Men's Basketball Game Notes
Dec. 30, 2003
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2003
Time: 7:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls)
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton/Bob Elliott)
Game Data: Fourth-ranked Arizona (7-1, 0-0 Pac-10) looks for its 18th Fiesta Bowl Classic championship in the event's 19-year history Tuesday against Louisiana-Lafayette (4-3, 0-0 Sun Belt) ... The Wildcats are 36-1 in Fiesta Bowl Classic play with the lone defat coming in the 2000 championship game, a 75-74 loss to Mississippi State ... All-time, Arizona is 67-42 (.615) against schools that currently make up the Sun Belt Conference.
The Rankings: Arizona jumped one spot to No. 4 in both the Associated Press poll and 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 276 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 698-240 (.744) and 506-148 (.774) at Arizona ... He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 27, 2002 ... Olson recorded his 500th victory at Arizona on Nov. 24, 2003, 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 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 299-30 (.909) in McKale Center and have won 227 of its last 242 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner... Olson is 0-0 against Louisiana-Lafayette and 36-0 in Fiesta Bowl Classic play.
Last Time Out: Andre Iguodala recorded his second triple-double of the season (eighth in UA history) to lead six players in double figures Sunday in a 107-91 win over Liberty in the first round of the Fiesta Bowl Classic. Iguodala finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists as UA won for the sixth straight time. Arizona, who shot 59.4 percent for the game, led 56-34 at the break and saw the lead balloon to as many as 37 points in the second half.
Scouting Louisiana-Lafayette: The Ragin' Cajuns enter the Fiesta Bowl Classic championship game with a 4-3 record following Sunday's 95-71 first round win over Valparaiso. As a team, ULL shoots 45.1 percent from the floor (195-of-432) and averages 78.3 points per game (8.9 points better than the opposition), but is being outrebounded by nearly three boards per game. Individually, six Ragin' Cajuns average in double figures, led by Brad Boyd's 15.9 ppg average, and eight players see more than 15 minutes per game. Cedric Williams leads the club with a 5.8 rebounds per game mark.
The Series: Tuesday's game marks the second meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 1-0 series advantage. UA prevailed in the only previous meeting, a 76-73 decision in Tucson on Dec. 23, 1978. All-time, Arizona is 1-0 in series games played in Tucson, 0-0 in Lafayette and 0-0 in neutral-site games. See page 125 in the UA media guide for more series information.
Last Meeting: Arizona 76, Louisiana-Lafayette 73, Dec. 23, 1978: Arizona's Larry Demic scored a career-high 37 points and tied a McKale Center record with 17 field goals, while teammate Russell Brown set a facility record with 15 assists in the three-point win. Led by Andrew Toney and Carl Jordan, ULL scored nine straight points over the last 4:53 to cut the UA lead to one with 30 second remaining before Brown iced the game with four late free throws. Demic and teammate George Hawthorne combined for 36 rebounds as Arizona held a 49-22 advantage on the boards.
A Sort of Homecoming: Tonight's championship is also a matchup of Olson and one of his former assistants. ULL head coach Jessie Evans was an assistant under Olson for nine seasons (1989-97). All told, Olson is 6-1 in games against his former assistants.. He is the fourth former Olson assistant to match wits with the mentor, joining Dick Kuchen (an Olson aide at Iowa), who was 1-3 vs. Olson at California; Kevin O'Neill, who was 0-1 at Marquette, and Jay John, who is 0-2 at Oregon State. Here is the seven-game breakdown:
Feb. 2, 1984 W, 56-50 vs. California (Kuchen)March 3, 1984 L, 62-70 at California (Kuchen)Jan. 10, 1985 W, 69-67 at California (Kuchen)Feb. 9, 1985 W, 66-48 vs. California (Kuchen)Jan. 8, 1994 W, 94-80 vs. Marquette (O'Neill)Jan. 4, 2003 W, 80-65 at Oregon State (John)Feb. 9, 1985 W, 72-60 vs. Oregon State (John)
Cornerstone: Andre Iguodala helped Arizona extend its winning streak to six games by averaging 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists in a pair of Wildcat victories last week. He shot 52.6 percent from the field (10-of-19) and added five steals. Iguodala opened the week with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in an 83-71 win over San Diego State. He followed that up with his second triple-double of the season with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in just 29 minutes of the 107-91 win over Liberty. Against the Flames, Iguodala hit 6-of-7 FGs, including his only three-point attempt, to go with a blocked shot and five steals. On the year, Iguodala is averaging 12.4 points, and team-leading totals of 10.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.
Mr. Triple-Double: Iguodala's triple-double vs. Liberty (mentioned above) was the eighth in Arizona history and the 18th in Pac-10 history. He joins a group of four players (California's Jason Kidd, Arizona's Loren Woods and Oregon's Luke Jackson) to register more than one in a career, while he and Kidd (four in 1993-94) are the only players to ever post two or more in a single season. Five of the last seven triple-doubles in the Pac-10 have come courtesy of Arizona players.
Century Mark: Arizona reached the 100-point plateau for the second time this season, and the 92nd time in school history (51 in the Lute Olson era), in its 107-91 win over Liberty. All- time, Arizona is 88-4 when scoring 100 or more points in a game. Arizona has not lost a game when scoring 100 points under Olson.
A Win Tonight: A win tonight would be the 300th for Lute Olson in McKale Center. Entering play on Tuesday, the Cats are 299-30 (.909) in McKale Center under Olson and have won 227 of its last 242 home games. Furthermore, Olson is 36-0 in Fiesta Bowl Classic competition.
Deadeye: Arizona shot a season-best 59.4 percent from the floor (38-of-64) vs. Liberty and has now shot 50 percent or better in each of its last three halves. It was just the second time this season that Arizona has shot 50 percent or better from the field (.571 vs. Marquette, Dec. 13). In Sunday's win over Liberty, the UA starting lineup connected on 26-of-41 (.634) field goal attempts.
Nice Debut: Newcomer Ivan Radenovic put forth a solid effort in his collegiate debut, totaling 17 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes vs. Liberty. The 6-foot-10 freshman forward from Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, hit 5-of-10 field goal attempts (1-of-3 from three-point range) and 6-of-6 free throws and also added an assist. He shared UA scoring honors in the game with Salim Stoudamire and was UA's second-leading rebounder. Radenovic's point total was the ninth-best freshman debut in school history (freshman eligibility started in 1972-73) and the third-best tally in the Olson era.
Player Date Result Points Reb.Eric Money 11/29/1972 W, 94-87 vs. Cal State Bakersfield 37 3Frank Smith 11/30/1979 L, 72-74 at Houston 25 13Bob Elliott 11/30/1973 W, 101-80 vs. Illinois 22 19Mike Bibby 11/22/1996 W, 83-72 vs. North Carolina 22 2Hassan Adams 11/23/2002 W, 107-68 vs. Western Kentucky 22 4Coniel Norman 12/2/1972 L, 75-94 vs. San Francisco 20 1Herman Harris 11/30/1973 W, 101-80 vs. Illinois 20 2Gilbert Myles 11/29/1974 W, 103-85 vs. Northern Illinois 17 4Ivan Radenovic 12/28/2003 W, 107-91 vs. Liberty 17 9Deron Johnson* 11/14/1990 W, 122-80 vs. Austin Peay 16 7* redshirt freshman
Assisting the Cause: Led by Andre Iguodala's 11 assists, Arizona tallied a season-high 28 assists in Sunday's win. Most impressively, the Wildcats collected those 28 assists on 38 field goals, a season-best 73.7 percent. Arizona's ball movement has shown signs of improvement, as the Cats have 50 assists on 68 field goals (73.5 percent) over its last two games. UA's 28-assist effort was its best single-game tally since posting 30 assists vs. Washington State on Feb. 10, 2001.
Six In: Led by Radenovic and Stoudamire, Arizona placed six players in double figures for the first time this season. All five starters finished in double figures for the second time in 2003-04. It is the third time in the last two seasons that Arizona has placed six players in double figures, most recently in a 95-80 win over California on Feb. 1, 2003.
Downtown: Bolstered by Salim Stoudamire's 4-of-5 shooting from three-point range, Arizona shot 50 percent (8-of-16) from behind the arc. It was the second time Arizona has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range this season (.650 vs. Marquette on Dec. 13). With those four treys, Stoudamire moved into seventh place on the UA career three-point field goals list with 165. Just ahead of Stoudamire in sixth place is Miles Simon (1994-98) with 176.
In December: The Cats are 117-36 (.765) under Lute Olson in the month of December, including a 77-19 (.802) mark since the 1990-91 campaign.
Master of Steals: Andre Iguodala collected a career-high five steals in Sunday's win over Liberty, which was exactly half of Arizona's total for the game. The 10 steals was the first time the Cats have reached double figures in pilfers since the season opener and was more than the team total in the previous three games combined.
Game of the Year: It seems as though every news gathering organization has compiled its 'Best of 2003' lists, and Arizona's 96-95 double overtime win over Gonzaga on March 22 seems to be earning more than a casual mention. Sports Illustrated called the contest its College Basketball Game of the Year, while ESPN ranked the game No. 7 on SportsCenter's Top 10 Games-of-the-Year list, which covered all sports. It was the only men's college basketball game to make the list.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 89-8 (.918) since the start of the 1988-89 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 6-0 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 opens the defense of its 2003 Pac-10 Championship on the road on Saturday, Jan. 3, when the club travels to Tempe, Ariz., to face intrastate rival Arizona State. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MST and can be seen on Fox Sport Net.
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