Wildcat Basketball Team Prepares to Take on ASU

Johnny Cruz
Jan. 8, 2008

The Arizona Wildcats (10-4, 1-1 Pac-10) open a four-game road trip Wednesday against intrastate rival Arizona State (12-2, 2-0 Pac-10) at Wells Fargo Arena. The Wildcats are 1-2 in road games this season and 2-2 including neutral-site appearances. The last three UA-ASU games in Tempe have been decided by a total of 15 points, including two by three points or less.

According to the polls dated Jan. 7, Arizona checks in at No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. The UA is not ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time since Nov. 26.

The Sun Devils enter play Wednesday with an eight-game win streak and a 12-2 record (2-0 Pac-10) after Saturday’s 72-53 win over Oregon State.

The game is the 212th meeting of the two schools with Arizona holding a 138-73 series advantage. Arizona has won 24 of the last 25 meetings in the series, which dates back to 1914.

In their last meeting, the Wildcats scored a 61-58 victory. Chase Budinger and Marcus Williams combined for 42 of Arizona’s 61 points, including 22 of 31 in the second half, to lead the Wildcats to a three-point road win.

In splitting a pair of games, Chase Budinger averaged 25.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists last week. The sophomore from Encinitas, Calif., shot 47.2 percent from the field (17-of-36), and .857 (12-of-14) from the free throw line to go with a steal. He opened the week by scoring 18 of his game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the Cats over Oregon State to go with seven boards and four assists. Budinger followed that up with a game-high 30 points, bolstered by 12-of-22 FG shooting, and seven boards and a steal in 40 minutes. On the season, Budinger averages 17.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Since Jerryd Bayless sprained his right knee prior to the game at Memphis on Dec. 29, Arizona has lost two of three contests and in that span UA interim coach Kevin O’Neill has tightened up the minutes as three starters, Chase Budinger, Nic Wise and Jawann McClellan, are averaging more than 37 minutes per game. In that span, the trio has connected on a combined 54.9 percent of their field goal attempts (62-of-113), averaging 17.7 rebounds per game and scoring 76 percent (161 of 213) of Arizona’s total points.

Following Wednesday’s contest, Arizona travels to Houston, Texas, for its final non-conference game of the regular season when UA plays at Houston on Saturday, Jan. 12. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. MST and will be carried nationally on ESPN2.

Extra info


Wildcat Basketball vs. ASU


Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe


Jan. 9, 7:30 p.m.

Radio: Wildcat Radio Network

TV: FSN Arizona