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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Budinger to play PG in payback game

    Arizona sophomore forward Chase Budinger (34) attempts a 3-pointer over ASUs Jerren Shipp in the Sun Devils 64-59 overtime win in Tempe Jan. 9. Budinger is expected to play point guard in relief of an injured Nic Wise in the teams rematch Sunday.
    Arizona sophomore forward Chase Budinger (34) attempts a 3-pointer over ASU’s Jerren Shipp in the Sun Devil’s 64-59 overtime win in Tempe Jan. 9. Budinger is expected to play point guard in relief of an injured Nic Wise in the teams’ rematch Sunday.

    ASU at Arizona

    As Chase Budinger walked out of Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe Jan. 9 after the Arizona men’s basketball team lost 64-59 in overtime, ASU fans ran by and yelled – celebrating as if they had won the national championship, as Budinger put it.

    So when the Wildcats (15-7, 5-4 Pacific 10 Conference) take on the Sun Devils (14-7, 4-5) in McKale Center at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, anyone would think that Budinger would feel even more pressure this time around, as the forward will be spending some time as a point guard with Nic Wise out.

    But don’t tell Budinger that.

    “”I’m comfortable,”” Budinger said. “”I was very surprised (on Wednesday) that I knew the plays coming up the court (in practice) with the ball. I don’t think we’re going to have any problems with that.””

    Budinger, who said he played point guard a lot at La Costa Canyon High School in Encinitas, Calif., will split time at the position with guard Jerryd Bayless, UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill said.

    “”I think Chase will do well playing the point,”” O’Neill said. “”I think he’d do well playing the two, three, four. Players are players and he’s got a good feel for the game.””

    As the result of having Wise out for at least four weeks after having knee surgery Wednesday, O’Neill said that the Wildcats rehearse different plays in practice in case a key player goes down and that the team will run 10 to 12 of the plays against ASU that it hasn’t run all season.

    “”It’s been a big learning week for us,”” Budinger said.

    UA forward Jordan Hill, who lives with Wise, said that his roommate was disappointed Wednesday night after the surgery, but in the long run, it was a good move.

    “”He wanted to try to get the surgery after the season but his father told him, ‘You need to do it right now. It could get worse,'”” Hill said. “”We all respect him for what he did.””

    Though he dressed out, Phoenix native Bayless, still healing from a sprained knee, did not get a chance to play against the Sun Devils the last time the two teams met.

    “”I’m sure I could have helped out a little bit but I don’t know if we would have won the game or not,”” Bayless said.

    Wise scored eight points to go with five rebounds and five assists in 41 minutes in that game.

    “”If he’s not our most valuable player in many respects, he’s one of them,”” O’Neill said of Wise. “”We’re gonna really miss him.””

    And 1

    Forward Bret Brielmaier will not play this week due to a lingering sprained shoulder, O’Neill said. He played Saturday at UCLA after sitting out four straight games but has made no progress at recovering.

    “”He might not even play next week, I’m not sure,”” O’Neill said. “”I don’t think you’ll see Bret near 100 percent the rest of the year. That’s my own opinion – I’m not a doctor or a trainer. And that’s been a huge blow to the team.””

    Tale of the tape: ASU @ Arizona

    James Harden drove over, around and through UA defenders on his way to 22 points after halftime in the first meeting, but this time Jerryd Bayless won’t be sitting at the end of the bench all game. In what could be his only contest against his hometown school, Bayless will be out to make up for lost time.
    Advantage: Arizona
    Jordan Hill punished the Devils in Tempe with 18 and 14, while his counterpart Jeff Pendergraph has not scored more than 10 points during ASU’s five-game losing streak.
    Advantage: Arizona
    All of them point in the Wildcats’ direction. A team looking for revenge for losing in Tempe without Bayless while trying to rebound from the UCLA disaster in front of a soldout student section will be going up against a young squad that’s lost five in a row and is losing confidence.
    Advantage: Arizona
    Jerryd Bayless will come out firing after missing the first ASU game to help the Wildcats build a big lead early. They will cruise from there as a reeling Sun Devil squad begins to doubt itself and its bubble moves a step closer to bursting.
    Arizona 76, ASU 60

    – Compiled by Michael Schwartz

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