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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Is Marcus Williams pressing?

    The last time Marcus Williams scored less than five points he was in the middle of his freshman season, Jan. 12 against Oregon State when he totaled four points.

    Tuesday night against Louisville, Williams, who admitted that he has been struggling with his perimeter shot early in the season, did not make a field goal in five attempts. But the cause of the potential Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Year’s early falters are unclear.

    “”Marcus did not have a good night but that’s going to happen with players,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

    If Williams hadn’t gotten into foul trouble early in the first half, maybe his output would have turned out differently. His teammates think the second foul called on Williams with 12:51 remaining in the first half wasn’t even on him.

    “”That second foul was a cheap foul,”” said guard Jawann McClellan. “”It really was on (forward) Ivan (Radenovic) and wasn’t even on him. It was just one of those games where its hard to get in rhythm after being in foul trouble.””

    To boot, Williams was called for the foul – a push – against Louisville forward Terrence Williams, who he grew up with in Seattle and calls his brother.

    “”It wasn’t really a foul there, it was more of a touch when he got the second foul, and we couldn’t get him back in the game,”” Radenovic said.

    Williams didn’t play the rest of the half but started the second half and immediately went to work, taking the half’s first shot but missing. After an Arizona timeout with 17:38 left in the second half, Olson pulled Williams and Shakur aside and instructed them to get the ball inside.

    On the next possession, Williams assertively went inside to the offensive glass, grabbing an offensive rebound and earning himself a trip to the free throw line on the put back attempt.

    But his aggressiveness would soon get the better of him.

    He picked up another foul with 14:26 left and then missed a long jumper and a layup in the next two minutes before coming out.

    Despite Terrence Williams – who Marcus often had one-on-one battles with in his youth – playing well, Marcus said it did not cause him to press.

    “”I don’t even think about it like that,”” Marcus said. “”I just go out there and play. It’s just a jersey. After the game it’s all love, but during the game I don’t think about it.

    Said McClellan: “”It’s just one of those games, of course everybody is going to say that because he played against his brother … I think he did want to play good against his brother.

    “”It’s his brother. His brother came out there in the beginning and forced the issue too. That just shows you his competitiveness.””

    With Williams not playing up to par, forward Chase Budinger and McClellan each chipped in with 17 points

    “”When a big player like Marcus gets into foul trouble, the other players had to step up, so me and Jawann as the other wing players took a point upon ourselves to be more assertive,”” Budinger said.

    Still McClellan understands that for Arizona to be successful, it’s going to need Williams to play up to his capabilities.

    “”We needed Marcus on the floor, and that’s the bottom line,”” he said. “”We luckily pulled out this win, but we can’t win every ball game like that.””

    Sights and Sounds from the Garden

    Overheard: former UA forward Richard Jefferson, now with the New Jersey Nets, joking to ESPN analyst Andy Katz about Budinger:

    “”He works at my basketball camps for like $200 a week. That’s all we pay him because of NCAA rules and the fact that I like all my money.

    Katz replied: “”You have all this money, and you still don’t have any clothes. You’ve been in the league for how long?””

    Word to the Wise

    Guard Nic Wise has played in his share of big games, coming out of Houston as the winningest basketball player in the state of Texas. So when he played 12 minutes at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, the only thing Wise was focused on is proving that he can become a trusted member of Olson’s rotation.

    “”Ever since the New Mexico State game (Nov. 19), I haven’t really been playing as much as I expected to and wanted to,”” Wise said. “”To me it was just a thing I had to get back in practice and prove to him that I should be back in the lineup, so that’s basically where I was.””

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