Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen


Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona vs. USC: Steve Rivera’s breakdown of the game • Wildcat notes • Players to watch


Advantage: Arizona

Arizona’s Nic Wise is playing like the point guard he was at the beginning of the year. He’s been one of UA’s MVPs lately. Kyle Fogg has been a perfect complement. Daniel Hackett is one of the stronger guards in the league and is aggressive. Dwight Lewis was too much for UA to handle last time. Expect another problem with Lewis.


Advantage: Arizona

Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill are becoming the 1-2 punch Pac-10 teams have long feared. And they are playing well together. Hill will need another double-double and Budinger will need to score at least 20 points. Both are more than capable. USC freshman DeMar DeRozan is a tough, young player. Taj Gibson is a strong veteran.


Advantage: Even

It looks like Arizona is finally playing well in Mike Dunlap’s 1-1-3 defense. But the Trojans lead the league in field goal percentage defense at 39.6 percent. UA is at 43 percent. The Trojans are also third in scoring defense at 63 points. UA is allowing 65 per game.


I initially wanted to go with the Trojans because of their potential. But Arizona has played well enough and confident enough, so the nod will go to the Wildcats. It will be decided in the final two minutes, and the first one to 60 will win.

Prediction: UA by 2


All-time meetings: UA leads 54-38

Pac-10 meetings: UA leads 42-22

Longest UA win streak: 11 (1986-90)

Longest USC win streak: 12 (1924-30)

Current series streak: USC, 2 in a row

Earlier this season: USC 65 Arizona 64 (Jan. 17 in Los Angeles)

Last season: Arizona 80, USC 69 (Jan. 31 in Los Angeles); USC 70, Arizona 58 (Feb. 28 in Tucson)

First meeting: Arizona 36, USC 28 (1922 in Tucson)


USC dealing with youth issues

USC has won five of seven, losing to perhaps the two best teams in the Pac-10 Conference – at UCLA and at Washington.

The Trojans, who swept UA and ASU in Los Angeles, have beaten the teams they should. But they played their worst game of the year last week against the Bruins, falling to UCLA 76-60.

“Their youth has a lot to do with that,” said UA interim coach Russ Pennell, of USC being inconsistent at times. “Daniel Hackett has some experience, and so does Taj Gibson (both are juniors). But they have guys who they rely on who are young.

“That (inconsistency) is going to occur with most teams. They may be the most-talented team. They are athletic and have size. They look like a basketball team.”

1,000 point club

On Saturday, Jordan Hill became the 43rd player to score 1,000 or more points in Arizona’s storied program. The 6-foot-10 junior forward now has 1,007 points in 86 career games. This season, he’s turned in nine 20-point games.

Johnson’s status

USC freshman Marcus Johnson, who missed the Trojans’ last game against UCLA, has been suffering from a right shoulder injury. It’s not clear how serious the injury is, but he couldn’t brush his teeth after suffering the injury recently.


THURSDAY: USC (15-7, 6-4) at Arizona (16-8, 6-5), 8:30 p.m. Thursday, FSNA

SATURDAY: No. 11 UCLA (19-4, 8-2) at Arizona, 11 a.m. Saturday, CBS

How teams match up

Arizona USC

71.2 Points per game 68.9

47.3 Field goal % 47.0

65.9 Points allowed per game 62.2

41.8 Foes’ field goal % 39.6

‘As talented as they are, their first five – one through five – is as good as any in the league.’

USC coach TIM FLOYD, on UA


THURSDAY: USC at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.; UCLA at Arizona State, 7 p.m.; Oregon at Washington State, 8 p.m.; Oregon State at Washington, 9 p.m.

SATURDAY: UCLA at Arizona, 11 a.m.; Oregon at Washington, 1 p.m.; Stanford at California, 3 p.m.; Oregon State at Washington State, 5 p.m.

SUNDAY: USC at Arizona State, 8 p.m.



1. James Harden, ASU 21.9

3. Jordan Hill, UA 18.3


1. Jordan Hill, UA 11.5

2. Jon Brockman, Washington 11.1


1. Darren Collison, UCLA 5.0

5. Nic Wise, UA 4.8


1. Taj Gibson, USC 2.9

2. Jordan Hill, UA 2.0


Conf. All

School W L W L

UCLA 8 2 19 4

Washington 8 3 17 6

Arizona State 7 4 18 5

California 7 4 18 6

USC 6 4 15 7

ARIZONA 6 5 16 8

Stanford 4 7 15 7

Washington State 4 7 12 11

Oregon State 4 7 10 12

Oregon 0 11 6 17


Cats can do it

• If the Wildcats can miraculously pull a sweep at home this weekend, they’re in. Plain and simple. Get it done fellas! 4DMARINE40

• I disagree. They could sweep this weekend and then go in the tank and it would be all over. The focus must be on Thursday night. Beat USC. That’s it, nothing more. On Friday, they can work on what needs to be done Saturday against UCLA. H MR

• Finish the last seven at 4-3 and the Cats are in – 20-11 and 10-8. If one of the four is a victory over UCLA, they’ll do better than a 12 seed. If they go 3-4, they must have a win over UCLA and at least two wins in the Pac-10 tourney. Simple. HOLLAND

• Fans giddy? Who’s giddy? We’re just pleased to see the guys playing to their potential. Giddy were the days when we had to sweat out whether we were a No. 1 seed and be in a bracket closest to home. Ah, those were the days. WILBUR ROCKS

> Got a beef? E-mail: sports@tucsoncitizen.com. Call: 573-4635. Fax: 573-4569.

Jamelle Horne

The UA forward looks for redemption against a USC team that capitalized on his last-second foul to win last month in Los Angeles. Horne can compete athletically with the Trojans, and he has something to prove.

Chase Budinger

Since being stomped on by Houston’s Aubrey Coleman, Budinger has been one of the Pac-10′s top players. Whatever the motivation, he can help UA if he plays as well as he did at USC, with 19 points.

Dwight Lewis

He’s the Trojans’ most prolific scorer. UA found out the hard way last month when he scored 12 of his 21 points down the stretch to rally USC. He’s athletic and not intimidated, which makes him dangerous.

DeMar DeRozan

The forward hasn’t been the best freshman in the Pac-10, as many projected, but he’s been solid. He’ll give UA the most fits near the basket. He had only four rebounds last time. Expect more at UA this time.

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service