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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Williams back in Cats’ blowout

    Arizonas Mustafa Shakur goes up for an off balance shot over Victorias Tyler Haas during the first half of Arizonas second exhibition game against Victoria yesterday in McKale Center.
    Arizona’s Mustafa Shakur goes up for an off balance shot over Victoria’s Tyler Haas during the first half of Arizona’s second exhibition game against Victoria yesterday in McKale Center.

    Finally playing with its entire roster available, the No. 10 Arizona men’s basketball team showed what its potent offense can do.

    With forward Marcus Williams returning to game action from a sprained ankle, Arizona jumped on the University of Victoria from the outset with a 26-5 run over the first 5:46 and cruised to a 111-56 victory over the Vikes in their final exhibition game of the year last night in McKale Center.

    “”It feels good,”” Williams said of his ankle, which caused him to miss a week and a half of practices before returning Monday. “”I don’t even think about it during the games, with momentum just going and battling. I’m going to go home and take care of it like I’m supposed to. It’s fine.””

    Williams scored eight points during the run and 18 of his game-high 25 points in 19 first-half minutes, as the Wildcats hit their first six shots and scored on their first 10 possessions of the contest, including a pair of 3-pointers from guard Jawann McClellan and forward Chase Budinger.

    Meanwhile, center Kirk Walters played his first game of the season after suffering from the aftereffects of a concussion most of the past month. Walters played just eight minutes and said his legs were gone pretty quickly. UA head coach Lute Olson said he had trouble going up and down the court after a few possessions.

    Still, Walters managed three blocks against a Vikes squad that had no player over 6-foot-8.

    “”It kind of reminded me of high school,”” Walters said. “”I dealt with a lot of shorter, strong guys in high school.

    “”(Overall) it felt good. As soon as I get my legs back, I should be good to go.””

    The Wildcats started their “”small”” lineup of Williams, Budinger, McClellan, guard Mustafa Shakur and forward Ivan Radenovic, and all of them played throughout the run.

    “”I’m pretty sure that’s what everybody wanted to see,”” McClellan said. “”It was great having Marcus out there. We have a lot of scorers. (Shakur) did a great job of finding the open man. We have a lot of players that can get in spurts, and that’s what we showed out there tonight.””

    Said UA head coach Lute Olson, “”We’re trying to put the five best players out there.””

    The Wildcats were not shy behind the arc, jacking up 27 shots and hitting 16 of them (59.3 percent).

    Arizona’s three so-called newcomers, freshmen Nic Wise and Budinger, along with McClellan, who missed all but two games last season, led the way from distance. Wise went 5-of-10 for 19 points, Budinger was 4-of-5 (20 points) and McClellan hit all three of his 3s for 13 total points.

    “”It hasn’t been realistic in terms of the looks that we’ve gotten, but I felt we moved the ball well and got some good looks,”” Olson said.

    Arizona went on another big run later in the half, outscoring the Vikes 18-2 over 4:15 after the eight-minute mark to take a 34-point lead and cruising to the easy 55-point win against a squad ASU beat by just five points Tuesday night.

    “”It’s not your typical Arizona team,”” McClellan said. “”Usually we start off slow, and we pick it up in the second half, but we don’t want to do that. We want to jump on teams early and do what we did tonight.””

    And 1

    ewer than 400 students attended the game in the Zona Zoo student section, less than 15 percent of its nearly 2,600-person capacity. Most of the red lower-level seats were empty. …At one point in the second half, the Wildcats experimented with a “”big”” lineup of all players at least 6-foot-6, with J.P. Prince, Fendi Onobun, Bret Brielmaier, Jordan Hill and Mohamed Tangara on the floor together.

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