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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Radenovic stars in Red/Blue game

    Forward Ivan Radenovic reaches for a ball during the Blue Teams 93-81 win over the Red Team last night at McKale Center. The senior exploded for a Channing Frye-like 35 points and 10 boards.
    Forward Ivan Radenovic reaches for a ball during the Blue Team’s 93-81 win over the Red Team last night at McKale Center. The senior exploded for a Channing Frye-like 35 points and 10 boards.

    With Marcus Williams, Arizona’s leading returning scorer, sitting on the bench with his right ankle in a walking boot, senior Ivan Radenovic took over scoring duties.

    The senior from Serbia-Montenegro did his best impression of Channing Frye two years ago, scoring 35 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Blue Team cruised to a 93-81 win in McKale Center in front of 8,500.

    “”I was thinking of that; hey, those were Channing numbers,”” Radenovic said. “”But (guard Mustafa Shakur) pretty much found me any time I was open.””

    Radenovic opened each half with a scoring flurry, accounting for seven points during the Blue Team’s 18-4 opening run and then eight of the upperclassmen’s first 10 points to open the second half and give the Blue Team a 51-41 lead.

    Shakur, the senior point guard, finished with 13 assists but also had six turnovers, which UA head coach Lute Olson equated to a week’s worth of turnovers.

    Shakur said he was disappointed with his first-half performance but after some “”great words”” from Williams at half time, Shakur felt like he “”redeemed”” himself in the second half.

    “”We’ve played together for three years, so we know each other and what we’re going to do,”” Radenovic said of Shakur. “”He ran the whole team pretty well, pushed the ball when he had to, slowed it down when he had. He knows how to run the team, and I just hit my shots.””

    Along with Williams, who will be out for one to two weeks, according to Olson, center Kirk Walters sat out for precautionary reasons stemming from a concussion. Walters complained about feeling pressure in his head on Tuesday after working out Monday and most of Tuesday, and Olson said the senior will not play in the first exhibition game Nov. 4 against Team Georgia.

    Williams said tests on his ankle came back negative and he hopes to be back at practice some time next week.

    Junior guard Jawann McClellan, who’s coming back from an injury of his own, poured in 22 points for the Blue Team and played a higher-than-expected 29 minutes because the Wildcats only had 12 players available.

    “”I want to play Rip Hamilton this year,”” McClellan said of the NBA guard. “”Getting myself open and just move without the ball all the time …we have a lot of shooters with me, Chase and Marcus, and everybody shooting the ball well.””

    McClellan shot 9-of-16 from the field, including 3-of-5 on 3-pointers and the Blue Team scorched the nets in the second half, shooting 62.9 percent.

    Freshman Chase Budinger scored 20 points for the Red Team but shot 8-of-20 from the field and turned the ball over eight times.

    “”First of all, it was fun just to put on the uniform and play in front of a big crowd, but personally I think I did very poorly,”” Budinger said. “”I had way too many turnovers and wasn’t very aggressive, settling for my jump shot instead of attacking more.””

    Fellow freshman Nic Wise led the Red Team with 22 points and connected on 3-of-6 3-point shots, but like Shakur, he also turned the ball over six times.

    “”It felt really good because I know a lot of people were anxious to see what I can do at my size,”” Wise said. “”They were comparing me to Jason (Gardner). I was just trying to live up to it.””

    Radenovic, who stood next to Shakur in the locker room after the game as the two soaked in their third Red/Blue Game together – Radenovic did not play his freshman year because he was a mid-year transfer – did a little bit of everything.

    With 5:46 left in the second half, Radenovic made a steal, dribbled past half court and whipped a one-handed bounce pass to Daniel Dillon for a lay-up, giving the Blue Team an 80-62 lead.

    “”Me and Ivan, we played together the most out of everybody out there, and we have a really good understanding of what each other wants to do,”” said Shakur, who joked that this Red/Blue Game was different because he “”played like 40 minutes straight tonight.””

    If the man standing on Radenovic’s left, Williams, comes back soon, Shakur won’t have to worry about pulling on his jersey.

    “”It’s going to help me a lot when Marcus comes back, obviously, because he knows what I like to do when I’m out there on the floor and he’ll be in the right spots,”” said Shakur, who managed to get three minutes of rest in the 40-minute game.

    Olson was concerned about Arizona’s defense after Saturday’s scrimmage and a week of practice, and at least the Wildcat upperclassmen turned it up defensively, holding the Red Team to 40.8 percent shooting.

    “”We were giving up too much penetration to the middle of the lane (last week), but when people did go to the middle of the lane (yesterday), there was a lot of turnovers as a result of doing a much better job,”” Olson said. “”Defensively, we’re getting better in that regard, it’s just difficult when you haven’t go the top guys together.””

    McClellan and Radenovic combined for 14 of the 18 points in the opening run and scored 28 of 41 points in the first half.

    The underclassmen chipped away at the lead behind freshman Nic Wise and sophomore J.P. Prince, who each scored 12 points in the first half.

    Budinger helped the Red Team out of its rut, scoring on a dunk and then hitting a jumper to cut the lead to 18-8 before the Red Team eventually cut the lead to 41-39 at halftime.

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