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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Shakur prepares for draft

    In this day and age of college basketball, it’s rare for a program like Arizona to have a senior who started all four years and another who started for the better part of three years.

    That’s what the Arizona men’s basketball team had in seniors Mustafa Shakur and Ivan Radenovic this past year.

    Through the many ups and downs the duo experienced in their time as Wildcats, which ended earlier than they would have liked with a first round NCAA Tournament exit against Purdue, they both played prominent roles for Arizona throughout their careers.

    Although NBADraft.net currently projects neither player to be drafted, after they were
    expected to be second-round picks much of the year, UA assistant coach Josh Pastner feels their UA career prepared them for a future playing professional basketball.

    “”I think it’s going to help a bunch,”” he said of the UA seniors, both of whom were All-Pacific 10 Conference honorable mention selections. “”They’re more prepared and they’ll be ready to rock and roll when they get their names called on draft night.””

    Shakur dotted the UA record books by finishing his career second in assists (670), third in games started (129), fourth in minutes played (4,070), fifth in games played (131), seventh in minutes per game (31.1) and 10th in steals (156), while also leading the Pac-10 in assists this past season with 6.9 per game.

    Radenovic anchored the inside for Arizona this year, averaging 13.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He also reached the 1,300-point and 700-rebound plateaus in his career.

    To prepare for the draft Pastner said Radenovic is training in San Francisco while Shakur is in Chicago. That’s where his brother Mujahid Shakur said Mustafa is working with trainer Tim Grover, who has trained Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.

    Mujahid was not sure which pre-draft camps his brother will attend, although he mentioned the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp that Mustafa attended last year as a possibility depending on who else is attending.

    In preparing for the draft, Mujahid said his brother has dropped out of school because it is in his best interests to focus on that now and finish his two semesters he needs to graduate in the future. This will cause the Wildcats to lose two points on their Academic Progress Rate but not a scholarship because players who have exhausted their eligibility cannot penalize the program in that way.

    Reflecting on his brother’s four years at Arizona, time in which Shakur led Arizona out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament only once despite entering school with the hype of being the nation’s top point guard, Mujahid said Mustafa has become mentally tougher.

    “”He definitely became a man down at Arizona being away from home for so long,”” Mujahid said. “”It’s definitely an area he needed to get better, and an area he definitely got better in.””

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