Men's Basketball Game Notes

Jan. 9, 2004

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Date: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2004
Time: 4:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court at McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Joe Nehls)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)

Game Data: Third-ranked Arizona (10-1, 2-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 4 Stanford (12-0, 3-0 Pac-10) in an battle of top-five clubs Saturday in McKale Center ... Expect a tight game, as each of the last five games, and eight of the last 10, have been decided by six points or less ... Since the start of the 2000-01 season, Arizona is 27-14 (.659) against nationally ranked opponents, including a 2-1 mark this season ... The Wildcats are averaging 90.0 points over its last five games.

The Rankings: Arizona jumped one spot to No. 3 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 277 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 701-240 (.745) and 509-148 (.775) 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, his 700th collegiate victory on Jan. 3, 2004, and has the second-most Pac-10 wins (281) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... He has the second-best conference winning percentage (.785/281-77) 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 301-30 (.909) in McKale Center and have won 229 of its last 244 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner... Olson is 30-12 against Stanford.

Last Time Out: Salim Stoudamire scored all 18 of his points in the first half as the Wildcats jumped out to a 50-22 halftime lead and coasted to the 20-point win. Led by Stoudamire's 6-of-7 shooting in the first half, UA shot 51.6 percent from the floor and limited Cal to 29.6 percent (8-of-27) shooting in the opening 20 minutes. Stoudamire scored 10 of his points in a 21-4 UA run over 7:33 that saw the Wildcat lead grow to 26 points. Hassan Adams (19), Channing Frye (16) and Ivan Radenovic (17) also finished in double figures.

Scouting Stanford: The Cardinal enter Saturday's game with a 12-0 record (3-0 Pac-10) following Thursday's 63-62 win at Arizona State. As a team, Stanford shoots 48.8 percent from the floor (324-of-664), outrebounds the opposition by a +10.5 margin and averages 75.9 points per game (16.4 points better than the opposition). Individually, four Cardinal average in double figures, led by Matt Lottich's 13.7 ppg average, and 10 players see double-figure minutes per game. Justin Davis leads the club with a 7.3 rebounds per game mark.

The Series: Saturday's game marks the 65th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 42-22 series advantage. UA has won five of the last eight meetings in the series, which dates back to Dec. 20, 1937, including a 72-69 win in Palo Alto on March 1, 2003, in the last encounter. All-time, Arizona is 24-6 in series games played in Tucson, 16-14 in Palo Alto and 2-2 in neutral-site games. See page 126 in the UA media guide for more series information.

Last Meeting: Arizona 72, Arizona 69, March 1, 2003: Salim Stoudamire scored 12 of his team-high 18 points and Luke Walton grabbed nine of his game-high 11 rebounds in the second half to help Arizona defeat Stanford and clinch the Pac-10 championship. The Cats held the Cardinal to 35.4 percent shooting for the game, committed just seven turnovers, and never lost the lead over the final 20 minutes in the three-point win. UA was outrebounded for sixth time this season, but managed to finish the season 9-0 in Pac-10 road games.

Here We Go Again: In what has become a season of milestones for Lute Olson, another is quickly approaching. One more win would give the UA head coach 510 wins in his 21-season career at Arizona and pass legendary UA mentor Fred A. Enke as the school's all-time winningest men's basketball coach. In 36 seasons in Tucson (1925-61), Enke amassed a record of 509-324 (.611). Already this season, Olson has logged his 500th win at Arizona and his 700th career collegiate victory.

Another Epic Battle: Saturday's matchup of No. 4 Stanford and No. 3 Arizona is yet another epic battle between two of the Pac-10's best teams. Only one time in the last five years (covering 10 meetings) has either club failed to be nationally ranked for this game (Stanford, Jan. 30, 2003). Otherwise the average ranking for Arizona in the series since 1998-99 is 8.6, while Stanford's (factoring in the NR as a 26th place) is 10.2. In those last 10 meetings, the two team have combined for 10 top-10 rankings, including four No. 1 rankings, at the time the games were played. Additionally, this is the matchup of the two highest-ranked teams (avg. 3.5) in the regular season since Jan. 25, 2003, when No. 1 Arizona defeated No. 6 Kansas, 91-74, in Lawrence, Kan. The last time such a meeting happened at McKale Center came Dec. 11, 1999, when No. 2 Arizona defeated No. 5 Michigan State, 79-68.

So Much For Homecourt Advantage: There are any number of trends that may help one predict success in this series, but none has been as meaningful as the dark jerseys. The road team has won the last six meetings in the series. Current road streaks: Stanford +3; Arizona +4. The last home team to win was Arizona, 86-81, on March 9, 2000.

How Good Are These Guys?: Since the start of the 1998-99 season, Stanford and Arizona have easily placed themselves among the elite of college basketball. In that span, the two programs are practically mirror images of each other in terms of success. Stanford has compiled a 140-33 (.809) overall record and a 75-18 (.806) mark in Pac-10 play, while Arizona has a 139-37 (.790) record and a 74-18 (.804) mark in conference action. The Cats and Cardinal have won or shared the Pac-10 title in four of those five seasons.

Finding the Range: Junior Salim Stoudamire continues to be in quite a shooting zone. Thursday night, the 6-foot-1 guard from Portland, Ore., hit 6-of-8 shots from the floor, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, en route to 18 points. In his last two games, Stoudamire is shooting 72.7 percent (16-of-22) from the floor, including 10-of-14 from behind the arc. Over his last five games, those percentages drop to 56.8 (25-of-44) and 50.0 (15-of-30) respectively, though those numbers to include an 0-for-6 night against Louisiana-Lafaytette.

FG Accuracy: Including last night's 33-of-65 (.508) shooting effort, Arizona has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in three of its last five games. In that span, the Cats have connected on 50.8 percent (164-of-323) of its field goal attempts. All told, six UA players have shooting percentages of 50 percent or better in the same time frame, led by Hassan Adams' 56.9 (37-of-65) percent shooting.

Nine Shy: Salim Stoudamire is nine points shy of becoming the 37th player in Arizona history to score 1,000 career points. He's averaging 13.2 ppg in his 75-game career.

A Win Today: A UA win Saturday would be Arizona's 10th consecutive of the season, equaling the longest win streak by last season's team. The last time Arizona won more than 10 straight came during the 2000-01 campaign.

Off on the Right Foot: The Wildcats have gotten off to good starts in Pac-10 play largely because of its defense. In those two league games, Arizona has limited the opposition to a combined 29.8 (17-of-57) field goal percentage and an average of 26.0 points in the first half. By contrast, the UA offense has responded with 56.3 shooting (36-of-64) and 48.0 points per game.

Beaten: California posted a 43-30 rebound advantage Thursday, stopping Arizona's streak of four straight games with a rebound advantage and marking just the third time the Cats have been out-boarded in 2003-04. Ironically, UA is 3-0 when an opponent holds a rebound advantage.

Signs Are Turning Positive: As Coach Olson said after Thursday's game, 'I think we are getting better. We just need to keep making progress in every game.' Well, there are two signs that point to such an improvement: assists and steals. The Cats had 26 assists in Thursday's win and now have had 20-plus assists in four of its last five games. UA also had 10 steals for the third time in the last four games.

From Behind the Arc: Led by Salim Stoudamire's 4-of-5 marksmanship from three-point range, Arizona shot 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from behind the arc. It marked the third time this season that UA has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range.

Making Strides: Mustafa Shakur continues to shine in the point guard role, as the freshman from Philadelphia passed out a season-high seven assists in Thursday's win against California. He turned it over just once in 23 minutes and collected a season-high three steals. On the year, Shakur is averaging 8.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.

Out In Front: As unassuming as it can be, sophomore Hassan Adams quietly goes about his business of leading the Wildcats in scoring with a 17.7 ppg average through 11 games. The 6-foot-4 native of Los Angeles hit 8-of-15 FG attempts Thursday vs. Cal and finished with a team-high 19 points, nine rebounds and two assists. On the season, he is shooting 53.3 percent from the floor (80-of-150) and ranks third on the team with a 7.5 rebounds per game average.

A Nice Find: After just four games, UA newcomer Ivan Radenovic continues to make an impact coming off the bench. The 6-foot-10 forward from Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, finished with a career-high 17 points to go with three rebounds and three assists against California. In four appearances, Radenovic is averaging 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, while 14 of his 25 boards have come on the offensive glass.

From the Line: Arizona continues to do a good job of getting to the free throw line, and more importantly, converting those attempts. The Wildcats lead the Pac-10 with a 76.5 (189-of-247) free throw percentage. On the year, Arizona has enjoyed a scoring advantage from the line in nine of 11 games and has made more free throws (189) than the opposition has attempted (173).

Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 91-8 (.919) since the start of the 1988-89 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 8-0 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: Following Saturday's game, Arizona heads to Southern California for a pair of Pac-10 tilts. UA plays at USC on Thursday, Jan. 15, and at UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 17. Tip-offs are scheduled for 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. PST, respectively.

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