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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Killer Bs continue to rack up awards

    Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless goes for a loose ball in the Wildcats 68-66 loss to UCLA on Mar. 2. Bayless was one of 24 players named to the John Wooden Award, an annual honor for national college basketball player of the year.
    Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless goes for a loose ball in the Wildcats’ 68-66 loss to UCLA on Mar. 2. Bayless was one of 24 players named to the John Wooden Award, an annual honor for national college basketball player of the year.

    Men’s Hoops Notes

    It’s really not surprising that Arizona men’s basketball players Chase Budinger and Jerryd Bayless continue to rack up awards for their performances on the court.

    Bayless was named to the John Wooden Award ballot, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced yesterday. Bayless is one of 24 players in contention for player-of-the-year honors.

    Bayless, a guard, and Budinger, a forward were also named All-Pacific 10 honorees yesterday, while teammates Jawann McClellan and Jordan Hill were given honorable mentions. Bayless was named to the second team and the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, while Budinger was placed on the third team.

    This comes a week after the Killer Bs were named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ All-District 15 team. Bayless was one of five players on the first team and Budinger was placed on the second team.

    Both players are now eligible for the State Farm Division I All-America teams to be announced April 5.

    “”It’s a great award to get but I’m really not trying to think about that,”” Budinger said yesterday. “”I’m just trying to win the Pac-10 Tournament and make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.””

    Players decline comment about NBA futures

    With yesterday’s announcement of Lute Olson’s return to the program at the conclusion of the current season, UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill said the coaching change shouldn’t affect whether Bayless and Budinger go into June’s NBA draft.

    “”I would hope that they would look at the numbers to see where they would be drafted or not drafted or whatever,”” O’Neill said. “”I don’t think who’s coaching the next year will influence whether they go or they stay.””

    O’Neill said the choice to go to the NBA should be a business decision, primarily based on future financial situations.

    “”There’s no emotion really attached to whether you stay or you go,”” O’Neill said.

    Budinger and Bayless have both declined comment about going to the NBA and said their decisions will be after the current season.

    O’Neill said when that time comes, he will make himself available to both players if they want his input.

    “”I’ll give (my opinion) to them,”” O’Neill said. “”If they don’t (want it), I won’t be offended in any way. But I would give them my opinion and they can do with it whatever they like.””

    O’Neill burns the past

    O’Neill said that he isn’t certain whether he’ll be with the team
    next year.

    “”I make my decisions every year at the end of the year in coaching,”” O’Neill said.

    The coach said when he changes jobs – he’s been a coach with nearly a dozen different schools – he destroys the evidence of ever being associated with the team, at least as far as his wardrobe is concerned.

    “”Every time I change jobs, especially when I got fired (from the Toronto Raptors), I put all my clothes from that job out front at my lake house (in upstate New York) and I invite all my prison guard friends to come over.

    “”We have a bonfire, we drink whiskey and have a hell of a time,”” O’Neill added. “”I do that every time I change jobs.””

    Injury update

    After Nic Wise returned to action from surgery with a month of rest, the guard showed how much he put into rehabilitating his right knee. In his two games back, he played 74 minutes – all 40 at Oregon – and scored 27 points.

    O’Neill said if the Wildcats get another big lead – they beat them by 36 on Thursdayÿ- against the Beavers tomorrow night in the Pacific 10 Conference tournament in Los Angeles, he won’t hesitate to rest Wise.

    “”I’d like to be in that situation,”” O’Neill said.

    Forward Bret Brielmaier also returned from seven games off against OSU after re-injuring a separated shoulder.

    Brielmaier said his shoulder is “”about as good as it can be – about 82.5 percent.””

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