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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    How they matchup

    Jawann McClellan versus Chase Budinger

    “”The comeback player”” versus the “”newcomer””

    It’s not the highly anticipated Marcus Williams/Chase Budinger matchup everyone was hoping for, and McClellan admitted Tuesday he would never be completely healthy this year. But the junior guard may be the Wildcats’ X-factor this season, and UA head coach Lute Olson thought the Houston native would be one of the team’s top scorers last year before he ran into academic problems and injuries.

    Olson expects McClellan to play about 20 minutes, and his strength should bother Budinger slightly.

    But not too much.

    Budinger has looked like the McDonald’s All-American he was in high school in the team’s early practices and scrimmages. His perimeter shooting and high-flying antics near the basket have put a smile on Olson’s face, but Olson has said Budinger still needs improvement in the lane.

    As for McClellan, consistency is key.

    “”He played well on Saturday, but it also depends on who he is playing with,”” Olson said. “”He looked good with one group, and then he did not look good with another group. When you’re limited in the time you can be out there, your timing is not what it should be.””

    Mustafa Shakur versus Nic Wise

    The “”Chosen One”” versus the “”Loyal One.””

    Wise, who committed to Arizona as a freshman in high school, will give Shakur fits with his quickness. Olson said he wants Wise to be more pesky on defense, though.

    Shakur has the experience edge over Wise and will look to dish, but with Williams out, Shakur will take on more of a scoring role.

    Daniel Dillon versus J.P. Prince

    “”The defender”” versus “”the Prince””

    Olson has anointed Dillon the team’s “”best defender”” and unless something drastic changes, Olson will bring up those words often when talking about Dillon. The Australian will be this year’s Chris Rodgers, minus the distractions and complete disregard for his teammates.

    Prince, who has the wingspan to be a great defender, has been criticized by Olson for his lack of defense. Still, he has the capability of making it tough on Dillon to make passes and create space for shots.

    Ivan Radenovic versus Fendi Onobun

    “”Ivan the Great”” versus “”Fendi Cent””

    Fendi’s audition at small forward is over. Onobun is now strictly playing the “”4″” position, and the athletic big man will be able to outquick bigger opponents like Radenovic.

    “”We tried to have him at the three and four, but he has to become more comfortable at one position. …Fendi has always been a conscientious young man, and he’s making really good progress,”” Olson said.

    Radenovic is crafty and is a proven scorer. He’s also an under-rated rebounder and is lights-out from 16 to 18 feet.

    Look for Radenovic to be the first option with a Williams’ less offense.

    Kirk Walters versus Bret Brielmaier

    The Midwestern boy versus the Midwestern boy

    Walters has something in common with UA quarterback Willie Tuitama. He sustained a concussion, and then hit his head again last week, forcing him to sit out the McKale Madness scrimmage. Walters has steadily improved from year to year and has gained enough weight to finally not be pushed around. But can Walters translate that off season work ethic and make a significant contribution? That remains to be seen.

    “”There’s no question that (the concussion) is going to affect him. However, he’s been here for four years, so it’s not going to affect him like a freshman. If a freshman missed that much, he’d have a difficult time catching up during the entire year.”” Brielmaier may be almost half a foot shorter than Walters, but he’s developed a nice mid-range jump shot and will be able to give the Wildcats eight to 12 solid minutes a game if called upon. Plus, any time Olson doesn’t think the effort on the floor is ideal, Brielmaier can give him some energy minutes.

    Mohamed Tangara versus Jordan Hill

    The “”Mali monster”” versus the “”human eraser””

    Tangara has battled injuries so far in his career at Arizona, but when healthy, he’s the team’s best rebounder, according to Olson. His size, defense, newly acquired mid-range jump shot and hustle may result in playing time, or his lack of offensive development may keep him on the bench. Hill, who appears to be able to block rainbow floaters with his elbows, is an athletic specimen, but like Tangara, his offensive game is still raw. In the end, Tangara and Hill may be fighting for the same spot in the rotation.

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