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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Bayless solid in McDonald’s game

    Jerryd Bayless
    Jerryd Bayless

    UA signee Jerryd Bayless scored 11 points in the annual McDonald’s All-American Game last night, helping the West defeat the East 114-112 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.

    “”We’re very proud to see the way Bayless performed (yesterday),”” said UA assistant coach Josh Pastner, who called it a “”tremendous honor”” for Bayless to make the team. “”I thought he represented the University of Arizona very well. You can tell without any question his ability and talent level is at an extremely high level.””

    Bayless, the No. 9 recruit in his class, according to the recruiting service rivals.com, continued a recent tradition of Arizona players in the McDonald’s Game. The Wildcats have been represented five of the past six years, starting with former guard Hassan Adams in 2002 and continuing to forward Chase Budinger, the game’s co-MVP last season.

    “”I think that’s a credit to (UA head coach) Lute Olson and what he’s done to build up the program from zero to what it is today,”” Pastner said. “”It’s a credit to former players and assistants to help that tradition in winning so we’re able to recruit the very best.””

    Although Bayless finished shy of former Wildcat Mike Bibby’s Arizona high school state scoring mark in an illustrious high school career that saw him reach the state championship game twice for Phoenix St. Mary’s High School, including this season, his 28.3 points-per-game career average in 100 contests (2,828 career points) set a new record.

    Bayless averaged 33 ppg this year and scored 1,062 points, 70 off Bibby’s single-season state record and a career-high 37 ppg last season.

    But in a contest Pastner said has a “”fun pickup game atmosphere,”” Bayless’ play at the other end of the court caught the UA assistant coach’s attention playing against the most explosive guards in the nation.

    “”I think one of the things that stands out … is his defensive ability and really getting after them and frustrating those guards,”” Pastner said.

    Williams’ decision coming soon

    UA sophomore forward Marcus Williams said he will announce his decision on whether to enter the NBA Draft “”probably this week.””

    Olson said it would be a “”shock”” to him if Williams returned after the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament loss to Purdue March 16.

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