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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Tangara, Bayless shine in McKale”

    UA point guard Jerryd Bayless (0) flies through the air for a dunk during the Blue teams 76-63 win over the Red team in the annual Red-Blue Game last night in McKale Center. The freshman led his classmates on the team with 26 points, including three shots from behind the arc.
    UA point guard Jerryd Bayless (0) flies through the air for a dunk during the Blue team’s 76-63 win over the Red team in the annual Red-Blue Game last night in McKale Center. The freshman led his classmates on the team with 26 points, including three shots from behind the arc.

    Mohamed Tangara scored a total of four points last season.

    It took him just two minutes of aggressively darting through the lane in last night’s Red-Blue Game to surpass that total, eventually lifting the Blue team over the Red team 76-63 in McKale Center.

    Tangara finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in 40 minutes.

    “”Mohamed definitely impressed me the most,”” said guard Daniel Dillon, Tangara’s teammate of four years. “”I’ve been waiting for him to come out of the little shell that he’s been in, and he’s been getting better and better with every practice. Tonight, he showed why he needs to be on the floor and get some more minutes. I’m really happy that he’s stepping up right now.””

    Guard Jerryd Bayless did what he did so many times in high school by taking over the game late. The freshman scored nine straight points for the Blue team to stretch a six-point lead with five minutes left to a 12-point lead with just over three minutes left.

    Bayless led all scorers with 15 of his 26 points in the second half. He ended up 9-of-20 from the field.

    “”This is what I’ve been building up to the last couple years,”” Bayless said. “”I got a little nervous in the beginning, but then in the second half I started getting some flow in the game, started making shots, and then the biggest thing is my team got the win. So I’m really happy about that.””

    Bayless could not have done it without the brawn of Tangara and forward Bret Brielmaier. The duo combined for 21 rebounds, one less than the Red team’s total last night.

    “”I thought the play of Mohamed and Bret on the boards was the difference in the game,”” said UA head coach Lute Olson.

    Tangara never found his way into the rotation last season – in large part due to his propensity to foul and limited offensive game – before suffering a front sinus fracture Jan. 24 against ASU that kept him out for nine games in the second half of the year.

    He redshirted the 2004-2005 season because of a herniated disk, which UA head coach Lute Olson said still bothers Tangara at times during Oct. 23’s media day.

    “”I try to be aggressive and at the same time cut down on the fouls,”” Tangara said. “”That’s one thing I’m looking for. I just want to contribute.””

    A slimmed down Nic Wise also impressed, showing confidence in hitting 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range on his way to 13 first-half points for the Blue team.

    Then he moved over to the Red team for the second half so Bayless could run the point by himself after guard Laval Lucas-Perry had that opportunity in the first half.

    “”I felt real good in the first half,”” Wise said. “”Me and Jerryd play together real well. We feed off each other, we give each other a lot of energy.””

    Forward Chase Budinger of the Red team led all scorers with 29 points after going for 20 in the first half. He hit on a wide range of tough jumpers on his way to a 9-of-14 outing, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

    In the first half, Budinger and Bayless guarded each other, which often happens during practice despite the fact that Bayless plays guard and Budinger forward. Bayless relishes the opportunity to compete against an offensive player who has earned a number of preseason honors this year.

    “”I think it’s really lucky for me because I feel like I’m playing against a pro basketball player already every day, coming out here and practicing against him and then playing in a game like this,”” Bayless said of Budinger, who scored 46 percent of his team’s points last night. “”Some of the shots he hit today were unbelievable.””

    On the negative side, the five freshmen combined to pick up 20 fouls – with Bayless and forward Jamelle Horne collecting five each – and the teams shot a combined 55.2 percent in the first half, a total that Olson said did not please defensive-minded assistant coach Kevin O’Neill, another UA newcomer.

    On the positive side, the freshmen experienced their first taste of a college atmosphere in front of 8,810 fans – a luxury Budinger said helped him last year – and the defenses played well enough to limit the combined scoring to 35 fewer points than in last year’s game.

    And maybe most importantly, Tangara showed signs of emerging.

    “”It’s fun, but at the same time you have to understand that it’s a scrimmage game, so we have to wait to see what’s going to be the reality of the real game,”” Tangara said. “”It’s fun, but at the same time we’ll see how I’m going to face the good teams and how I’m going to respond.””

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