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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Canada calling the Cats

    It’s not exactly London or Rome, but Vancouver, British Columbia, will have to do for the Arizona men’s basketball team. The Wildcats will embark on a four-day trip to the Canadian city today and play five games, beginning with a game against the University of Saskatchewan at noon tomorrow at the University of British Columbia.

    “”This is a much better situation,”” said UA head coach Lute Olson, who still admitted the cancelled Europe trip originally planned for the summer would have been a better cultural experience.

    Eleven players will suit up for the Wildcats, including all three freshmen, who would have been unable to go to Europe, but three contributors will either not make the trip or will not play. Senior forward Ivan Radenovic was probable with an ankle injury but Olson now has an easy to decision to make on the Serbia and Montenegro native. Radenovic filed for his visa too late and was not granted the right to accompany the team across the border.

    “”It’s disappointing for him and disappointing for his teammates,”” Olson said.

    Meanwhile, junior guard Jawann McClellan will not play because of ongoing rehabilitation on his knee but may travel, and sophomore forward Fendi Onobun will stay and rehab his right knee – which he badly bruised last week – with trainer Justin Kokoskie.

    Olson will attempt his version of hockey’s line change on the trip by using two lines with upperclassmen Mustafa Shakur, Daniel Dillon, Kirk Walters, Bret Brielmaier (who’s now on scholarship) and an Olson-called “”veteran”” in sophomore forward Marcus Williams on the first line.

    The underclassman squad – coached by assistant coach Miles Simon – includes freshmen Chase Budinger, Nic Wise and Jordan Hill, sophomore J.P. Prince and redshirt sophomore Mohamed Tangara. The squad will be called on for line changes every five minutes and will start the second half of every game.

    Walk-on David Bagga will see minutes with both teams, Olson said.

    “”I want equal time for everybody,”” Olson said. “”This is a trip we want to come back from with all of our players having approximately equal time so that they know that the door is open as far as the lineups that will end up occurring once we get into game situations once it comes to November.””

    The team has practiced in their lines for the last week, but Olson said he’s not worried about intertwining the two teams once practice starts in October.

    In Arizona’s last foreign trip to Australia, Olson used a similar ploy but played his best five the last five minutes in close situations. This time, Olson said he did not anticipate swaying from his strategy, unless there was a “”foul situation or injury situation.””

    And 1

    Olson said other Division I teams have gone up to Canada and lost before. … British Colombia went 32-6 last season and had an average of almost 22,000 at home games. … Tomorrow night’s game against British Columbia will be broadcast live on the Internet for $6.95 Canadian on the Web site … Olson’s biggest surprise of the first 10 days of practice was Jordan Hill. The freshman from Georgia led all Wildcat players in rebounds and blocked shots during the first two weeks. … While many of Arizona’s players have international experience, some will have to adjust to the different rules this weekend. The international court has a trapezoidal lane and a 30-second shot clock. … Junior guard Dillon has been fully cleared to practice and play after fracturing his foot over the summer. … McClellan should be cleared to play pickup games by Sept. 15, according to Olson.


    The Wildcats will play five games in three days in Vancouver:
    Tomorrow Sunday
    University of Saskatchewan (at University of British Columbia) noon Vancouver All-Stars,(at Simon Fraser University) noon
    University of British,
    Columbia (at BC)
    7p.m. Simon Fraser University
    (at SFU)
    British Columbia (at Douglas College) 9a.m.

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