Men's Basketball 2003-04 Season-In-Review
May 19, 2004
Season Data: Arizona (20-10, 11-7 Pac-10) won 20 games for the 17th consecutive season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 20th straight year, which are both the longest active streaks in the nation ... The Wildcats led the nation by averaging 87.1 points per game, marking the second straight season in which UA has been the nation's top-scoring team ... Arizona set a new school and Pac-10 record with its 78.6 team free throw percentage (511-of-650), a figure that ranked second nationally this season and tied for 26th place all-time in NCAA single-season history.
The Rankings: The Wildcats finished 2003-04 ranked No. 22 in the final Associated Press poll, but were not included in the year-ending ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. UA has been ranked in 286 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only. It marks the first time since 1986-87 that UA wasn't ranked in the final coaches poll. The Cats opened the season ranked No. 4 in both major college basketball polls.
Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson . . . completed his 21st season at Arizona and his 31st overall as a college head coach with a career record of 711-249 (.741) and 519-157 (.768) 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 (290) in history, trailing UCLA's John Wooden (304, 1949-75) ... Olson has the second-best conference winning percentage (.775/290-84) 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 20 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 17 years (449-111/.802) ... In his collegiate career, Olson has produced 46 NBA Draft picks, including 27 at Arizona - 20 alone since 1990 ... He's led UA to 17 consecutive 20-win seasons and has 26 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 307-32 (.906) in McKale Center and have won 235 of its last 252 home games ... He is assisted by Jim Rosborough, Rodney Tention and Josh Pastner.
Ongoing Success: The Wildcats tallied 20 wins in 2003-04. In addition to the 17th consecutive 20-win season, it was the 27th 20-win season in school history and the 26th for Lute Olson as a college head coach. Arizona maintains the nation's highest winning percentage over the last 17 seasons at .802 (449-111). In 100 seasons of collegiate competition, UA has a 1,458-798 (.646) record to go with 23 conference championships. Incidentally, Olson shares the active NCAA Division I coaching lead for most 20-win seasons with Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and Texas Tech's Bob Knight.
Arizona in the National Rankings: Arizona's efforts in the NCAA statistical rankings of the 326 Division I clubs might be labeled schizophrenic at best. At one end, the Cats led the nation in scoring (87.1 ppg), ranked second in free throw percentage (.786), third in assists per game (18.7) and 30th in scoring margin (+8.7 ppg). On the other end, Arizona finished 316th in scoring defense (78.5 ppg), 202nd in field goal percentage defense (.441) and 185th in steals per game (6.9). Individually, sophomore Hassan Adams ranked 47th in field goal percentage (.542) and 96th in points per game (17.2); Channing Frye ranked 26th in blocked shots per game (2.1) and 43rd in field goal percentage (.548); while Salim Stoudamire ranked 30th in three-point field goal percentage (.415).
All-America: For the seventh consecutive season, Arizona had at least one player garner All-America accolades as sophomore Andre Iguodala was an honorable mention selection by the Associated Press. The 6-foot-6 forward from Springfield, Ill., becomes the 19th Wildcat All-American in school history. He was one of four Pac-10 players to be honored by the AP.
All-Region: Andre Iguodala was one of two Wildcats who were recognized with all-region honors. The United States Basketball Writers Association included him on its all-District 9 team. Meanwhile, Hassan Adams was named to the all-Rockies team by Basketball Times. It marked the first time that either player had earned all-region honors.
All-Conference: The Wildcats were well represented on the Pac-10's postseason honor roll, as six players were honored. Channing Frye and Andre Iguodala both earned all-conference accolades, while teammate Mustafa Shakur was an all-freshman selection. Hassan Adams and Salim Stoudamire received honorable mention all-conference kudos, while Ivan Radenovic was an honorable mention all-freshman pick. In the Lute Olson era, no other Pac-10 school has as many all-conference selections as Arizona's 40.
All-Tournament: Sophomore Hassan Adams' stellar performance at the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament earned him a slot on the all-tournament team. Adams, a 6-foot-4 guard from Los Angeles, averaged 25.5 points and 11.5 rebounds, while shooting 54.8 percent (17-of-31) from the floor, in UA's two games. He equaled career highs of 30 points in the semifinal loss to Washington and 14 rebounds in the quarterfinal win over USC. He was joined on the all-tournament team by Stanford's Josh Childress (MOP) and Matt Lottich, Washington's Nate Robinson, and Oregon's Luke Jackson and Andre Joseph.
All-Academic: For the first time since joining the league in 1978-79, Arizona had two players included on the Pac-10 men's basketball all-Academic team. Senior Jason Ranne, who averaged 0.8 points and 0.3 rebounds per game, became Arizona's eighth first-team honoree after the reserve guard carried a 3.642 grade point average. On the strength of his 3.098 GPA, Andre Iguodala, who averaged 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, was a second-team selection. Ranne's and Iguodala's inclusion on the list brings the UA total of either first- or second-team all-Academic selections to 12.
Streaking: Arizona headed into the 2004 NCAA Tournament riding a streak of 20 consecutive tournament appearances, the longest active streak in the nation and second longest in NCAA history (North Carolina, 27). The Wildcats have been a fixture in the championship event since 1985. Here is the list of teams with the most consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (active): 1.) Arizona, 20 (1985-2004); 2.) Kansas, 15 (1990-2004); 3.) Cincinnati and Kentucky, 13 (1992-2004); 5.) Maryland, 10 (1994-2004).
That's Offensive: As mentioned above, the Wildcats finished 2003-04 as the nation's highest scoring team at 87.1 ppg. Through 30 games, Arizona scored at least 80 points in 21 of those contests. The team scored at least 90-99 points seven times and 100 or more on six different occasions. UA's 87.1 points per game average is the fourth best in school history. The 1997-98 club holds the record at 90.8 points per game. Incidentally, Arizona has led the nation in scoring in each of the last two seasons and joins Duke (1999/2000) as the only schools in the country to lead the nation in scoring offense in consecutive seasons in the last 10 years.
From the Line: Arizona knocked down 15-of-19 (.789) free throws in the season finale vs. Seton Hall in the NCAA Tournament. It was enough to boost the UA season free throw percentage to 78.6 (511-of-650), a figure that ranked second in the nation (North Carolina State, .799). Of the seven Wildcats to average at least one free throw attempt per game for the season, six shot better than 75 percent from the line. The 78.6 free throw percentage obliterated the existing Arizona school record of 74.8 percent (703-of-940) set in 2000-01.
Last Line of Defense: Channing Frye closed the regular season as the Pac-10's leader in blocked shots at 2.1 bpg. The junior also moved into sole possession of third place on the UA career blocked shots list with 173. Only Anthony Cook (278/1985-89) and Loren Woods (186/1999-2001) stand ahead of Frye in the UA annals.
On Target: Arizona lead the Pac-10 Conference and ranked ninth nationally with a .486 (942-of-1938) field goal percentage. The Wildcats shot 50 percent or better from the floor 15 times in 2003-04, including 12 times in league play and in eight of its last 12 games. The UA FG percentage actually rose to .502 (586-of-1168) in conference play, as four of Arizona's five starters shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the 18-game Pac-10 slate. Three Arizona players (Channing Frye, Hassan Adams, Mustafa Shakur) enter the NCAA Tournament with shooting percentages above 50 percent. This season, Arizona was 18-3 when outshooting the opposition. Finally, UA's .486 field goal percentage was its best effort since the 1997-98 club connected on 48.8 percent of its season attempts.
Always on the Run: Arizona has made a name for itself with an ability to embark on some large scoring runs. Seven times during the 2003-04 season UA posted a scoring run of more than 15 points. Here is a look at the list:
18 points - 20-2 run over 5:38 vs. Arizona State, March 7
18 points - 18-0 run over 4:44 vs. Oregon, Jan. 25
17 points - 21-4 run over 9:31 at Stanford, Feb. 7
17 points - 20-3 run over 5:31 vs. California, Jan 8
17 points - 21-4 run over 6:08 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Dec. 30
17 points - 21-4 run over 7:34 at Saint Louis, Dec. 6
16 points - 22-6 run over 7:04 at Arizona State, Jan. 3
What Returns for 2005: Despite losing team MVP Andre Iguodala and seniors Jason Ranne and Fil Torres, the Cats are expected to return 10 letterwinners for the 2004-05 campaign. All told, Arizona could return 81.7 percent (4,904 of 6,000) of the minutes played, 84.0 percent (2,197 of 2,614) of the points scored and 77.5 percent (912 of 1,177) of the rebounds.
Pay Attention to Andre: It's not like it went completely under the radar, but Andre Iguodala turned in a remarkable sophomore season. The 6-foot-6 forward from Springfield, Ill., is the only Pac-10 player to be listed in the top 20 in scoring (14th/12.9 ppg) and rebounding (4th/8.4 rpg) and in the top 10 in assists (3rd/4.9 apg), steals (5th/1.60 spg) and assist:turnover ratio (8th/1.77). Furthermore, he has 10 double-doubles to his credit in 2003-04, and is just the second player in league history (California's Jason Kidd) to have three or more triple-doubles in a single season.
A Historical First: It took a century to accomplish the feat, but Andre Iguodala became the first Arizona player ever to lead the team in rebounds (8.4 rpg), assists (147) and steals (48) in the same season. Luke Walton (1999-2003) came closest during the 2001-02 campaign by leading the team in rebounding (7.3), assists (194) and ranking second with 50 steals.
On the Glass: Arizona did a good job of controlling the glass throughout the season, posting a +4.1 rebound margin. The Cats have posted a positive rebound margin in each of the last 18 seasons. Eight times this season the Wildcats have outrebounded opponents by 10 or more in a game. Just how important is the glass to Arizona? The team is 16-4 when outrebounding the opposition and 4-6 when not.
A True League Leader: Though neither led the Pac-10 in either statistic based upon per game averages, both Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala proved to be the most prolific rebounder at opposite ends of the court. No player in the Pac-10 grabbed as many offensive rebounds as Adams' 99 (3.3 orpg) or as many defensive rebounds as Iguodala's 181 (6.03 drpg).
Fast Starts and Slow Finishes: The Wildcats' racehorse brand of basketball lent itself to some quick conclusions, most notably to get out to an early lead and win. If not, it can be a struggle. This season, UA was 13-4 when leading 10 minutes into the game and 7-6 when tied or behind; 15-4 when ahead at the half and 5-6 when not; and 19-2 when leading with five minutes to go in the game and 5-8 when tied or behind.
On Guard: Few players performed as well down the stretch as Arizona's Salim Stoudamire. The 6-foot-1 junior from Portland, Ore., averaged a team-best 19.9 points and 2.9 assists in his last 10 appearances, while shooting 49.6 percent (61-of-123) from the floor and 45.2 percent (28-of-62) from three-point range. On the season, he averaged 16.3 points and 2.7 rebounds to go with a 45.2 field goal percentage. He also has new career highs in assists (86) and three-point field goals (78). The 78 treys mark the fourth-best, single-season performance in school history.
Point Guard Comparison: Freshman Mustafa Shakur performed admirably in the point guard role for the Wildcats, averaging 9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, while shooting 51.9 percent (107-of-206) from the field. He ranks among the Pac-10 leaders with a 1.59 assist:turnover ratio. Shakur hit the game-winning trey at the buzzer against USC in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals and has five or more assists 17 times in 30 games and UA was 15-2 when that happened. He is just the fourth UA point guard to start the majority of games during his freshman season, joining Michael Tait (1983-84), Mike Bibby (1996-97) and Jason Gardner (1999-2000). Here is a look at their freshman seasons statistically:
Player GP-GS Min FG-A Pct. 3FG-A Pct. FT-A Pct. Reb/G A TO St Pts-Avg.Tait 28-28 701 84-194 .433 -- -- 30-46 .652 1.5 76 55 42 198-7.1Bibby 34-34 1110 151-339 .445 67-170 .394 89-127 .701 3.2 178 100 76 458-13.5Gardner 34-33 1244 118-312 .378 70-193 .363 121-166 .729 3.7 162 97 55 427-12.6Shakur 30-28 906 107-206 .519 19-48 .396 49-61 .803 3.6 133 85 17 282-9.4
Porous: The Arizona defense was sieve-like at times this season, as the team allowed an average of 78.5 points per game, the highest figure in the Lute Olson era and the highest since 1978-79 (79.5 ppg), and a .441 opponent FG percentage, the highest figure since 1985-86. The Cats also allowed 8.10 three-point field goals per game, the most in school history. Here is an interesting sidebar to the lack of defense: Arizona had 11 foul-outs this season, the second-highest figure in the last five seasons. Only the 2001-02 club (16) had more disqualifications in that span.
Mr. Productivity: Hassan Adams has been one of Arizona's most productive players, as he leads the tam with a 17.2 ppg average, while ranking second on the team in FG percentage (.542), rebounding (7.3 rpg), blocked shots (45) and steals (45). He has scored 515 points on the season, marking the 41st time in school history that a player has tallied 500 or more points in a single season.
A Winner: Led by the tireless exploits of senior Jason Ranne, Arizona has a four-year record of 100-32 (.758), won one Pac-10 title, a Pac-10 postseason tournament and advanced to the 2001 national championship game. Ranne continues a streak that has seen every four-year player to enter the program since the fall of 1985 win at least 100 games, which covers the last 16 senior classes. The native of Tulsa, Okla., saw action in 23 of 30 games and scored a career-best 18 points.
Moving the Ball: Six Wildcats finished the season with positive assist:turnover ratios through 30 games played. Arizona was 16-4 this season when posting a positive ratio. On the year, Arizona averages 18.67 assists per game, a figure that ranked third nationally, and was 10-1 this year when collecting 20 or more assists in a game.
For What It's Worth: Andre Iguodala led the Wildcats with 962 minutes played in 2003-04 (32.1 mpg). It marks the first time since the 1992-93 season that no UA player logged at least 1,000 minutes played in a season. On the flip side, all five regular starters collected at least 900 minutes played, marking the first time since 1993-94 that all five starters had played at least 900 minutes during the course of the season.
Scoring 80: Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 124-17 (.879) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. The Cats are 15-6 this season when scoring at least 80 points.
Chasing John Wooden: Looking ahead to next season, Lute Olson will enter the 2004-05 season just 14 wins behind UCLA's John Wooden on the Pac-10 Conference all-time league victories list. Through 21 seasons, Olson has a 290-84 (.775) record and trails only Wooden's 304 career Pac-10 wins. In his career at Arizona, Olson's charges have averaged 14 conference wins per season.
2004-05 Signees: Coach Olson and his staff signed four student-athletes to National-Letters-of-Intent during the course of the season. 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; Mohamed Tangara (F, 6-9, 230) from Mali, West Africa, and Mt. Zion Christian Academy in Durham, N.C.; and Jesus Verdejo (G/F, 6-4, 190) from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., will join the squad next fall.