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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cats fall from rankings

    Arizona forward Marcus Williams grabs a rebound during the first half of the Wildcats 81-66 loss to No. 4 UCLA Saturday in McKale Center. Williams scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, both of which tied game highs for Arizona, in what could have been the sophomores final home game if he declares for the NBA Draft.
    Arizona forward Marcus Williams grabs a rebound during the first half of the Wildcats’ 81-66 loss to No. 4 UCLA Saturday in McKale Center. Williams scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds, both of which tied game highs for Arizona, in what could have been the sophomore’s final home game if he declares for the NBA Draft.

    For the first time this season, the Arizona men’s basketball team was completely dropped from The Associated Press rankings. The Wildcats, who were ranked No. 19 last week, are now eighth among the teams in the category of “”others receiving votes.””

    Arizona had its streak of 312 straight weeks in the rankings snapped in December 2005. Then the Wildcats spent two weeks of January in the polls but were dropped permanently for the rest of last season.

    This year Arizona started the season ranked No. 10 and got as high as No. 7 following a win over then-No. 18 Memphis.

    Cats on the tube

    Arizona’s March 3 game against Stanford will be televised on ABC at 1:30 p.m. as part of the final two Wildcard TV selections, the Pacific 10 Conference announced yesterday.

    Arizona’s game against California March 1 will be televised by FSN Arizona at 8:30 p.m., marking the 15th time the Wildcats will be on the station.

    The Stanford game will be Arizona’s second on ABC and its 12th on national television.

    The Wildcats are 7-4 in national TV games and won at Oregon Feb. 10 on ABC.

    Hypothetically speaking:

    If this was the last game in McKale Center for sophomore forward Marcus Williams, as the UA coaching staff expected at the beginning of the season, Williams said he’ll remember “”just being part of the program (and) the fans.””

    “”It’s just a great place to play basketball. I’d recommend it to any young kid,”” he said.

    But after the loss to UCLA, staying or going to the NBA Draft after the season was not on his mind, he said.

    “”That’s the worst thing I can do is think about the future,”” he said.

    Williams said the last two years have gone by “”like a blink.””

    “”I feel like I showed up at my first practice a month ago,”” he said. “”These guys over here, the freshmen, (I hope they) realize it and cherish all these moments.””

    The first day wasn’t that long ago

    Even though Mustafa Shakur was rated the No. 1 point guard nationally coming out of high school, he said he was far from a know-it-all his first day at practice in his freshman season.

    Defensively Liable

    Opponent field goal percentage in losses

    at Virginia 45.9
    at Washington State 43.1
    No. 15 Oregon 45.9
    at USC 53.3
    at No. 3 UCLA 49.1
    No. 4 North Carolina 51.3
    No. 18 Wash. State 50.9
    No. 22 USC 50.8
    No. 5 UCLA 52.5


    *Rankings from time of game

    “”I didn’t know anything, what was going on,”” he said.

    “”I was tired after the first seven or eight minutes doing ball-handling drills.””

    Shakur had his brother, his sister-in-law and his niece in the stands for Senior Day, which he called “”bittersweet”” because of the loss.

    With his father in the stands, senior Ivan Radenovic said Saturday “”was a really, really emotional day when the crowd is cheering for you, when they’re really happy for you and you know that you’re never gonna play again in this arena.””

    He said he and his dad had little time to go out prior to the game but would spend more time together in the following days.

    “”I really would be sad if he wasn’t here,”” Radenovic said.

    The Wildcats had a day off Sunday, a light practice yesterday and another day off today.

    Defense, defense, defense

    In Arizona’s nine losses this season, it has allowed teams to shoot 49.2 percent from the field. In its 17 wins, teams have shot 42.2 percent. Arizona is 2-7 when shooting worse than its opponents.

    “”It’s got to hurt you, it’s gotta be like someone stuck a knife in your heart when someone scores,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said. “”We don’t have that, and that’s our fault as coaches.””

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