Arizona 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
Arizona Wildcats - Pac-10 (20-10, 11-7)
Seed: #8 - Midwest Region
Big Wins: 11/28 UNLV (89-75), 12/20 Memphis (79-71), 2/10 at Oregon (77-74)
Bad Losses: 11/12 at Virginia (90-93), 11/18 at USC (73-80), 2/15 USC (75-80)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2006, Second Round loss to Villanova
Coach: Lute Olson (46-27 in 27 appearances)
Arizona Wildcats NCAA Tournament history
Probable Arizona Starters:
Mustafa Shakur, Senior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 6.9 apg, 4.0 rpg
Marcus Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 16.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 apg
Chase Budinger, Freshman, Forward, 15.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.0 apg
Jordan Hill, Freshman, Forward, 4.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Ivan Radenovic, Senior, Forward, 15.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.1 apg
Key Roleplayers for Arizona:
Jawann McClellan, Junior, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Daniel Dillon, Junior, Guard, 1.9 ppg, 0.8 apg
Bret Brielmaier, Junior, Forward, 1.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Like most of the Pac-10, Arizona can put up huge numbers in the scoring column. Coach Lute Olson’s team averages over 78points per game and four players average over ten points per game each. The Wildcats have started four forwards at times during the season and each one of them shoots over 48% from the floor. Super freshman Chase Budinger can even step out and hit the three, but he still knocks down his shots more often than not.
With four major contributors being forwards, one would expect great rebounding, but not great free-throw shooting. But not on this sharpshooting team. Outside of part-time starter Jordan Hill, the Wildcats are solid from the charity stripe. The best free-throw shooter on the team is the guy who gets to the line most often. Senior Ivan Radenovic knocks down 86.9% of his free-throws and adds 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds. And do not let the seven short bench fool you, these guys very rarely are forced to the bench due to foul trouble.
Why Arizona Can Disappoint:
If you can effectively slow down the tempo, Arizona will have some trouble adjusting. The greatest example of these struggles is taking a closer look at the Wildcats performance against the infamously slow tempo of Washington State. Arizona averaged under 70 points per game in their two losses tothe Cougars on the season.
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Who To Watch:
Controlling the tempo and keeping the team in rhythm, even in the half-court offense, is up to Mustafa Shakur. The Philadelphia native has taken criticism for his first three seasons due to unattainable expectations, but few can complain about what he has done during his senior campaign. Shakur dishes out 6.9 assists per contest, ranking third in the nation. The turnovers appear a little high at 13.7 per game, but that is still more than an acceptable assist to turnover ratio. The key for the Wildcats is Shakur and how he handles the pressure and tempo. But as a senior, there are very few other point guards any Wildcat fan would want on their side than Shakur.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.5 (20th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.5 (261, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.0 (30, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.3 (190, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.5 (22, 3)
Rebound Margin: 6.0 (20, 2)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (25, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.7 (93, 6)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to Florida
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