No. 1 Men's Basketball to Open Pac-12 Play against WSU
Game 14: #1/1 Arizona (13-0, 0-0 P12) vs. Washington State (7-5, 0-0 P12)Jan. 2, 2014 • 8 p.m. MST • Tucson, Ariz. • McKale Center (14,545)
Tip: 8:06 p.m. MSTTelevision: Pac-12 Networks (Ted Robinson/Don MacLean)Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)Satellite Radio: Sirius 91; XM 91Rankings: Arizona - 1/1; Washington State - NR/NRLive Stats: Live stats are available via arizonawildcats.com
Game Storylines» One of just eight undefeated teams remaining in Division I, Arizona will begin its fourth-straight week as the nation’s top-ranked team on Thursday when it hosts Washington State in both teams’ Pac-12 opener.
» UA is 3-1 in Pac-12 openers under head coach Sean Miller, and a win on Thursday would tie the Wildcats with last season’s team for the second-best start in program history (14-0).
» UA has now been the AP No. 1 for a total of 33 weeks, the ninth-most in NCAA history and second-most in Pac-12 history; Arizona is the first Pac-12 team to ascend to the top spot in the AP poll since January 6, 2006.
» Now in his fifth season in Tucson, Miller continues to honor a process that has seen him lead UA to a Pac-12-best 93-28 (.769) record since the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
» The Wildcats’ offensive attack is operating at 49.2 percent from the floor, while averaging 24.6 free throw attempts per game; T.J. McConnell ranks 13th nationally in assists (6.5/game) and ranks second in the Pac-12 with a 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.
» Utilizing several players who can guard multiple positions, Arizona heads into Pac-12 play ranked sixth nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing opponents to shoot just 37.2 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from long distance.
» Arizona is allowing opponents to shoot just .371 overall and .277 from the arc in the second half this season, outscoring opponents by an average of 10.1 points per game after the break.
» Arizona has won the rebounding battle in each of its 13 games this season and ranks fourth nationally with a +12.5 rebound margin and 10th with a .413 offensive rebound percentage; UA is averaging 13.2 offensive boards and 14.4 second-chance points per game.
» Rebounding has been a team focus this season, as evidenced by the fact that the leading rebounder on the league’s top rebounding team ranks just 11th in the Pac-12 (Gordon/7.6); six UA players average better than 3.5 rebounds per game.
» Arizona’s post defense has been stellar, limiting opponents to 40.5 percent shooting inside the arc to rank eighth nationally in two-point field goal percentage defense.
» Miller’s biggest Arizona team has been lethal in the paint, nearly doubling its opponents’ output in the same area; UA is +15.2 points per game in the paint on average and has scored 49.0 percent of its points this season in the paint.