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Men's Hoops: Sweep pushes Wildcats into AP top 10

By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
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With a sweep of the Los Angeles schools over the weekend, the No. 10 Arizona men's basketball team (21-4 overall, 11-2 Pacific 10 Conference) moved into The Associated Press Top 10 for the first time since the preseason polls.

Since the Jan. 29 loss to Washington State, the Wildcats have been a difficult team to face. They are outscoring their opponents on average by 15.3 points per game and out-rebounding their opponents by an average of 6.2 boards per game.

"I think we've been pretty consistent. I think we're even more consistent now than we were then," said senior center Channing Frye, in reference to the team's nine-game winning streak from Nov. 30 until the loss to WSU.

Wildcats reach 20 wins for 18th straight season

The sweep in Los Angeles this weekend also gave the Wildcats their 20th and 21st win of the season; the 18th consecutive time head coach Lute Olson's team has 20 or more wins in a season. It is the 28th time in school history the men's basketball team has accomplished the feat, and it's Olson's 27th time to win 20 or more games in a season overall. Olson's all-time 20-win season total puts him tied with Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight for second all-time in NCAA history.

Stoudamire No. 1 in nation from 3-point arc

As of Monday, senior guard Salim Stoudamire's 54.7 percent shooting from 3-point range is tied for best in the country with Kansas guard Aaron Miles and Texas Arlington guard Jarrett Howell.

Stoudamire, however, has taken more than twice as many attempts from beyond the arc. Stoudamire is 76 of 139 from 3-point range, while Miles is 29 of 53 and Howell is 35 of 64.

In fact, there isn't another player who has taken more than 100 attempts except Georgia State forward Marcus Brown, who is currently 12th on the list at 50.9 percent (57 of 112).

After Stoudamire scored 26 points Thursday night against USC, going 5-of-7 from 3-point range, Trojan head coach Jim Saia said, "He's the greatest college basketball shooter percentage-wise that I've ever seen. He's a phenomenal player."

Oregon dismisses center Crosswhite

The Wildcats will face Oregon (12-9, 4-8) tomorrow, which will be without 6-foot-11 junior forward Ian Crosswhite after he was dismissed from the team permanently yesterday.

Crosswhite was suspended indefinitely Feb. 9 for a violation of the athletic department's policy, Oregon head coach Ernie Kent said.

Kent said Crosswhite will keep his scholarship and will be able to finish his degree in political science, which he is expecting to finish this summer.

Crosswhite was averaging 8.4 points and 5.7 rebounds in the 19 games he played this season.

Arizona senior center Channing Frye said he doesn't think Crosswhite's dismissal will affect the Ducks' play too much tomorrow.

"I think they're a very good team. They've got a lot of depth on their bench, and I really feel like coach Kent is going to have them ready to play on Thursday," he said.

Frye and Stoudamire on Naismith Trophy watch list

Seniors Frye and Stoudamire are on the midseason watch list for the Naismith Trophy, an award for the top player in men's college basketball.

The list has 30 players on it, and the Wildcats are one of six schools to have two or more players on the list.

Stoudamire was also named to the midseason watch list for the Wooden Award, a national player of the year honor given to one male and one female.

The Naismith Trophy will be announced at the Men's Final Four in St. Louis in April.

The Wooden Award will be narrowed down to 20 players in March, and the winners will be announced on April 9 in Los Angeles.

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