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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Cats have no problem with Team Georgia, injury problems continue”

    When the opposing team came out in Arizona practice jerseys, it was an early indication that Arizona’s first exhibition game would be a blowout. Team Georgia posed little threat to the No. 10 Wildcats, who got out to a 14-2 lead and didn’t look back in a 125-74 romp Saturday in McKale Center.

    Freshmen Nic Wise and Chase Budinger each scored 24 points to lead Arizona, while senior point guard Mustafa Shakur dished out 16 assists in a game where the Wildcats shot practically the same percentage on 3-pointers (51.9) as two-pointers (52.3).

    “”One thing I noticed (Saturday) that we tried to work on – Arizona teams are known to start out of the gates slow – and we came out on fire and on top of that, (and) we didn’t let up,”” guard Jawann McClellan said.

    McClellan scored 19 points in 20 minutes and ran off his own spurt when he scored eight points in 57 seconds midway through the first half.

    But it was McClellan’s hometown partner who stole the show. Wise, a fellow Houston native, didn’t miss a field goal, shooting 8-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-4 from beyond the 3-point arc, and scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half.

    “”I only got like five minutes in the first half, so I just wanted to come out and prove myself that I should be getting more playing time,”” Wise said.

    Wise scored 11 points in a 2:07 stretch in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers while playing shooting guard alongside Shakur. He also stood in and took a charge from 6-foot-9 heavyweight Eddie Elisma during the run.

    “”He had that spurt of just raining 3s, and his shot is money every time,”” Budinger said.

    Prior to Saturday, UA head coach Lute Olson used Shakur at shooting guard and Wise at point guard when the two were on the floor together, but Olson said he likes Wise playing off the ball more.

    “”Nic is a really good shooter, and the more I see it with he and ‘Staf together, we’ll keep ‘Staf at the point,”” Olson said. “”Mustafa is getting the ball down court so much quicker than anybody else, and if we can have him penetrate and dish to Nic, I think we’ll be better off with that combination.””

    Budinger, meanwhile, couldn’t find his perimeter stroke, but he found ways to get inside and score on drives and put-backs. Despite going 1-of-6 on 3-pointers, the forward was more aggressive inside, pulling down nine rebounds and attacking the basket, something he said he didn’t do during the Red-Blue Game.

    “”That’s the thing I tried doing,”” Budinger said. “”My shot wasn’t falling in the beginning, so I tried to get on the glass as much as I could and just tried attacking the basket. When you’re having an off day, you just try to attack the basket.””

    Forward Ivan Radenovic played for just 12 minutes because of a thigh injury that he took in practice Thursday. Radenovic, who wore a sleeve on his thigh, appeared to re-aggravate the injury in the first half, but Olson said the injury is not serious.

    Forward Marcus Williams and center Kirk Walters did not play at all, as expected, but Williams said he would be at practice Monday after an individual workout with assistant coach Miles Simon prior to Saturday’s game.

    “”There’s obviously some tightness,”” Williams said of his right ankle, “”but I walk fine on it.””

    Simon told Olson that he didn’t notice Williams favoring the ankle and Williams and Olson both said that Williams will play Wednesday against the University of Victoria.

    Walters did not play after beginning conditioning drills on Thursday following the aftereffects of a concussion he suffered more than a month ago. Olson said Walters, who was originally expected to play Saturday, now may have a virus as well, which may be causing dizziness.

    Fellow big men Mohamed Tangara and Bret Brielmaier did not see much time either because of injuries. Olson said he didn’t expect Brielmaier to even play after receiving “”a knee to the lower level of the quad,”” but Brielmaier played six minutes and tallied two points.

    Tangara started and played 13 minutes but said his left knee, which he hurt three weeks ago, was bothering him.

    Although the litany of injuries has bothered Arizona and kept the team from installing a complete offense, it hasn’t kept the Wildcats from becoming a better shooting team.

    “”This is the third year playing against Arizona, but this is the best shooting team that I have ever seen,”” said Team Georgia head coach Elbert Outlaw. “”They can shoot from the perimeter, they are athletic, and they have the deepest bench I have seen in a while.””

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