Cats, Devils Meet Sunday Afternoon
Feb. 15, 2010
Date: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010
Time: 3:30 p.m. MST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: IMG College/Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Matt Muehlebach)
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Don MacLean)
GAME DATA: Arizona (13-12, 7-6 Pac-10) closes out a three-game homestand Sunday against intrastate rival Arizona State (18-8, 8-5 Pac-10) in a nationally televised game at McKale Center as part of the State Farm Territorial Cup Series ... The Wildcats and Sun Devils meet on the hardwood for the 218th time ... The last five series meetings on Lute and Bobbi Olson Court have been decided by an average of 14.8 points per game with Arizona three of those five games ... UA seeks to win consecutive conference games for the first time in February, where the Wildcats are averaging 65.0 ppg in four contests ... In Pac-10 play, Arizona is averaging 73.3 points per game at home, and the Cats are 12-4 this season when scoring 70 or more points ... A win today would be the 10th at home for Arizona this season.
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 133-59 (.692) and 13-12 (.520) 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 their 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 2-1 against Arizona State as a head coach.
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State did what it does best: controlled tempo and made the most of its opportunities in earning the 63-55 win last Saturday, its first in Tucson since 1983. The Beavers limited the Cats to 55 points and 39.6 percent shooting and did not trail for the final 22:45. UA managed to tie the game halfway through the second half, but OSU responded with a 13-3 run to put a cap on things. Jamelle Horne posted his third career double-double (15 pts./14 reb.) in the contest.
SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils enter today's game with a 18-8 record (8-5 Pac-10) following last Saturday's 61-51 win over Oregon. On the season, Arizona State averages 68.2 points per game, shoots 45.6 percent from the field (592-of-1,298) and 71.6 percent (371-of-518) from the line. ASU opponents average 58.1 points per game and outrebound the Devils by an average of 0.4 boards per game. Individually, three OSU players average in double figures, led by Rihards Kuksiks and Ty Abbott, who both average 11.9 ppg. Eric Boateng leads the team with a 6.8 rebounds per game average.
THE SERIES: Today's game is the 218th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 139-78 series advantage. Arizona has won 25 of the last 31 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914, including the last, a 77-58 decision on Jan. 23 in Tempe. All-time, Arizona is 77-27 in series games played in Tucson, 61-50 in Tempe, and 1-1 in neutral-site games. Please see page 107 in the UA media guide for more series information.
LAST MEETING: Arizona 77, Arizona State 58, Jan. 23, 2010: Arizona used a balanced offensive attack and a smothering defensive effort to post a decisive 19-point road win. 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.
FORWARD THINKING: Derrick Williams led Arizona last week by averaging 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in a pair of games. The freshman forward connected on 75.0 percent of his field goals (12-of-16), hit 9-of-14 free throws (.643) and added three assists. Williams opened the week by sinking on 8-of-10 field goals en route to 20 points, his eighth 20-point game of the year, six rebounds and career-high totals of three assists and two steals in UA's 13-point win over Oregon. He followed that up with 13 points (4-of-6 FG) and three rebounds last Saturday vs. Oregon State. On the year, Williams averages 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game, while shooting 58.3 percent (127-of-218) from the field.
FACTORS OF VICTORY: Now 25 games into the season, it's easy to see what makes a difference when it comes to winning and losing. In Arizona's 13 wins, the team averages 78.7 points, shoots .467 (338-of-724) from the field and posts a +2.5 rebound advantage, while averaging 63.5 points, shooting .404 (259-of-641) from the field and being outrebounded by 2.6 boards per game. In Thursday's win over Oregon, Arizona met or exceeded two of those three averages, while in Saturday's loss to Oregon State, UA met just one.
NUMBERS DON'T LIE: In two games this week, Arizona shot a cumulative 43.5 percent (47-of-108) from the field. While that is substantially better than the opposition (.407/44-of-108), its is slightly lower than what UA has shot at home to date (.442/330-of-746). This year, Arizona is 7-12 when failing to shoot 50 percent or better from the floor, and Saturday's accuracy marked the sixth time the Wildcats have shot less than 40 percent from the floor. Only once, Jan. 28 vs. Stanford, was Arizona able to shoot less than 40 percent from the field and win.
ON THE REBOUND: Despite splitting a pair of games this week, Arizona did manage to win the rebound battle in both contests and posting a +5 rebound margin for the week. This season Arizona is 8-5 when outrebounding the opposition and Saturday's loss was its first at home in six occurrences when winning the rebound battle. The Wildcats have outrebounded nine of 13 Pac-10 opponents and the team carries a +2.4 rebound margin in conference games, a marked improvement over the squad's +0.1 margin for the season.
GOOD STARTS ARE HELPFUL: The Cats got off to a slow start Saturday, connecting on 6-of-17 first-half attempts (.353) en route to 20 points, a figure that equaled the lowest output in any half this season. This season, Arizona is 3-8 when trailing at the halftime break. For a club featuring 12 underclassmen, the need to get out early has proven to be key for the Cats, as the biggest halftime deficit overcome in a win is just four points. UA trailed 26-20 Saturday vs. Oregon State.
A NEED TO FINISH STRONG: One trend that seems to reappeared of late is the fact that Arizona has been outperformed of late in the second half. In the last four games, the Wildcats have been outscored by an average margin of 5.1 points per game and out-shot .495-.457. The numbers are more pronounced in those three UA losses, as the team has surrendered an average of 9.6 more points and allowed opponents to outshoot them, .533-.442.
DIFFICULT TO COME BY: Arizona struggled offensively in Saturday's loss to Oregon State, totaling just 55 points and shooting .396 (19-of-48) from the field. The point total was UA's third-lowest of the season, the fewest points the team had tallied at home this season and the lowest output in any game since Dec. 31. Arizona averages 70.5 points per game in Pac-10 play and prior to Saturday had averaged 77.0 points per game in five conference home games.
ALL IN: Scoring margin seems to be an all or nothing proposition for Arizona. To date, the Wildcats post a +11.2 figure when the team wins and a -10.4 figure in losses. Further, the W/L totals reflect a similar proposition, as Arizona is 5-7 this year in games decided by 10 points or less and 8-5 in games decided by more than 10 points.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Jamelle Horne posted his third career double-double Feb. 13 with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against Oregon State. It marked his second double-double this season, as he collected 14 points and 11 rebounds in the season opener vs. Northern Arizona. The 6-foot-7 forward from San Diego, Calif., connected on 5-of-10 field goal attempts vs. the Beavers and grabbed 10 defensive rebounds, a UA season high. Incidentally, it was Arizona's fourth double-double of 2009-10, as Derrick Williams also has two to his credit. On the season, Horne averages 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds, while shooting .453 (91-of-201) from the field.
MAKING HISTORY: Against Oregon State, senior Nic Wise moved into sole possession of 10th place on the Arizona career steals list with 157. The 5-foot-10 guard is also one trey shy of moving into 10th place on the schools career three-point field goals list as well. Wise enters Sunday's game against Arizona State with 152 career treys, one behind Wildcat standout Michael Dickerson (1994-98). Wise is currently tied for the team lead with 42 treys this season and averages 1.7 made treys per contest.
DOUBLE DIGITS: Kevin Parrom notched his second double-figure scoring game of the season Jan. 13, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists against Oregon State. The 6-foot-6 freshman from the Bronx, N.Y., hit 4-of-5 field goals to finish in double figures for the first time in 10 games. The 10 points also equals his season high. In 15 appearances to date (eight starts), Parrom is averaging 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 20.9 minutes of action.
FIND THE RANGE: While he still ranks second on the team with a .395 percentage (32-of-81) from three-point range, guard Kyle Fogg has been in a bit of a fog of late when it comes to long-range shooting. Over his last five games, the 6-foot-3 sophomore from Brea, Calif., has connected on just 4-of-21 (.190) three-point field goal attempts. The inaccuracy has obviously hurt his productivity, as he is averaging 7.8 points per game in that span, 2.6 points less than his season ppg (10.4).
ELITE COMPANY: By connecting on 75 percent of his field goal attempts last week (12-of-16), freshman Derrick Williams continues to boost his field goal percentage to impressive levels. On the season, the 6-foot-8 forward from La Mirada, Calif., is shooting .583 (127-of-218) from the field, a figure that leads the team and ranks among the best in the Pac-10 Conference. Additionally, his FG accuracy ranks among the best recent performances within the program. In the previous 10 seasons of players with more than three made FGs per game, Williams' current figure is topped by just three players: Jordan Hill (.620/2007-08), Channing Frye (.595/2001-02) and Michael Wright (.594/2000-01).
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 today's game, Arizona returns to the road for the final time during the regular season. The road swing begins Thursday, Feb. 25, at California. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. PST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.