Men's Basketball Game Notes

Jan. 16, 2004

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Date: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2004
Time: 3 p.m. PST
Location: Wooden Court at Pauley Pavilion (12,800), Los Angeles, Calif.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: ABC (Dave O'Brien/Jay Bilas)

Game Data: Seventh-ranked Arizona (10-3, 2-2 Pac-10) attempts to halt a two-game losing streak Saturday at UCLA (9-3, 5-0 Pac-10) ... The Cats are in the middle of a stretch of the schedule in which the team is on the road for six of its eight games ... Over the last 11 years, Arizona is 11-12 on the Southern California road swing with seven of those losses coming against the Bruins ... Five Wildcats are shooting 50 percent or better from the field in conference play ... In its last six trips to Pauley Pavilion, UA is 3-3 with three of those games decided by four points or less.

The Rankings: Arizona fell to No. 7 in the Associated Press poll and to No. 8 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 278 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 701-242 (.743) and 509-150 (.772) 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 (.781/281-79) 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 301-31 (.907) in McKale Center and have won 229 of its last 245 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner... Olson is 24-19 against UCLA.

Last Time Out: Desmon Farmer scored a career-high 40 points to lead USC to a 99-90 win Thursday night. Farmer hit 11-of-19 field goals to help the Trojans shoot 52.3 percent from the floor, including 64 percent in the second half, and answer every Arizona challenge. Gregg Guenther Jr. grabbed 11 rebounds and spearheaded USC's 42-26 rebound advantage. Seven UA players finished in double figures but it was not enough to offset a 50-30 USC points in the paint advantage.

Scouting UCLA: The Bruins enter Saturday's game with a 9-3 record (5-0 Pac-10) following Thursday's 66-58 win over Arizona State. As a team, UCLA shoots 46.8 percent from the floor (305-of-652) and averages 68.2 points per game, while outrebounding (+6.2) and outscoring (+4.0) the opposition. Individually, four Bruins average in double figures, led by Dijon Thompson's 14.3 ppg average, and nine players see double-figure minutes per game. Trevor Ariza leads the club with an 7.2 rebounds per game mark.

The Series: Saturday's game marks the 66th meeting of the two schools with UCLA holding a 38-27 series advantage. UA has won seven of the last 10 meetings in the series, which dates back to Feb. 19, 1923, though UCLA captured the last meeting, 96-89, in overtime on March 13, 2003. All-time, Arizona is 16-11 in series games played in Tucson, 10-25 in Los Angeles and 1-2 in neutral-site games. See page 127 in the UA media guide for more series information.

Last Meeting: UCLA 96, Arizona 89 (OT), March 13, 2003: UCLA placed five players in double figures, limited Arizona to just 37.5 percent shooting and held its own on the glass to defeat Arizona, 96-89. The Bruins' Ray Young hit a trey with 4.9 seconds to go in regulation to send the game into overtime. UA struggled offensively in the second half and overtime, shooting just 29.4 percent (15-of-51) from the floor. The loss snapped Arizona's 10-game win streak on the season and its 12-game win streak in the Pac-10 Tournament.

One More Win: With Arizona's next victory, UA head coach Lute Olson will become Arizona's all-time winningest coach. Olson and legendary mentor Fred A. Enke currently are knotted with 509 victories on the Arizona sideline. Now in his 21st season in Tucson, Olson has a 509-150 (.772) record at the school, while Enke amassed a 509-324 (.611) in 36 highly successful seasons (1925-61) at UA.

Holes in the Defense: Over the last five games, Arizona has had its share of problems on the defensive end of the court. In that span, UA has allowed nearly 80 points per game (79.8), while opponents have shot 45.1 percent (144-of-319) from the floor and posted a +0.6 rebound advantage. By comparison, UA had held its opponents to just 42.0 percent shooting, a +3.2 rebound advantage and a +8.4 scoring margin.

Two Straight: Thursday's loss at USC gave the Wildcats a two-game conference losing streak for the first time since Feb. 14-16, 2002 (at UCLA and USC), and just the second such streak in the last six-plus seasons (March 2-4, 2000, at Oregon State and Oregon). Arizona hasn't lost three consecutive conference games since the 1983-84 campaign, Olson's first in Tucson.

A .500 Start: With a 2-2 record after its first four Pac-10 games, it marks the seventh time that UA has started the conference schedule with a split after four games. If you're looking for omens, Arizona has gone on to win the conference championship only once (1993-94).

Off the Mark: Treys have been trouble for UA in its losses in the last week. The Cats shot a combined 24 percent from behind the line against Stanford and at USC - trying it 51 times, making only 12. It hasn't been the wisest course of action in attempting to come from behind. Lute Olson would take 51 attempts in two games most anytime if they were open good-look shots. According to him, that wasn't been the case against the Cardinal and Trojans. Stanford (4-11) and USC (8-17) did a better job from beyond the arc.

Another Dubious Distinction: In addition to allowing 40 points to Desmon Farmer on Thursday (a 2003-04 Pac-10 single-game high), it marked the first time a UA opponent has scored 40 points since Nov. 24, 1995, when Georgetown's Allen Iverson scored 40 points in a 91-81 UA win in the Preseason N.I.T. championship. Providence's Eric Murdock was the last UA opponent to score more than 40 points when he poured in 45 in a 99-87 UA win on Dec. 23, 1990.

Bad Sign: In its current two-game losing streak, Arizona has trailed for a combined 73:22 of 80 total minutes played. The latest the Wildcats been tied or held a lead in either the Stanford or USC tilts was the 15:40 mark of the first half Thursday at USC.

A New Standard: In giving up a UA opponent-high 99 points to USC on Thursday, Arizona also allowed several other opponent single-game highs: first-half points scored (48), rebound margin (+16), field goal percentage (34-of-65/.523) and three-point field goal percentage (8-of-17/.471). All told, USC was the fifth team to outrebound Arizona this season and just the second to shoot 50 percent or better from the field.

Scoring 90...and losing: Thursday's game marked just the ninth time in the Lute Olson era that Arizona had scored 90 or more points and lost. In the last 20-plus seasons, UA is 153-9 (.944) when scoring 90 or more points. Incidentally, the 99 points scored by USC tied for the seventh-most allowed in the Lute Olson era.

No Passing Zone: One of the themes underscoring Arizona's two consecutive losses is passing - or lack thereof. The Cats were out-assisted by Stanford 22-10 and by USC 14-12. The combined 22 assists by UA contrasts with the season-high 26 in each of the two previous games - 19- and 20-point victories over Arizona State and California.

Board Work: Every coach has to preach rebounding. Here's why: Arizona opened the year with positive rebounding advantages of +8, +11 and +8 in its first three games. In the last three UA has suffered disadvantages of -13, -4 and -16. The opening efforts made for two victories and a narrow one-point loss. The Cats have lost two of the last three games and one reason Olson cites is rebounding.

Personal Fouls: Foul trouble is another constant in the twin-setback streak UA takes to Pauley Pavilion. The Cats had 24 personal fouls in each of the losses to Stanford and at USC. Arizona has one victory this year when it had more fouls than did opponents (at Arizona State). The foul trouble translated to the Cats' typical rotation suffering in both the Stanford and USC games when it had guys sitting on the bench for key stretches.

Forcing Turnovers: If there was a bright spot to be found in Thursday's loss, it could be the fact that Arizona forced its opponent into 20 turnovers. It was the fifth time this season and the third straight game in which the opposition has turned it over 209 or more times. Due to the effort, UA held a 32-21 advantage in turnover points on Thursday. Overall, Arizona forces its opponents into an average of 16.5 turnovers per game.

Keep Him In There: If ever there was a case for staying out of foul trouble, Channing Frye's effort on Thursday would qualify. In becoming just the third Wildcat to foul out of a game this season, Fyre played just 26 minutes in the nine-point loss. In that time, Frye was certainly effective, hitting 6-of-8 FG attempts en route to team-high totals of 17 points and eight rebounds.

Coming Along: Freshman point guard Mustafa Shakur continues to pick up his productivity. Against USC, the 6-foot-3 freshman from Philadelphia hit 6-of-10 field goal attempts and finished with 14 points and five assists. In his last 11 games, Shakur is shooting 48.8 percent from the field (40-of-82) and passing out 4.5 assists per game.

More Than Chipping In: Sophomore Hassan Adams quietly goes about his business of leading the Wildcats in scoring with a 16.2 ppg average through 13 games. The 6-foot-4 native of Los Angeles ranks among the Pac-10 leaders in scoring (4th/16.2 ppg), blocks (3rd/2.2 bpg), steals (6th/1.7 spg) and rebounding (7th/7.3 rpg).

Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 91-9 (.910) since the start of the 1988-89 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 8-1 this season when scoring at least 80 points.

Roster Moves: Quarterback-turned-forward Ryan O'Hara left the basketball team following last Saturday's game to return to his football focus. The 6-foot-6 freshman from Pasadena, Calif., joined the team on Dec. 4 and saw action in six games (12 minutes). He missed his only field goal attempt and collected one rebound (both Dec. 28 vs. Liberty), and helped the Cats to an 8-1 record during his tenure.

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 returns home to host the Oregon schools. The Wildcats take on Oregon State on Thursday, Jan. 22, with tip-off scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

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