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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Hoops notes: Rodgers, Dillon may see more playing time”

    Senior guard Chris Rodgers has had problems with shot selection through his career and it may be costing him playing time.

    Despite going two for two from the field for eight points, Rodgers played just 13 minutes against Wisconsin and sophomore guard Daniel Dillon was the first Wildcat guard off the bench. Arizona head coach Lute Olson contended that Dillon was having great practices and deserved to get the nod first.

    Rodgers played just three second-half minutes and was taken out after a contested 3-point shot on which he was fouled. The possession before that, Rodgers picked up an offensive foul while driving to the basket.

    “”It’s never really been up to me, it’s the coach’s decision,”” Rodgers said concerning his playing time.

    Against Villanova’s small lineup, Dillon and Rodgers may have an increased role come Sunday.

    “”I think everybody sees that they have good guard play, what do you do to counteract that?”” asked Rodgers. “”It’s just going to be a matter of who’s going to out-coach who.””

    “”Chris and Daniel are both going to see a lot of action. They’re both good defenders and quick enough,”” associate head coach Jim Rosborough said.

    The starting lineup will stay the same, but the coaching staff will keep an eye on bad match ups.

    “”The biggest thing is we don’t want to screw up the starting lineup,”” Rosborough said.

    Hanging out in Philly

    When it comes to Philly Cheese Steaks, the question is always Pat’s King of Steaks or Geno’s Cheese Steaks.

    For junior point guard Mustafa Shakur, it’s neither. In fact, he has not had a cheese steak from either place.

    Instead he took his teammates to his favorite place, the Garden of Bilal on Friday where the team enjoyed Philadelphia’s popular fare.

    Villanova senior guard Randy Foye is from New Jersey and senior guard Allan Ray is from New York, but Shakur has played against them for almost 10 years.

    Over the summer, Foye and Shakur met up at the Nike All American camp where they were counselors together. Sophomore guard Kyle Lowry, freshman forward Shane Clark, and junior forward Will Sheridan come play at Shakur’s local neighborhood summer league.

    “”Philly basketball is tough and gritty,”” Shakur said. “”I think of playground basketball first. That’s where everybody in Philadelphia earns their name first. If you don’t do anything on the playground or McGonoggle Hall, Sonny Hill, and various tournaments, then you’re like a nobody in the city. You have to earn your name there first.””

    Nardi or Shakur

    Villanova’s two point guard choices were down to Shakur and current ‘Nova point guard Mike Nardi. Pressed to make a commitment, Shakur told Villanova he needed at least “”six or eight more months”” to decide.

    “”I wanted to take my time and take all my visits and still feel things out,”” Shakur said. Villanova had to make a move and they signed Nardi, leaving Shakur to ponder his other options. Shakur did not feel slighted in the least bit, though.

    “”I wasn’t upset about it all, it’s a business too,”” Shakur said. “”College coaches have to prepare for the next year and make the right recruit choices.””

    Villanova’s fades

    If you look up close, you may see some unusual patterns in the hair of Villanova players. That’s because some, but not all of the Wildcats got designs when they went in for haircuts. Some got racing stripes, some got one stripe, others got thunder designs, and yet others got nothing. Senior guard Allan Ray said the decision was made for everyone to get something, but some of his teammates backed out.

    “”Some of us tried to mix it up,”” Foye said.

    Philadelphia blues

    Arizona’s last planned trip to Philadelphia didn’t happen. With a schedule game against St. Joseph’s looming, the weather was not kind for air travel. However, the weather improved and the Wildcats still stayed in Tucson. A crowd was gathered and St. Joseph’s won in a forfeit 2-0. Olson dodged a question about the situation and had to leave because the press conference was over.

    Arizona has faced Villanova three times before winning two of the meetings including the last one, a 72-64 win in Philadelphia in 1991.

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