Arizona Basketball: Weekly Update

    
February 15th, 2009

 

Arizona Basketball This Week (18-8, 8-5 Pac-10)

Feb. 12 W 83-76 vs. USC
Feb. 14 W 84-72 vs. No. 11 UCLA

Next Week
Feb. 22 at No. 18 Arizona State (8 p.m. MST, Fox Sports Net)


Player of the Week Nominee

Nic Wise, G, 5-10, 177, Jr., Houston, Texas (Kingwood H.S.)

Wise led Arizona to its seventh straight win (six Pac-10 wins) by averaging 26.5
points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. In the two games, Wise shot .708
(17-of-24) from the field and .625 from three-point range (5-of-8) to go with
four assists and four steals. He opened the week by scoring 27 points (8-of-11
FG) to go with three rebounds and four assists vs. USC. Wise followed that up
with 26 points (sixth 20-pointgame this season) on 9-of-13 shooting, 7-of-9
from the line, and two steals in Saturday?s win over No. 11 UCLA. On the
year, Wise is averaging 14.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game,
while shooting .450 from the field.


Notes
** With a pair of wins this week, Arizona stretched its win streak to seven
games, which equals the longest for the program since the 2006-07 club won 12
straight. Furthermore, a look inside those numbers reveals two points worth
mentioning. First, the Wildcats? current streak includes six consecutive
Pac-10 wins, which is the second longest conference win streak in the last six
seasons (the 2004-05 club won seven). Perhaps most importantly, UA?s six
straight league wins is the longest for a Pac-10 team this season. No other
Pac-10 team has won more than four consecutive conference games in 2008-09.

** Much has been made of Arizona?s ?Big Three? of Chase Budinger, Jordan
Hill and Nic Wise, and they have delivered by accounting for 69 percent (1,303
of 1,877 points) of the offense. But the Cats have proven to be a more
dangerous bunch when a fourth scorer can join the mix, as was the case Saturday
with Zane Johnson and his 11 points. When Arizona has four players finish in
double figures this year, the program is 9-1.

** Arizona raced to 49 first-half points in Saturday?s win over UCLA, which
was the most UA has scored in the opening period this season and was the most
allowed by the Bruins in any half this year. The Wildcats, who have topped the
80-point plateau in three straight games and five of seven, became just the
fourth team to score more than 70 points against UCLA. During its current
seven-game win streak, Arizona is averaging 82.6 points per game, 10.4 points
better than its season scoring average (72.2 ppg). On the year, UA is 8-0 when
scoring 80or more points in a game this year.

** The Wildcats connected on 27-of-54 (.500) field goal attempts in
Saturday?s win, marking the 11th time this season that the team has connected
on 50 percent of its shots. The Cats are 9-2 when that happens in 2008-09. In
sweeping the Southern California schools this week, Arizona shot a combined
54.1 percent (53-of-98) from the field. By posting a .500 FG percentage
Saturday, Arizona became the fourth team this season ? and second Pac-10
squad ? to shoot 50 percent or better against UCLA.

** En route to its 12-point win Saturday, Arizona shot 50 percent from the
field, posted a 34-27 rebound advantage and forced 20 UCLA turnovers. The
Wildcats led by 18 points at halftime and eventually pushed the lead to as many
as 25 in the second half. The final margin marked UCLA?s worst loss of the
season.

** Led by Chase Budinger, who equaled a season high with five steals, Arizona
collected a season-best 10 steals vs. UCLA. Eight of those 10 pilfers came in
the first half, as Arizona converted those in 14 turnover points in the first
20 minutes. On the year, UA averages 5.8 steals per game.

** UA?s victory over No. 11 UCLA improved the Cats record to 3-2 this season
against nationally ranked teams. Two of Arizona?s three wins have come
against clubs ranked in the top-11 at the time of tip-off.

** Nic Wise continues to prove himself as an offensive force. In addition to
averaging 26.5 points per game in the two wins this week, the 5-foot-10 junior
is averaging 20.3 points per game over the last seven games, while posting an
impressive .524 field goal percentage (44-of-84) with 20 of those 44 FGs coming
from three-point range. For good measure, Wise has made 34-of-42 (.810) free
throws in that span.

** Jordan Hill bounced back with a solid performance Saturday against the
Bruins, collecting his 15th double-double (27 career) with 22 points and 13
rebounds. The effort snapped a three-game stretch where the 6-foot-10 junior
failed to notch a double-double, his longest drought of the season. Hill leads
the Pac-10 with an 11.3 rebounds per game average and those 15 double-doubles.

** Chase Budinger continued his run of stellar play this week by posting
17points, five boards, five assists and five steals Saturday vs. UCLA. During
Arizona?s current win streak, the 6-foot-7 Encinitas, Calif., product has
posted per game averages of 20.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists, while
shooting 48.4 percent (46-of-95) from the floor. Most impressively, Budinger
has logged 279 of a possible 280 minutes played over the last seven games.

** Sophomore guard Zane Johnson is in a zone of his own lately. The 6-foot-5
sharpshooter has hit 10-of-15 shots from beyond the arc in the last five games.
Overall he's clipped along at 14-of-24 (.583) in that span, so his shots are
goingdown. Those rates compare with season marks of .466 from the field and
.420 from beyond the arc. Averaging just five shots per game over his last five
outings is fine, especially if Johnson is going to sink two-thirds of them.