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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hoops’ break breakdown

    Arizonas Mustafa Shakur drives to the basket over Illinois guard Trent Meacham during the second half of the Wildcats 84-72 win over the Illini Saturday
    Arizona’s Mustafa Shakur drives to the basket over Illinois guard Trent Meacham during the second half of the Wildcats’ 84-72 win over the Illini Saturday

    In a hurry to get out of town after finals? Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll be missing in McKale Center in addition to the rest of Arizona’s games over finals and winter break.

    Saturday at San Diego State, 7:30 p.m., TBA

    The story: Freshman forward Chase Budinger returns to San Diego for the San Diego Slam in what could be the most anticipated college basketball game in San Diego State history.

    The matchup: Budinger (19.8 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game) vs. Louisville transfer forward Lorrenzo Wade (11.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg)

    Random note: Budinger won co-MVP honors of the McDonald’s All-American Game in front of a home crowd at San Diego State’s Cox Arena.

    Dec. 17 vs. Houston, 8 p.m., FSNA

    The story: No game represented Arizona’s shambles last season like the 69-65 debacle at the hands of Houston last season. The Cougars come to Tucson this time around in a game that is likely more special for Houston natives Jawann McClellan, Nic Wise, Fendi Onobun and assistant coach Josh Pastner.

    The matchup: Guard McClellan (14.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg) vs. guard Oliver Lafayette (19.2 ppg, 5,5 rpg)

    Random note: Arizona is 3-5 alltime against the Cougars.

    Dec. 20 vs. No. 16 Memphis, 6:30 p.m., FSN

    The story: Another marquee matchup prior to the Pacific 10 Conference season, a speedy Memphis squad that averages 86 points per game will make for a fast-paced, frenetic game that will be fun to watch.

    The matchup: Forward Marcus Williams (17 ppg, 6.3 rpg) vs. guard Chris Douglas-Roberts (14.8, 4.7 rpg)

    Random note: Arizona last faced Memphis in 1965, a year in which the teams met twice.

    Dec. 28 vs. California, 6:30 p.m., FSNA

    The story: Arizona opens the season against a California team without departed All-Pac-10 forward Leon Powe (Boston Celtics), but with leading scorer Ryan Anderson, a freshman forward, in tow. The Wildcats have won their last seven Pac-10 openers and have beaten Cal in 14 of the last 16 meetings.

    The matchup: Forward Ivan Radenovic (18.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg) vs. Anderson (18.3, 7.9 rpg)

    Random note: Arizona hasn’t lost to Cal in Tucson since 1994.

    Dec. 30 vs. Stanford, noon, FSN

    The story: The Cardinal have the Lopez twins, Robin and Brook, two freshmen McDonald’s All-American centers who can change the game offensively and defensively. Stanford will likely be the only team in the Pac-10 who is capable of going big against Arizona. Considering the loss of senior guards Chris Hernandez and Dan Grunfeld and forward Matt Haryasz from last year’s team, it’s the only chance they have.

    The matchup: Radenovic vs. the Lopez twins (Robin 9.9. ppg, 7.0 rpg; Brook 9.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg)

    Random note: Stanford lost to Air Force 79-45. It hasn’t lost by more since 1976.

    Jan. 4 at No. 13 Washington, 8:30 p.m., FSN

    The story: The Huskies have become Arizona’s arch nemesis over the past few years, with Washington taking six of the last eight meetings, including three straight in 2004. Even after losing Pac-10 Player of the Year Brandon Roy, Lorenzo Romar’s team is still ranked ahead of Arizona in the polls.

    The matchup: Point guard Mustafa Shakur (12.2 ppg, 8.3 assists per game) vs. point guard Justin Dentmon (13.3 ppg, 4.0 apg)

    Random note: Ten Huskies average double-digit minutes.

    Jan. 6 at Washington State 2 p.m. FSNA

    The story: Tony Bennett is now the coach, and no, he doesn’t also sing the national anthem. This Tony Bennett is basketball all the way, the son of retired former head coach Dick Bennett, and the chip off the old block has the Cougars playing the same slow-down style as his pop.

    The matchup: Shakur vs. point guard Derrick Low (15.5 ppg, 1.5 apg)

    Random Note: Last win for the Cougars in Pullman was in 1986.

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