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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Basketball Madness begins

    Sophomore forward Fendi Onobun throws down a dunk during last years McKale Madness in McKale Center. Onobun and then-senior Hassan Adams both put on a dunking show last year, but freshman Chase Budinger may be the dunker to watch today at 7 p.m. during this years version of the Madness.
    Sophomore forward Fendi Onobun throws down a dunk during last year’s McKale Madness in McKale Center. Onobun and then-senior Hassan Adams both put on a dunking show last year, but freshman Chase Budinger may be the dunker to watch today at 7 p.m. during this year’s version of the Madness.

    Basketball season is back.

    The Arizona men’s basketball team starts its quest toward the Final Four in Atlanta tonight with McKale Madness, which runs this evening from 7 to 9 in McKale Center.

    The night’s festivities include an autograph session, player introductions, a shooting contest with both men’s and women’s basketball players and a dunk contest, as well as a $10,000 fan half-court shot and finally a 20-minute scrimmage for the men’s team.

    “”It’s free, and it’s a nice night of entertainment,”” UA assistant coach Josh Pastner said. “”They get a peek of this year’s squad.””

    The event marks the official start of basketball practice for the season. However, the squad practiced 10 times before their trip to Canada over Labor Day weekend.

    One of the highlights of the night will be the debut of heralded freshman Chase Budinger, who will participate in the dunk contest with fellow freshman forward Jordan Hill and sophomore forward Fendi Onobun.

    “”I know Chase has been working on a couple nice dunks,”” Pastner said. “”We’ve got some good guys going against him, so it should be a fun night seeing some high level of athleticism with our guys.””

    Budinger won the dunk contest at the Junior World Championships in Douai, France, and placed second at the contest before the McDonald’s All-American game, but he said he’s thinking more about starting practice than the dunk contest.

    “”I’m more worried about what I’m going to do coming out more then what kind of dunks I’m going to do,”” he said. “”I’ll just try to be creative or something.””

    Brase a leading candidate for coordinator position

    As of Thursday night, the Wildcat coaching staff had yet to make a decision on the opening for the coordinator of basketball operations position.

    According to sources, former UA player Matt Brase is one of the leading candidates for the job. Brase said he was still waiting to hear back from the coaches last night after interviewing for the position yesterday afternoon.

    There’s a possibility that the Wildcats will hire two people to fill the position.

    A decision is likely to be made this morning.

    – Roman Veytsman contributed to this report

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