Arizona Basketball

Notebook: USC at Arizona Wildcats

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ARIZONA’S 1,000-POINT SCORERS
Overall
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Before Arizona
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— With their senior seasons winding down, with only four games remaining at McKale Center, including tonight’s game against USC, the careers of Gabe York, Kaleb Tarczewski, Ryan Anderson and Mark Tollefsen will be discussed more with each passing game. York’s first basket against the Trojans will give this senior group four 1,000-point career scorers. That does not include Kadeem Allen, a redshirt junior, who played his first two years in college at Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College. Allen has 1,633 points in college, 1,425 of them at Hutchinson. Anderson and Tollefsen scored the bulk of their points in the three previous seasons at Boston College and San Francisco, respectively. Tarczewski reached 1,000 points earlier this season. …

— Has Arizona ever had five players on the same roster in the same season who had 1,000 points or more in their careers? The answer: Yes. In Arizona’s first Final Four season of 1987-88, the Wildcats had five players who reached 1,000 points in their collegiate careers by the end of that season: Steve Kerr (1,445), Craig McMillan (1,174), Tom Tolbert (1,495), Sean Elliott (1,820) and Anthony Cook (1,012). Kerr and McMillan were seniors who scored all their points at Arizona. Tolbert played in only 10 games in two seasons at Cal-Irvine before transferring to Cerritos (Calif.) Junior College. He had 22 points with Irvine and 519 with Cerritos before scoring 954 points at Arizona in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. Elliott and Cook were juniors in 1987-88. Elliott finished with a school-record 2,555 points and Cook had 1,590. …

(Left to right) Tom Tolbert, Sean Elliott, Craig McMillan, Anthony Cook and Steve Kerr reached 1,000 points in their collegiate careers by the end of the memorable 1987-88 sesaon (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

(Left to right) Tom Tolbert, Sean Elliott, Craig McMillan, Anthony Cook and Steve Kerr reached 1,000 points in their collegiate careers by the end of the memorable 1987-88 sesaon (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

— Who thought USC and Arizona would be playing in mid-February for the chance to remain in first place in the loss column? The Wildcats, yes. USC was picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 in the preseason media poll. Arizona was the favored pick to win it all with 18 first-place votes. USC has a solid chance of making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. The Trojans’ freshmen were not yet in high school at that time. USC (No. 22) actually has a better RPI than Arizona (No. 28). The Wildcats, who are only 1-4 against the RPI Top 50, could sure use a win over the Trojans to potentially improve their seed in the NCAA tournament …

— USC’s Andy Enfield is starting to make his mark as a recruiter who can coach. According to research by J.D. Hamilton of the NCAA, USC’s 10-game improvement from last season (12-20 to 18-6) is seventh-best in the country and tops among teams in the Power 5 conferences.

— Arizona will not face a better guard tandem when it comes to distributing the ball than Jordan McLaughlin (123 assists) and Julian Jacobs (120) this season. They are one of two sets of guards in the country with at least 120 assists. The other pair is Emmett Naar (143) and Joe Rahon (141) of Saint Mary’s. Backtrack: Arizona actually scrimmaged against Naar and Rahon when the teams held a private workout before the season. …

— USC is also one of the most balanced teams the Wildcats will face. The Trojans have six players averaging 10.6 or more points and eight players have averaged 3.1 rebounds or more in the first 24 games. Seven different Trojans have scored at least 19 points in a game this season. USC has four players with at least 40 three-point baskets this season. In the previous meeting with Arizona, a four-overtime thriller, guard Elijah Stewart tied his career high of 27 points when he hit a pair of free throws with 22 seconds left in the fourth overtime to secure the victory, USC’s first over a top 10 opponent since the 2011 season. Jacobs had 18 points, nine assists and a career-best seven steals. …

— The Trojans have two of the better freshmen in the Pac-12 also with post player Chimezie Metu and forward Bennie Boatwright. Both are not afraid of playing on the road. Metu had a season-high 21 points and eight rebounds at UCLA. Boatwright’s best performance was 23 points and 12 rebounds at Oregon. … The Trojans also have experience with junior center Nikola Jovanovic scoring 25 points with 15 rebounds in the loss at ASU on Friday. Darion Clark, a redshirt junior who transferred from Charlotte, led the Trojans with seven rebounds in the first meeting against Arizona. …

— The Wildcats must flex their strength against USC — their defensive rebounding, of which they rank No. 1 nationally securing 78.3 percent of available defensive rebounds. Arizona managed to grab 33 of USC’s 45 failed attempts last month in Los Angeles, a percentage of 73.3 percent. With the way USC can score, averaging 83.3 points a game, Arizona can ill-afford to allow the Trojans second chances …

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USC (18-6, 7-4) VS.
NO. 17 ARIZONA (20-5, 8-4)

Tip Time: 6:07 p.m. MST
TV: ESPN (Aaron Goldsmith/Steve Lavin)
Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)

THE SERIES
Overall: Arizona leads 63-42
In Tucson: Arizona leads 37-10
Current Streak: USC won 1
Last Meeting: USC won 103-101 (4OT) in LA (1-9-16)
Sean Miller vs. USC: 8-4

WHAT IS PRODUCTIVITY RATING?:
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)

WHAT IS PRODUCTIVITY RATING?:
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)

SEASON PRODUCTIVITY RATING
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PRODUCTIVITY REPORT
ARIZONA PAC-10/12
PLAYERS OF THE YEAR:
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Previous meeting:
USC 103, ARIZONA 101 (4 OT)
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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Previous game:
ARIZONA 81, UCLA 75
PRODUCTIVITY RATING

* — STARTERS
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HOW ARE THEY DOING?
Present power ranking of non-conference opponents Arizona has played according to KenPom.com.
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PAC-12 POMEROY RATINGS
Present RPI ranking of Pac-12 teams according to KenPom.com.
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ARIZONA’S TOP SCORING CENTERS
Rank: Overall school ranking.
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MOST CAREER REBOUNDS
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MOST CAREER VICTORIES IN GAMES PLAYED
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MOST CAREER STARTS
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CHASING 1,000 POINTS
Rank is school rank
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THREE-POINT FIELD GOALS CAREER
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THREE-POINT GOALS SEASON
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ARIZONA SCHEDULE/PRODUCTIVITY RESULTS
*-John Wooden Legacy in Fullerton/Anaheim (Calif.)
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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