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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    McClellan likely to eventually get redshirt

    With his right knee wrapped, Jawann McClellan trudged back and forth on the sidelines, doing ball-handling drills, shooting drills and cutting, but no contact yet.

    Although he’s still about a month away from practicing at 100 percent, McClellan all but guaranteed that he will indeed receive a medical redshirt after he finishes his fourth season at Arizona.

    According to the NCAA byline 14.2.4 c, which states that if “”the injury or illness occurs when the student-athlete has not participated in more than two contests,”” McClellan is eligible for a medical hardship after his senior season.

    Unlike redshirt sophomore Mohamed Tangara, who received his medical redshirt in the same season his injury occurred, McClellan’s case was different because his first two games came after the halfway point in the season.

    McClellan’s medical hardship was based on his right shooting wrist, which he fractured against Oregon in January, but it’s the knee that’s currently keeping him out of action. He said that he will travel to Canada with the team on Labor Day Weekend but won’t play.

    “”There’s no reason for me to come back and risk being out the rest of the season or be out till the middle of the season,”” McClellan said.

    The junior from Houston lost 18 pounds since he appeared in his first game against Oregon State last season, going from 228 pounds to 210.

    “”I had to (lose weight),”” he said. “”I was looking like a football player.’

    According to what the trainers told McClellan, he’s ahead of schedule and hopes to progress into contact drills as early as when the team comes back from Canada in early September.

    “”I’m slowly getting there,”” he said. “”My main focus is just being back in October for real practice.””

    The lost weight may help the injury-riddled McClellan get back to the potential he showed his freshman season when he served as the energizer bunny off the Wildcats’ bench.

    “”My real last game when I was in shape was against Illinois,’ McClellan said about Arizona’s Elite Eight loss in 2005. “”I’m anxious to get back. Even when I come back and practice, I’m going to be rusty a little bit, but that’s expected.””

    It’s a love fest

    Every time Marcus Williams and Mustafa Shakur shake hands, one word comes out of their mouths: Atlanta.

    Atlanta, the site of the 2007 NCAA Final Four, and “”30 wins”” are the two goals Williams has in mind.

    After a disappointing season last year, one that the Wildcats almost salvaged in the NCAA Tournament, the attitude is different this year, according to Shakur.

    “”From one to 12, everybody has a great attitude,”” Shakur said. “”I don’t know if you could feel it or see it, but I feel it every day. I’m excited to come to practice because of how competitive it is and also just the attitude. You can’t wait to get in the locker room and joke around with the guys and talk about who’s going to win today, what happened in practice yesterday.””

    Williams may only be a sophomore, but he carries himself with a veteran’s mindset. The senior Shakur and Williams have taken on the responsibility of getting their teammates involved, on and off the court.

    “”Me and ‘Staf want to make sure that we do go out and do things together as an entire team, get lunch, come to my house and play some video games and have fun,”” Williams said. “”There’s no tension.””

    Said Shakur: “”Last year it felt like there was so much tension on and off the court. I’m just happy that all that is out the door, and we’re starting new. Hopefully we can keep that throughout the year.””

    The injury front

    Talk about unlucky.

    The day before Daniel Dillon was supposed to get on an airplane and travel to his native Australia for the summer where he was going to try out for the Australian national team and get a little bit of surfing in, the junior guard fractured his left foot playing in a pickup game.

    “”It kind of sucks,”” Dillon said.

    For the first time since he came back to Tucson, Dillon did something other than ride a stationary bike. He played 10 minutes in the team’s scrimmage and said he “”felt fine.””

    “”I’ll step it up a little bit tomorrow and see how it goes,”” said Dillon, who hopes to practice for 30 minutes today and said he would play in Canada.

    Senior forward Ivan Radenovic sprained his left ankle but has been trying to practice full time.

    “”Maybe I shouldn’t, but I love spending time with these guys,”” said Radenovic, who made the Serbia and Montenegro national team but backed out because he was told he would not play much.

    Radenovic will travel with the Wildcats to Canada but said, “”I don’t know how much I’m going to play.””

    Playing like the Suns

    UA head coach Lute Olson, who was unavailable to the media yesterday, may be taking a page out of Phoenix Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni’s playbook with a “”slightly different”” offense, according to Shakur.

    With additional shooters in freshmen Chase Budinger and Nic Wise, McClellan and an improved Williams, the Wildcats are going to run a more spread-out style, Shakur said.

    “”That’s definitely something we’re trying to do because of the athletes and the quickness we have,”” he said. “”Why wouldn’t you want to run more? You definitely have to adjust to your players too because otherwise it would deprive us of being the best team we can be.””

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