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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Seeking three against the Tree

Alan Walsh/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Alan Walsh
Alan Walsh/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Over the past decade, matchups between Stanford and Arizona have brought some of the finest Pacific 10 Conference moments in its history.

Who could forget the 2004 nationally televised game featuring then-No.2 Stanford versus then-No.12 Arizona and the screaming voice of Dick Vitale after Stanford reserve guard Nick Robinson stole the ball away from Arizona’s Salim Stoudamire and raced to the other end of the court to knock down a one-legged 35-foot leaner at the buzzer, now known by some as “”The Shot””?

Six years later, the classic coaching rivalry between Lute Olson and Mike Montgomery no longer exists. With a new decade comes two new head coaches — Arizona first-year head coach Sean Miller and Stanford second-year head coach Johnny Dawkins.

“”Johnny Dawkins is doing an excellent job, having taken over the program just one year ago,”” Miller said. “”I’m going through the same thing at Arizona. You can see their team creating an identity, his team plays with great confidence.””

Tonight when Arizona (10-9, 4-3 Pac-10) hosts Stanford (10-9,4-3) in McKale Center at 6, the Wildcats hope to go for their first three-game win streak of the season, while the Cardinal hope to win their first road game of the season.

The two are tied for second place in the Pac-10, along with three other teams. The Cardinal are 0-6 on the road this season, while the Wildcats are 6-3 at home on the year. Arizona is 26-8 all-time against Stanford at home.

Home court has been the advantage in the matchup between Arizona and Stanford. Last season, each team defended its own home court. The Cardinal have won five of the last six games against the Wildcats, with their last win coming when Arizona visited Palo Alto, Calif., last year.

One of the Wildcats’ biggest concerns will be Cardinal forward Landry Fields, who averages 21.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Fields and teammate Jeremy Green are the only Stanford players to average double-figure shot attempts per game, averaging 16 and 13 a contest, respectively.

“”We have to focus on those two key players,”” said junior forward Jamelle Horne of Fields and Green. “”You look at the guys supporting them. None of them jumped out to you on paper, but that’s kind of the most dangerous team, when they know who are the guys that need to take the shots, who are the guys who need to rebound, who will set screens for those guys, who will rebound.””

Horne, a veteran on the team, has a good idea what to expect from the Cardinal, even though they were picked to finish 10th in the Pac-10.

“”They’re a tough, rugged team that is very disciplined under Johnny Dawkins,”” said Horne. “”They’re a team where everyone understands their role and those are the most dangerous kinds of teams.””

Arizona knows this will be a huge game to build on the team’s two straight road wins at Oregon and ASU.

“”If we come out and do what we need to do,”” Horne said, “”we will definitely continue to see wins on that column.

“”We know we have our hands full.””

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