the nation's top ranked team. Over the last four seasons, Arizona has alternated as the preseason No. 1 in each of the odd-numbered years and somewhere else in even-numbered seasons.

What's Returning: As mentioned earlier, Arizona returns eight letterwinners from last season's team. The Cats return 54.5 percent of the points scored, 57.4 percent of the rebounding and 52.5 percent of the minutes played.

From the Sidelines: Sophomore guard Hassan Adams will not take part in the Pepsi Red-Blue Scrimmage festivities because he is under the weather with flu-like symptoms.

Preseason Accolades: Both Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire have been included in two prestigious preseason player of the year lists. The juniors have been included on the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year award lists.

Would-Be King: Senior Jason Ranne may not see a lot of playing time, but he has managed to make his mark on campus. The 6-foot-4 guard from Tulsa, Okla., is one of five finalists for Arizona's Homecoming King. Voting is ongoing and the winner will be announced at Saturday's football game vs. Washington.

Temporary Roster Additions: Normally you can find these two on the UA bench in suits, but not tonight a pair of managers will be in uniform. Senior manager Nathan Weigl (G, 6-2, 185, Bel Air, Md.) and junior manager Joe Williams (G, 6-3, 213, Pasadena, Calif.) will suit up to add a bit of depth. They will both wear No. 52 and could see action on both teams.

Talent Pool: With the 2003-04 NBA season underway, no fewer than 10 former Wildcats are on active NBA rosters. Here is the complete list: Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings; Ben Davis, Houston Rockets; Richard Jefferson, New Jersey Nets; Chris Mills, Boston Celtics; Sean Rooks, New Orleans Hornets; Damon Stoudamire, Portland TrailBlazers; Jason Terry, Atlanta Hawks; Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers; and Loren Woods, Miami Heat.

Behind the Mike and on the Bench as Well: Four ex-Wildcats also figure prominently in network coverage of the NBA as Sean Elliott, Tom Tolbert (ESPN) and Steve Kerr (TNT) serve as analysts, while former UA assistant Kevin O'Neil is in his first year as head coach of the Toronto Raptors.

Up Next: The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 12, as the squad hosts Sydney, a conglomeration of players from Australia. Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST.

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