Cats Host Cardinal in Key Pac-10 Match-Up
Jan. 26, 2010
Date: Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010
Time: 6 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FCS (Dave Sitton/Corey Williams) - DirecTV channel 625
GAME DATA: Arizona (10-9, 4-3 Pac-10) returns home for the first time in 18 days to host Stanford (10-5, 4-3 Pac-10) Thursday in McKale Center ... In conference play, the Wildcats are shooting 45.3 percent from the field, averaging 72.1 points per game and posting a +5.1 rebound advantage, while limiting opponents to 41.0 percent shooting and 64.6 points per game ... Over its last five games, Arizona is averaging 75.6 points per game, and the Cats are 9-3 this season when scoring 70 or more points ... The Cats and Cardinal are two of five Pac-10 teams currently tied for second place in the conference standings ... Arizona currently leads the Pac-10 with a .739 (340-of-460) free throw percentage ... Seven of Arizona's 11 remaining regular season games will be in McKale Center.
THE RANKINGS: Arizona remains unranked in both polls after opening the season unranked for just the third time in the last 23 seasons. The Cats closed the 2008-09 campaign ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Sean Miller . . . is in his first season at the University of Arizona and his sixth overall as a college head coach with a record of 130-56 (.699) and 10-9 (.526) at Arizona ... Appointed April 7, 2009, Miller came to Tucson after five successful years at Xavier University, where he amassed four 20-win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances ... His clubs won the last three Atlantic 10 regular season championships (2007-09) and the 2006 Atlantic 10 postseason tournament title ... During his time at XU, the Musketeers won better than 71 percent of its conference games, including an .813 winning percentage (39-9) in his last three seasons ... Miller has made 14 trips to the postseason in his 17 seasons as a head, assistant or associate head coach (8 NCAA/6NIT) and has a 6-4 (.600) NCAA Tournament record as a head coach ... He took two Xavier teams to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 (2008, 2009) with his 2008 club advancing to the West Regional final ... His 2007-08 team set a Xavier record for wins in a season with 30, helping him claim Atlantic 10 and NABC District 10 Coach-of-the-Year honors ... Since becoming a head coach, all 16 players to complete eligibility under Miller have earned their degrees ... A standout guard for the University of Pittsburgh (1987-92), Miller was the Big East Freshman of the Year in 1988, won a gold medal on the 1991 U.S. World University Games team and was a member of his alma mater's all-centennial team in 2005 ... Miller, 41, earned a degree in communications from Pitt in 1992 ... He is assisted by Archie Miller, Emanuel Richardson and James Whitford ... Miller is 0-0 against Stanford.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona used a balanced offensive attack and a smothering defensive effort to post a decisive 77-58 win Saturday at Arizona State. Trailing 20-10 with 7:57 to go in the opening half, the Cats simply turned up the pressure and ran away from there, outscoring the Sun Devils, 67-38, the rest of the way. UA limited ASU to just 30.2 percent shooting and posted a 36-32 rebound advantage in handing the Devils its worst loss of the season. Kyle Fogg's 21 points led an attack that placed four Wildcats in double figures.
SCOUTING STANFORD: The Cardinal enters tonight's game with a 10-9 record (4-3 Pac-10) following Saturday's 84-69 win at Oregon. On the season, Stanford averages 72.1 points per game, shoots 44.0 percent from the field (483-of-1,097) and 66.6 percent (287-of-431) from the line. Cardinal opponents average 70.3 points per game and outrebound Stanford by 0.2 boards per game. Individually, three Stanford players average in double figures, led by Landry Fields' 21.8 ppg figure. He also leads the team with an 8.7 rebounds per game average.
THE SERIES: Tonight's game marks the 79th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 49-29 series advantage. Arizona has won seven of the last 11 in the series, including the last, a 101-87 triumph in Tucson on March 7, 2009. All-time, Arizona is 26-8 in series games played in Tucson, 19-18 in Palo Alto, Calif., and 4-3 in neutral site games. Please see page 109 in the UA media guide for more series information.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 101, Stanford 87, March 7, 2009: Efficient was the word of the day as Arizona connected on 70 percent of its field goal attempts as it rolled to 101 points in the regular-season finale. Nic Wise hit all nine shots from the field and posted 27 points and nine assists to lead the Cats in a game that Arizona never trailed. UA junior triumvirate of Wise, Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill combined for 75 points on 27-of-37 (.731) shooting. Nine of the 10 Wildcats to see action tallied at least three points in the win.
ANOTHER GOOD WEEK: Derrick Williams led Arizona to a convincing road win by totaling 20 points, 6 rebounds and 1 assist in its lone game last week. The freshman forward connected on 70.0 percent of his field goals (7-of-10) and 85.7 percent of his free throws (6-of-7), while also collecting an assist. Williams collected his third consecutive 20-point game as the Wildcats rolled to a 19-point win and won consecutive conference road games. He spearheaded UA's efforts on both ends of the floor as UA shot better than 50 percent from the field as a team, posted a 36-32 rebound advantage and limited ASU to just 30.2 percent shooting for the game and scored 77 points against a club that was leading the nation in scoring defense at 54.7 ppg. It marked Williams' 14th consecutive game in double figures and his sixth with 20 or more points, and continues a stretch that has seen him average 17.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and shoot .667 from the field over his last five games. On the year, Williams averages team leading total of 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.9 percent (96-of-163) from the field.
BUILDING MOMENTUM: Arizona posted a convincing 77-58 win Saturday at Arizona State to boost its record to 10-9 overall and its 4-3 in the Pac-10. It was the Wildcats' third win in its last four outings and marked the first time UA has won consecutive conference games since Feb. 12-14, 2009. Additionally, it was the first time the Cats have won back-to-back Pac-10 road games since Feb. 5-7 of last year at Oregon State and Oregon.
CHALLENGE ANSWERED: Facing the nation's leader in scoring defense (54.7 ppg), Arizona hung 77 points on Arizona State Saturday, which was the second-highest number of points surrendered by the Sun Devils this season and the most it had allowed at home. UA's 77 points are the second-most scored by an opponent in Tempe during the Herb Sendek era. Additionally, Arizona scored 52 points in the second half, which was most for the Cats in any half this season.
CLEANING THE GLASS: Arizona posted another solid rebounding effort on Saturday, posting a 36-32 rebound advantage against Arizona State. The Wildcats have outrebounded six of seven foes in Pac-10 play and UA's +5.1 rebound margin in league play is a 4.7 rebounds per game improvement over its season-long average. To date, UA has outrebounded 10 opponents but it hasn't been a strong success indicator, as the Cats are 6-4 when collecting more caroms, including a 4-2 mark in league action.
SHARING IS CARING: Ball movement proved successful in Saturday's win, as Arizona collected 20 assists on 23 field goals (87 percent) for the game. It was the second time this season that Arizona has passed out 20 or more assists (21 vs. Rice, Nov. 19). Perhaps more impressively, Arizona committed just 11 turnovers and the +9 differential in assists to turnovers was a season high.
GOTTA GET IT GOING: The Wildcats stumbled out of the gate a bit Saturday and trailed 20-10 with 7:57 to go in the opening period. The Cats regrouped, refocused and simply ran past Arizona State, outscoring the opponent 67-38 the rest of the way. Its defense was largely responsible for the effort, as Arizona held Arizona State to just 30.2 percent shooting (16-of-53) for the game. In fact, Arizona did not allow an ASU field goal for the remainder of the first half (0-of-7) and covering a span that lasted until the 12:15 mark of the second half, held ASU to just 2-of-19 shooting. All told, it was the sixth time this season that Arizona has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting from the field. Additionally, Arizona is holding Pac-10 foes to a cumulative 41.0 field goal percentage (151-of-368).
OFFENSIVE EFFICIENCY: The Wildcats certainly were efficient on the offensive end of the floor Saturday, as the team connected on 51.1 percent (23-of-45) of its field goal attempts, marking just the third time an ASU opponent had shot better than 50 percent this season. In the second half alone, Arizona hit 18-of-24 attempts (.750) with 12 of those field goals as either dunks or lay-ups en route to a 24-4 points-in-the-paint advantage in the period.
STANDING TALL: The Arizona backcourt of Nic Wise and Kyle Fogg may have posted its best combined effort of the year in Saturday's win, as the duo combined for 37 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and three steals. Wise, a 5-foot-10 senior from Houston, Texas, collected six assists and three steals, while Fogg, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Brea, Calif., tallied 16 points and four assists of his own in the final 20 minutes. In fact, the UA backcourt (24 points) nearly outscored the entire ASU team (31) in the second half of Saturday's game.
DOUBLING UP: Arizona placed four players in double figures en route to 77 points on Saturday, as Kyle Fogg (21), Derrick Williams (20), Nic Wise (16) and Jamelle Horne (11) each reached double figures. Entering the game, Arizona State had allowed a total of four players to score 20 or more points this season. It's no surprise that success seems to follow a balanced attack, as the Cats are 8-1 this season when placing four or more players in double figures. On the year, Arizona has four players averaging in double figures.
SELECT FEW: Derrick Williams continues to show himself as one of the premier freshmen in the country. Not only does he lead Arizona in scoring (15.6 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg) and field goal percentage (.589/96-of-163), but each of those figures has risen in Pac-10 play: 16.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg and a .643 (36-of-56) field goal percentage. He joins Washington's Quincy Pondexter as the only Pac-10 players to rank in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage.
CONTINUING TO CONTRIBUTE: One statistic easily overlooked in Saturday's box score was the fact that freshman swingman Kevin Parrom led the Cats with seven rebounds. The 6-foot-6 native of the Bronx, N.Y., has been steady and definitely added to the team's depth since returning from a stress fracture on Dec. 23 that forced him to miss the first 10 games of the season. He's averaging 3.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.
SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES: With each team having 19 games under its belt, the numbers show that Arizona and Stanford are pretty similar, and not just in the win/loss department. Statistically, both teams average a bit over 72 points per game, allow around 70 and shoot around 44 percent from the field. The two biggest differences might be that Arizona shoots it better from the line (.739-.666), while Stanford averages nearly two more offensive rebounds per game (11.4-9.5).
SECOND-HALF ADJUSTMENT: It's not often that one finds a 50-percent difference in FG percentage from one half to the other, but that's what happened at ASU as Arizona connected on 23.8 percent of its field goal attempts (5-of-21) in the first half and 75.0 percent (18-of-24) in the second.
SCORING 80: Arizona scored 87 points Jan. 10 vs. Washington, breaking the 80-point barrier for the fifth time this year. Perhaps no statistic is more telling of UA success, as the squad is 185-19 (.907) since the start of the 1997-98 season when scoring at least 80 points. Arizona is 5-0 this season when topping the 80-point plateau.
EARLY SIGNEE: The Arizona coaching staff signed one student-athlete to a National-Letter-of-Intent during the November early signing period. Daniel Bejarano (G, 6-5, 200) from Phoenix, Ariz., North High School. According to Bob Gibbons' All-Star Sports Top 250, he is No. 40 overall prospect in the country.
UP NEXT: Following tonight's game, Arizona returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 31, as the Wildcats host California. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on FOX Sports Net.