Arizona Basketball

Notebook: Arizona Wildcats at ASU




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Bobby Hurley looks over at Sean Rooks in the double-overtime thriller won by Arizona over Duke 103-96 in 1991 (YouTube screen shot)

Bobby Hurley looks over at Sean Rooks in the double-overtime thriller won by Arizona over Duke 103-96 in 1991 (YouTube screen shot)

— The last time Bobby Hurley faced Arizona in 1991 it was a classic matchup at McKale Center won by the Wildcats in double-overtime 103-96 at McKale Center. The Blue Devils went on to win their first national title that year under Mike Krzyzewski, upsetting unbeaten UNLV. Hurley finished with 14 points and eight assists in the double-overtime loss to the Wildcats. He made 3 of 7 from three-point range. “I got a feel for it already just brief amount of time I’ve been in town,” Hurley said upon his hire at ASU. “I’ve been through a few of those of myself with Duke and Carolina. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It takes two to tango. … As a competitor, a top competitor, those are the type of games I want to compete in. It will be a lot of fun.”

— Arizona legend Sean Elliott will broadcast today’s game for Fox Sports 1. He broadcast the Wildcats’ losses at Oregon State and ASU last year. Arizona gets another chance to win in front of the program’s best player today. Arizona fans are calling it the “Elliott Jinx”. Maybe Oregon State and ASU just played better that day?

— Arizona will look to avenge back-to-back losses in Tempe against the Sun Devils. Arizona has lost three consecutive road games to the same conference opponent twice in the Sean Miller era (2009 to present). The team dropped three straight at UCLA (2011-13) and at Washington (2010-12). Arizona has not lost three straight games at ASU since the pre-Lute Olson days. The last time the Sun Devils won three games consecutively at home against Arizona was when they had a seven-game winning streak from 1978 to 1983.

— The last time ASU tried to win three straight in Tempe was on Jan. 23, 2010, in Miller’s first season at Arizona. Miller beat Herb Sendek’s team 77-58.

— ASU is 54-9 (.857) at home in the past four seasons, the most home wins in a four-year period since the Lionel Hollins-led Sun Devils opened the building in 1974-75. Prior to this era, the most home wins in any four-year era was 51 (1991-95 and from 2007-11). The best winning percentage in a four-year span came from 1979-83, when the Sun Devils went 49-12 (.803). ASU is 21-6 (.778) in Pac-12 play at home in the past three years and is the only team to beat each of the past three Pac-12 champions in those seasons as it topped Arizona the past two seasons and beat UCLA in 2012-13.

— Hard to believe but Arizona is starting conference play on the road for the first time since the 2010-11 season. The Wildcats beat Oregon 76-57 in Eugene, Ore., before losing at Oregon State 76-75. In the last four years Arizona opened at McKale Center and won by scores of 68-51 over ASU (2011-12), 92-83 in overtime over Colorado (2012-13), 60-25 over Washington State (2013-14) and 73-49 over ASU (2014-15). Arizona opened the conference season on the road from the 2008-09 to 2010-11 seasons before the four-year run at McKale.

— Arizona’s Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate Ryan Anderson posted a mark of 15.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in his 12 appearances this season. His numbers makes him one of just a dozen players in the nation who average at least 15 points and 10 rebounds per game entering the new calendar year. Anderson has 26 double-doubles in his career which accounts for 24.2 percent of his games, an amazing figure because he has come close many times as well.

— In his first 15 games last year, ASU guard Tra Holder averaged 4.2 points and made just over 63 percent of his free throws. Starting with the Colorado win on Jan. 17, his play not only earned him Pac-12 All-Freshman honors it has carried over to this year, as he is averaging 14.5 points per game and has been ASU’s leading scorer in six games (after leading the Sun Devils in scoring just once last year). He has made 14 three-pointers after making 12 all of last season. T.J. McConnell reportedly told Holder after the game in Tempe last year that the kid has a bright future. Holder obviously is taking that to heart.

— ASU junior Savon Goodman will reportedly return to the Sun Devil lineup after sitting out the last four games for unspecified reasons. He was bothered by a foot injury in the preseason and missed the team’s scrimmage at Long Beach State (Oct. 31) and Nov. 7 exhibition game vs. Western New Mexico. He posted 13 points and 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes vs. Belmont. Against N.C. State in his first start, he had a monster game with 21 points and 16 rebounds. In the past 21 games, he is averaging 12.7 points and nine rebounds and is 111-of-181 (.613) from the field. He has played 34 games at ASU and led team in rebounding in 17 of them.


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NO. 8 ARIZONA (12-1) VS.
ASU (10-3)

Tip Time: 12:01 p.m. MST
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Don Orsillo/Sean Elliott)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

Overall: Arizona leads 146-82
In Tempe: Arizona leads 60-32
Current Streak: ASU won 1
Sean Miller vs. ASU: 9-5
Last Meeting: ASU won 81-78 in Tempe (2-7-15)

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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Previous result:

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Arizona senior center Kaleb Tarczewski is expected to return against ASU after missing seven games with a foot injury. He is among Arizona’s top 10 scoring centers in the program’s history. Rank: Overall school ranking.
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Something to keep an eye on with ASU going about eight deep …

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Present RPI ranking of non-conference opponents Arizona has played according to The Wildcats’ rating is No. 17. ASU has rating of No. 50.
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*-John Wooden Legacy in Fullerton/Anaheim (Calif.)
[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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