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Arizona Wildcats
RECORD: 25 - 3 REGION: West  SEED: 1
COACH: Lute Olson CONFERENCE: Pac-12
RESULTS| STATS| HISTORY | MESSAGE BOARD | ARIZONA INSIDER

Road to the Final Four  ...................................................................................

PREVIOUS GAMES
OPPONENT ROUND RESULT
Vermont 1st Round W 80 - 51
Gonzaga 2nd Round W 96 - 95
Notre Dame Sweet 16 W 88 - 71
Kansas Elite Eight L 78 - 75


ESPN'S TAKE
 

with Jay Bilas

 

No team in America can match the depth of athletes at Lute Olson's disposal. The Wildcats have experienced seniors in Luke Walton, Ricky Anderson and Jason Gardner. They also have tremendous size and athleticism in Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala and Hassan Adams. Arizona scores most of its points in transition and off of the offensive glass. They are most vulnerable when kept to a halfcourt game. The key to a title run could be Salim Stoudamire, a lefty guard that can really shoot the ball. The Wildcats are not a great perimeter shooting team, but if Stoudamire hits shots, Arizona is a clear favorite to reach New Orleans.

Player to Watch

Jason Gardner
Senior point guard has played for title before, and should play for it again on April 7 as leader of the 'Cats.

Team Statistics
 
Points Per Game 78.3
Rebounds Per Game 36.7
Assists Per Game 15.0
Steals Per Game 11.0
Blocks Per Game 4.0
Turnovers Per Game 13.0
Field Goal % .506
Free Throw % .670
3-Point % .333
3-Pointers Per Game 0.5
Scoring Margin 5.2

How They Got Here
The Wildcats won a 10th Pac-10 title under head coach Lute Olson, spent a majority of the season ranked No. 1 and never fell below No. 4, facts attributed to some of the nation's best depth.

Arizona impressed most on the road, where it had a key 17-point win at Kansas (after trailing by 20 early) and was perfect in conference play. Finding any true stumbles during the season is difficult, considering Arizona played without Luke Walton in a one-point loss at LSU, and a home defeat to Stanford came against another Pac-10 contender. Arizona is the just the third team to go unbeaten on the road in league since the Pac-10 expanded to 10 teams in 1978-79.

A first-round loss, however, in the Pac-10 tournament to UCLA raised some eyebrows, but not many concerns. The Wildcats were already a lock to be seeded No. 1 in the West.

An early injury to sophomore Salim Stoudamire and the season-long aches of Walton didn't bother Arizona as it would others. That's because of such a talented bench, of players like freshmen Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala and emerging sophomore Channing Frye. But this top seed is Jason Gardner's team, and the senior point guard answered the challenge all season. Rick Anderson also supplied needed senior leadership.

In a time when jumping to the NBA early is more common in college basketball than cheerleaders and bands, it is the experience of players like Gardner, Walton and Anderson that could eventually win the Wildcats a title in New Orleans.

What We Like
So many versatile bodies. Five players have consistently averaged double figures in scoring for Arizona and only Gardner averages over 30 minutes. Wave after wave they come, all with athleticism and an ability to make plays.

The more impressive numbers are often hidden at the defensive end, where Arizona creates momentum-shifting runs by pressing opponents into countless mistakes. Close games become blowouts in a matter of minutes.

The Wildcats were the best offensive team in conference play, something helped by Arizona leading the league in offensive rebounds. This team is a second-chance machine.

What We Don't Like
Walton's fragile physique. Arizona is so much better with him on the court, but three separate ankle sprains and a pulled foot muscle this season suggests a big question mark every trip down the floor.

At times, the forward showed flashes of the All-American skill everyone expected this season, but he was also limited in practice for much of the conference schedule. A healthy and productive Walton could help lead the Wildcats to a national championship, but one who can't shake the rust of an up-down-season and whose shot is off during March could hinder the team's chances.

ROSTER
NO NAME HT WT YR  PPG RPG APG MPG FG% FT% 3PT%
  Jason Gardner 5-10  191   14.44.14.934.6.393.746.333
  Salim Stoudamire 6-1  179 Sr 13.21.61.925.7.476.878.448
  Channing Frye 6-11  255   12.57.70.824.6.590.670.000
  Rick Anderson 6-9  225 Sr 10.46.31.424.9.535.677.365
  Luke Walton 6-8  235   10.05.34.726.2.406.667.377
  Hassan Adams 6-4  220 Sr 9.23.50.618.0.471.764.194
  Will Bynum 6-0  185   7.82.81.516.6.356.583.351
  Andre Iguodala 6-6  207   6.95.02.018.9.395.683.200
  Isaiah Fox 6-9  255 Sr 4.13.40.312.9.573.485.000
  Dennis Latimore 6-9  238 Sr 3.23.10.612.0.519.556.000
  Chris Rodgers 6-4  205 Sr 2.60.91.08.3.259.714.267
  Fil Torres 6-2  200 Sr 0.60.10.31.4.500.000.500
  Jason Ranne 6-4  201 Sr 0.60.10.12.0.250.667.250



LAST 5 GAMES LEADERS
OPPONENT RESULT POINTS REBOUNDS ASSISTS
OregonW, 88-80   
Oregon StW, 72-60   
@ StanfordW, 72-69   
@ CaliforniaW, 88-75   
@ Arizona StW, 92-72   


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