Chase flies to freshman of year

Freshman guard Chase Budinger was named the Pacific 10 Conferences Freshman of the Year yesterday, becoming the first Wildcat to do so since former guard Salim Stoudamire earned the award in 2002.

Freshman guard Chase Budinger was named the Pacific 10 Conference’s Freshman of the Year yesterday, becoming the first Wildcat to do so since former guard Salim Stoudamire earned the award in 2002.

Roman Veytsman

Chase Budinger joined Mike Bibby, Sean Elliott, Salim Stoudamire and Michael Wright yesterday in a prestigious group. The Encinitas, Calif., native was named Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year, becoming the fifth Arizona player to be given the honor.

“”That’s great, I think he was deserving because of his all-around play,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

Budinger leads Pac-10 freshman in scoring at 15.8 points per game, averages 5.9 rebounds per game and is shooting 49 percent from the field.

But curiously, Budinger was not even an honorable mention on the Pac-10 first team, while freshmen Spencer Hawes of Washington and Ryan Anderson of California were both honorable mentions.

“”There is no logic to it,”” Olson said. “”I definitely think Freshman of the Year should at least be honorable mention all-league.””

Williams only Wildcat on Pac-10 team

Forward Marcus Williams was the only Wildcat to be named to the all-Pac-10 team in a vote by the coaches. Arizona has had a member on the squad each of the last 24 years.

Williams is fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring at 16.9 points per game and eighth in rebounding at 7.0.

“”It’s an honor. … It’s been a lot of hard work and it’s paid off,”” Williams said. “”I’d like to actually attribute most of that to my teammates.””

Last season, Olson felt Williams was snubbed when he did not win Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award, and the sophomore said he used that as motivation this season.

“”Yeah, I thought about it for a little bit, probably for that week,”” Williams said. “”I was like ‘Man I felt like I played pretty well,’ especially that ending stretch of the year.

“”I went in my workouts – you gotta make yourself prove to them why you should have been (Freshman of the Year), go out there and work your butt off.””

Neither guard Mustafa Shakur nor forward Ivan Radenovic were named to the team, which only had nine members this season.

“”I frankly don’t quite understand why we as coaches have never been told that someone has to be named on X ballots in order to be selected, I thought it was 10-man team,”” Olson said.

Shakur leads the Pac-10 with seven assists per game while Radenovic is in the top 10 in scoring and rebounding and is second in free throw percentage.

“”There are probably other coaches in the league who feel really badly and are upset about one their guys not making it, but how Ivan Radenovic was not named All-Pac 10, I’m shocked,”” Olson said.

Radenovic scored a career-high 37 points against Stanford on Saturday in an 85-80 overtime win.

“”I guarantee that most of those ballots were turned in before Saturday,”” Olson said.

Radenovic said being overlooked did not bother him.

“”I didn’t come to Arizona to win awards,”” he said. “”I came here to win games and to get better.””

Shakur was one of 30 finalists this season for the Bob Cousy award given to the top point guard in the country, and was also the top point guard coming out of high school in 2003.

“”I think if we win four or five more games in the Pac-10, me and Ivan jump right onto the Pac-10 (first team),”” Shakur said. “”Losing those close games kind of take away from it.””

Ivan the Great

Radenovic, a senior forward was named Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week after averaging 28 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in two wins over California and Stanford.

Williams to NBA not a done deal

Last week, Olson said Williams made it clear after his freshman season that “”he would definitely put his name in”” the draft this year. Williams isn’t completely sold on the NBA quite yet, though.

“”I’m not gonna sit there and fully back that, no discredit to what he has to say,”” Williams said. “”But at the end of the year, I still have to talk to my family, my mom. I don’t have any outside pressure telling me what to do.””

But Williams added that Olson was right in the sense that if he were to enter his name in the NBA draft, he wouldn’t withdraw it.

The Wildcats have five incoming freshman, signifying Williams’ scholarship has been pegged for a class of 2007 recruit.

“”It’s a fun experience here,”” Williams said. “”I don’t dislike Arizona so there is no rush to leave.””

McClellan still out

Junior guard Jawann McClellan did not practice yesterday and will not practice today, Olson said.

McClellan strained his left shoulder in practice Friday before the game against Stanford after bumping into a Fendi Onobun forearm.

Olson said McClellan would practice tomorrow and play on Thursday, barring a setback.

Pac-10 Awards
Pac-10 Player of the Year: Arron Afflalo, guard, UCLA
Pac-10 Freshman of the Year: Chase Budinger, forward, Arizona
Pac-10 Coach of the Year: Tony Bennett, Washington State

All-Pac-10 team

  • Arron Afflalo, guard, UCLA
  • Jon Brockman, forward, Washington
  • Aaron Brooks, guard, Oregon
  • Darren Collison, guard, UCLA
  • Lawrence Hill, forward, Stanford
  • Derrick Low, guard, Washington State
  • Kyle Weaver, guard, Washington State
  • Marcus Williams, forward, Arizona
  • Nick Young, guard, USC
  • Honorable Mention: Ryan Anderson, forward, Cal; Maarty Leunen, forward, Oregon; Spencer Hawes, center, Washington; Brook Lopez, forward, Stanford; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, forward, UCLA; Jeff Pendergraph, forward, ASU; Gabe Pruitt, guard, USC; Ivan Radenovic, forward, Arizona; Mustafa Shakur, guard, Arizona; Josh Shipp, forward, UCLA; Lodrick Stewart, guard, USC; Ayinde Ubaka, guard, Cal

    Pac-10 all-freshman team
    Ryan Anderson, forward, Cal
    Chase Budinger, forward, Arizona
    Taj Gibson, forward, USC
    Spencer Hawes, center, Washington
    Brook Lopez, forward, Stanford
    Tajuan Porter, guard, Oregon

    Honorable Mention: Quincy Pondexter, forward, Washington

    What’s the deal with Duke?

    Olson was peeved by the notion that Duke had the possibility of getting a No. 3 seed. Olson said he watched Seth Davis of CBS talk about the Blue Devils, but didn’t agree with the analyst’s opinion.

    “”His rationale was – and I don’t mean that Duke shouldn’t be third – I’m just saying his rationale was that they had not had a defeat to anyone that wasn’t in the top 50,”” he said. “”We have not had a loss to anybody who wasn’t in the top 30.

    “”OK, so we should be a two seed,”” Olson quipped. “”No, we don’t expect to be.””

    Olson wasn’t done talking about Duke, however.

    “”Did you see the Duke-Carolina game?”” he asked, referring to Gerald Henderson’s foul on North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough.

    Henderson was ejected and suspended for the next game and Hansbrough, who bled profusely, suffered a broken nose.

    “”Did you think that was intentional because (CBS analyst) Billy Packer said it was not?”” Olson asked.

    After a pause Olson let out a wry smile.

    “”It was a really hard unintentional and his nose is broken,”” he said.

    Shakur had a different viewpoint.

    “”It didn’t seem like it was on purpose,”” he said.