Arizona Basketball

Notebook: Arizona Wildcats vs. Providence




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God Shammgod … remember the Providence point guard? The last time the Friars and Wildcats met, the two teams battled for the right to advance to the 1997 Final Four in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Birmingham, Ala., on March 23, 1997. Down by seven with 1:15 to play, Providence hung tough against the 15th-ranked Wildcats. Jamel Thomas’ three tied the game at 85 with 14 seconds to play. Arizona turned the ball over giving the Friars a chance to win the game in regulation. Corey Wright received the in-bound pass with 3.9 seconds left and launched a three to win it all. It did not fall and Providence and Arizona headed to overtime. The Friars eventually lost in overtime, 96-92, and Arizona went on to win the national championship. Shammgod serves as a graduate assistant for the Friars. Here is a video replay of the classic game:

— According to a report by The Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe, two of Michael Wright’s most prominent former teammates, Richard Jefferson and Luke Walton, are leading fundraising efforts to establish an endowment honoring the former Arizona forward, who was found dead in New Jersey earlier this month. Walton and Jefferson each pledged $13,700 toward an endowment intended to benefit a former Arizona athlete who comes back to school to finish an undergraduate degree. Wright reportedly planned to return to Arizona to complete his degree requirements. Memphis coach Josh Pastner agreed to chip in $5,000 while former UA manager William French pledged $1,500. A number of former players, managers and coaches are giving $1,000, including: Lute Olson, Jack Murphy (now head coach at NAU), Jason Gardner (head coach of IUPUI), Miles Simon, Peter Hansen (Stanford football assistant), Justin Wessel, Jason Stewart and Sean Hennick, along with longtime super fan/donor George Kalil. The campaign has collected pledges of over $50,000 so far, with a goal of $100,000.

— For the past three summers, Providence coach Ed Cooley and Arizona coach Sean Miller have coached together on the same staffs for USA Basketball. In 2013, they both assisted with USA U19 Team at the World Championships under former Florida coach Billy Donovan. In 2014, they both assisted again under Donovan with the USA U18 Team at the FIBA America Championships. Last summer, Miller was the head Coach and Cooley was an assistant with the USA U19 Team at the World Championships. Allonzo Trier played on that team.

— National player of the year candidate Kris Dunn, a junior guard, scored 18 points, had six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in the Friars’ 74-64 win over Evansville. Dunn is averaging 18.6 points and 7.4 rebounds a game, which is alarming for Arizona after the Wildcats allowed Santa Clara guard Jared Brownridge to go off for 44 points in Thursday’s game.

Kaleb Tarczewski’s outlook to play tonight does not look good with a sprained left ankle suffered against Santa Clara. He nursed his right ankle sprain earlier this season. Tarczewski’s 12 points against the Broncos puts him at No. 50 on the school’s career scoring list. He is tied with former Arizona post player Ed Stokes at 984 points. Tarczewski had one of his better productivity games of the season against Santa Clara with 12 points and eight rebounds.

— In the last two games, Arizona’s productivity rating as a team was only .436 against the Broncos and .440 against Northwestern State. Generally, a productivity rating, individual or team, under .500 needs marked improvement. For the season, Arizona’s productivity rating is .572. Arizona has three regulars under .500 — Mark Tollefsen (.454), Parker Jackson-Cartwright (.432) and Elliott Pitts (.052).


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NO. 11 ARIZONA (5-0)

Tip Time: 9:30 p.m. MST
TV: ESPN2 (Roxy Bernstein/Sean Farnham/Jeff Goodman)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

Overall: Arizona leads 3-2
At Neutral Sites: Arizona leads 1-0
Current Streak: Arizona won 1
Sean Miller vs. Santa Clara: 0-0
Last Meeting: Arizona won 96-92 in OT in Birmingham, Ala., in Elite Eight of NCAA tournament (3-23-97)

Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father (a Vietnam War POW) and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:

PP: Productivity Points (Points, assists, rebounds, steals, blocked shots, FGs made, FTs made added together and then subtracted by missed FGs, missed FTs, personal fouls and turnovers)
MIN: Minutes played overall
PR: Productivity rating per minute played (Productivity points divided by minutes played)

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Present RPI ranking of non-conference opponents Arizona has played. The Wildcats’ RPI rating is No. 205. Providence has an RPI of No. 55.
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Rank: Overall school ranking.
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[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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