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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Cats, Cardinal fight for seeds”

    This certainly isn’t where the Arizona men’s basketball team expected to be following its last game against Stanford, where the Wildcats secured their 11th straight win of an eventual 12-game winning streak.

    Instead of competing for the conference title, Arizona (19-9, 10-7 Pacific 10 Conference) can clinch a spot in the No. 4 or 5 game of next week’s Pac-10 Tournament by beating the Cardinal (18-10, 10-7) again in tomorrow’s 1:30 p.m. game in Stanford, Calif.

    A loss guarantees the Wildcats the No. 6 seed, while a win and Oregon loss would make them No. 4, and a win and a Duck win would put them in the No. 5 spot.

    But for UA associate head coach Jim Rosborough, tomorrow is just another chance to impress the selection committee for seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

    “”We need wins,”” he said. “”I really don’t care about the Pac-10 tourney at all. We need wins. Once we get done with Stanford we can worry about that.””

    Things would be a whole lot easier for the Wildcats had they followed through with their recruitment of Stanford forward Lawrence Hill, a Glendale native and now the Cardinal’s leading scorer (16.1 points per game, 6th in the Pac-10 entering the week) and rebounder (6.0, 11th).

    Hill, the 2005 Gatorade Player of the Year in Arizona, could end up in a class with former Stanford forward Matt Haryasz, an Arizona native whom Rosborough said he feels bad about not offering a scholarship to. Instead the Wildcats signed Fendi Onobun at small forward in last year’s freshman class.

    “”We watched him very, very, very, very closely,”” Rosborough said of Hill. “”It just boiled down to one of those decisions, one of those tough ones. … The problem is you just can’t take everybody, you just end up not taking people. You make recruiting decisions, and that was a tough one.””

    Rosborough, who scouted the Cardinal, said he will suggest putting UA forward Marcus Williams on Hill, as he has guarded the opposition’s top perimeter player over the past several games. In Hill, Rosborough said, Willams will have to contend with a player that can shoot 3-pointers, drive and post up.

    “”I think Lawrence Hill’s the most understated player in our league,”” USC head coach Tim Floyd said in Tuesday’s conference call. “”Nobody talks about him, and he’s outstanding.””

    Still, with the Cardinal having lost five of nine even after beating ASU 63-53 last night, improving could help the Cardinal solidify an NCAA Tournament berth – or like the Wildcats, use a good win to help with seeding.

    “”I know this time of year a lot’s magnified, but we need to play well, we need to play better than we’ve played,”” Johnson said. “”I don’t think we played particularly all that bad this past weekend (in getting swept at the Los Angeles schools).

    “”The most important thing for us is to play good basketball and take care of the basketball, and our mindset is understanding that we have to do that and go from there.””

    And 1

    Tomorrow will be Senior Day for two Cardinal players, guards Carlton Weathersby and Chris Bobel, who will be honored before the contest. However, neither make much of an impact as Weathersby averaged 0.4 points per game in 6.0 minutes entering this week, while Bobel put up 0.5 in 11 total minutes over four games. Starting guard Fred Washington is also listed as a senior, but having played just six games last year before having season-ending knee surgery he has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible next season.

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