Arizona Basketball

Notebook: Fresno State Bulldogs at Arizona Wildcats




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— Fresno State coach Rodney Terry has harped on Fresno State’s start to a game, especially on the road, in practice and film sessions after the Bulldogs’ loss at Cal Poly last Saturday. So expect the Bulldogs to be extra intense before the first media timeout. In the first eight minutes of games at Rice, Oregon and Cal Poly, Fresno State has made only 21.1 percent (8 of 38) of its shots. At Cal Poly, they were 3 of 16 with one turnover and trailed 12-8 about eight minutes into the game. “We weren’t very aggressive the last game out and we had to address that,” Terry told the Fresno Bee. “We haven’t been aggressive the way we needed to be until we got behind.”

— At Oregon, the Bulldogs were 2 of 12 with four turnovers falling behind 18-7. They got close at with a late surge in the last seven minutes, cutting an 18-point deficit down to four before losing 78-73. The Bulldogs had four players in double figures and outrebounded the Ducks. Thew Fresno State is seeking its first win over a Pac-12 opponent since 2011. The Bulldogs have a seven-game losing streak to Pac-12 teams. Its last victory coming against Utah 82-52 on Dec. 3, 2011.

— Terry told the Fresno Bee, “We want to own the paint. That’s either with paint drives (or) paint touches. We want to try to get in the paint early in games and try to establish an inside presence.” One of Arizona’s strengths is attacking the basket and making shots within the three-point line with four players shooting better than 55 percent from within the arc: Kadeem Allen, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Mark Tollefsen and Allonzo Trier.

— Arizona again is a strong defensive team under Sean Miller, particularly against the three. The Wildcats have allowed opponents to make only 29.1 percent from beyond the arc. They are ranked No. 18 nationally in defensive efficiency, leading the Pac-12 in scoring defense (62.9 points per game).

Previous result:

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— The Bulldogs have not beaten a ranked team on the road since a 73-72 victory at No. 12 Tulsa on Feb. 24, 2000.

— Fresno State senior guard Marvelle Harris, leading the Bulldogs with 19.0 points per game, has played seven games against Pac-12 teams. He is averaging 14.7 points in those games, hitting 40.5 percent of his shots (34 of 84). He goes into tonight’s game with 1,458 career points, eighth on the Bulldogs’ career list. He needs 22 points to tie Maurice Talbot and Jervis Cole in sixth place.

— Fresno State has outrebounded all eight of its opponents and is a plus-8.2 in rebounding margin. The Wildcats are a plus-11.6, second in the Pac-12.

— The Bulldogs have two transfers from Pac-12 schools — guards Jaron Hopkins (Colorado) and Jahmel Taylor (Washington). Both are sitting out this season per NCAA transfer rules. Hopkins prepped at Mesa Dobson. Fresno State has more Arizonans on its roster with three than Arizona, which has none. The Bulldogs also have junior forward Torren Jones of Chandler and forward Paul Watson of Phoenix. Jones originally played at Basha High School and played for Missouri after his senior season in high school at La Lumiere (Ind.).


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NO. 13 ARIZONA (7-1)

Tip Time: 7 p.m. MST
TV: Pac-12 Networks (J.B. Long/Lamar Hurd
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

Overall: Tied 3-3
In Tucson: Arizona leads 3-2
Current Streak: Arizona won 1
Sean Miller vs. Boise State: Never met
Last Meeting: Arizona won 69-60 in Tucson (12-16-2007)

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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. 105. Fresno State has an RPI of No. 100.
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— Over the last three seasons, Arizona is tied with Kentucky for the most victories (74) in the nation. Miller is averaging an impressive 27.2 wins per season. He is only 16 wins shy of his 300th win in his 12th year as a head coach with a 284-99 record. He should reach the 300-win plateau this season. Lute Olson did not reach his 300th win until his 16th season, sixth at Arizona. When the Wildcats beat New Mexico in the 1988-89 season opener Olson was 300-144. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski did not win his 300th game until his 16th season in coaching (five at Army and 11th at Duke).


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1987-88 — 19 wins
1988-89 — 14 wins (Pitt/Sean Miller 25th victim)
1989-90 — 14 wins
1990-91 — 17 wins
1991-92 — 7 wins (UCLA ends streak with 89-87 win)

No. 42: 1/25/90, 68-61 win over Stanford
Sean Rooks scored 19 points and Matt Muehlebach added 17, helping Arizone fend off a Stanford rally. Stanford, led by Adam Keefe, opened the second half with a 15-2 burst to get close. But with Arizona leading 57-54 with 6:45 left, Muehlebach had a 3-point play in a 5-0 spurt, and the Cardinal never got closer than three points again.

No. 43: 2/8/90, 95-70 win over USC
Arizona used a box-and-one defense to shut down USC guard Harold Miner. Averaging 28 points in his previous three games, the freshman was held to 13 points as he missed eight of 12 shots from the floor. Muehlebach checked Miner with help from Wayne Womack and forward Jud Buechler.

No. 44: 2/10/90, 83-74 win over UCLA
Rooks scored 24 points and hauled in eight rebounds, leading Arizona to a victory over rival UCLA, increasing its nation’s-best home win streak. Buechler contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Bruins lost despite 26 points and 12 rebounds from Don MacLean.


[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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