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Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona at Oregon State: Steve Rivera’s breakdown of the game • Wildcat notes • Players to watch


Advantage: UA

UA point guard Nic Wise has returned to form, playing like he did earlier in the season. He runs UA’s offense and is a reason it’s on a three-game win streak. Kyle Fogg has done better than expected. He doesn’t seem to get rattled anymore. OSU’s Rickey Claitt is a steady player, as is Seth Tarver. Key could be Calvin Haynes, an athletic type UA may have a hard time defending.


Advantage: UA

UA’s Jordan Hill is re-emerging as one of the top players in the West. He should be able to score consistently against the Beavers, although he had just 15 points in the last meeting. Chase Budinger had 24, however, and carried the team. Stopping Roeland Schaftenaar will be key. I don’t remember ever writing that before, but that’s what it’s come to for UA.


Advantage: Even

Arizona’s field goal defense ranks fourth in the league at 41.7 percent. OSU’s is eighth at 44.8. But it limits teams to fewer points because of its style. UA, other than the last Washington State game, has had trouble in that slowdown offense. Expect it to be the same. The defenses are a wash.


OK, so UA has the advantage in two of the three spots, but I’m still tempted to pick the Beavers – and I will. UA has struggled to play well on the road. I don’t think Thursday will be any different. It will be a close game, but somehow OSU will find a way.

Prediction: OSU by 3


All-time meetings: UA leads 50-17

Pac-10 meetings: UA leads 48-17

Longest UA win streak: 17 (1990-98)

Longest Oregon State win streak: 11 (1979-84)

Current series streak: Arizona, 7 in a row

Earlier this season: Arizona 64, OSU 47 (Jan. 10 in Tucson)

Last season: Arizona 76, OSU 63 (Jan. 3 in Tucson); Arizona 81, OSU 45 (March 6 in Corvallis); Arizona 87, OSU 56 (March 12 in Los Angeles)

First meeting: Arizona 96, OSU 67 (1975 in Tucson)


Hill: Some fans give up, but not us

You know Arizona big man Jordan Hill is serious when he repeats himself. This week, Hill echoed an earlier statement that he feels some fans have abandoned the team and that they firmly don’t believe in it.

Hill said he believes in his team, especially after it rebounded to win three straight. That hasn’t happened since the first month of the season, when the Wildcats won four in a row.

“What we’ve been through (retired coach, tough losses), there are people who have given up on us,” Hill said. “(And) there are people who are staying with us. (But) we are playing for ourselves right now, going out playing for each other . . . playing as a family.

“Hopefully, people will hop on the bandwagon and go with us, (so) we can take them on a long journey.”

Taking on a personality

Oregon State coach Craig Robinson has been one of the more personable and affable coaches to come along in the conference in a long time. He also has some bite to him. He showed that after getting thrown out in OSU’s game with UA last month. UA won 64-47.

Does this team have his personality?

“Now that’s a compliment, but I wouldn’t have said that a month ago,” the fiery Robinson said, referring to the Beavers’ earlier record of 6-10.

Oregon State is 10-10 now after wins at Cal and Stanford and over USC and archrival Oregon.

“I’m hoping they are developing a personality of all of ours. . . . They are trying to be more what I want them to be. Whether that’s my true personality, I’m not sure yet.”


Thursday: UA (14-8, 4-5) at Oregon State (10-10, 4-5), 6:30 p.m., FSNA

Saturday: UA at Oregon (6-15, 0-9), 1:30 p.m., ABC

How teams match up

Arizona OSU

71.2 Points per game 61.0

46.9 Field goal % 47.5

66.0 Points allowed per game 62.9

41.7 Foes’ field goal % 44.8

‘He’s a darn good coach. He’s brought a real good system to OSU.’

RUSS PENNELL, on OSU coach Craig Robinson



THURSDAY: Arizona at Oregon State, 6:30 p.m.; Arizona State at Oregon, 8:30 p.m.; Washington at California, 8:30 p.m.; Washington State at Stanford, 8:30 p.m.

SATURDAY: Arizona at Oregon, 1:30 p.m.; Notre Dame at UCLA, 11 a.m.; Arizona State at Oregon State, 6:30 p.m.; Washington State at California, 8:30 p.m.

SUNDAY: Washington at Stanford, 3:30 p.m.



1. James Harden, ASU 21.9

3. Jordan Hill, UA 18.2


1. Jordan Hill, UA 12.0

2. Jon Brockman, Washington 10.9


1. Darren Collison, UCLA 5.2

5. Nic Wise, UA 4.7


1. Taj Gibson, USC 2.9

2. Jordan Hill, UA 2.1


Conf. All

School W L W L

UCLA 8 2 18 4

Washington 7 2 16 5

USC 6 4 15 7

Arizona State 5 4 16 5

California 5 4 16 6

ARIZONA 4 5 14 8

Washington State 4 5 12 9

Oregon State 4 5 10 10

Stanford 3 6 13 6

Oregon 0 9 6 15

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