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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Becoming Wise-r

    Nic Wise
    Nic Wise

    Although one UA guard is back in, a former UA guard is headed to a different location than originally thought. Freshman Nic Wise will be back for No. 11 Arizona’s game tomorrow at USC after sorting out his academic situation. But J.P. Prince, who reportedly was on his way to Vanderbilt, is enrolled at Tennessee and will be eligible to practice, according to published reports.

    Wise, Arizona’s leading scorer off the bench at 2.8 points per game, turned in a paper to complete a class that was preventing him from being academically eligible, according to sources close to the team.

    Wise said he still couldn’t discuss the details of the situation, but said, “”It was my fault, and I’m ready to come back and help the team out.””

    “”It was basically a miscommunication between me and my teacher over travel,”” Wise said.

    The difference academically between high school and college was “”kind of”” different than what he expected, said Wise, who committed to Arizona when he was a freshman at Kingwood High School.

    “”It was just traveling that messed me up,”” he said.

    Wise, who’s mother is an assistant principal, received advice from guard Jawann McClellan, who was academically ineligible for all of the first semester last season.

    The lesson for Wise: “”Just always stay on top of everything and make sure I don’t let my teammates down,”” Wise said.

    The 5-foot-9 guard cracked the rotation, playing in 12 of 14 games, but minutes were hard to come by. Wise is stuck behind guard Mustafa Shakur, who is averaging a team-leading 35.3 minutes per game.

    “”It’s very important to have (Wise back),”” McClellan said. “”He’s a great player, and he’s a great passer and he pushes ‘Staf in practice every day…It’s hard to find minutes for someone when your starting point guard is probably the best point guard in the country right now.””

    Wise battled with Prince for backup point guard minutes in preseason practice and won the job, due in part to Prince battling illness. Prince decided to transfer prior to Arizona’s game versus then-No. 18 Memphis and has two and half years of eligibility left. He will file a petition with the NCAA to regain another half year, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

    “”I think Tennessee is getting a terrific young man, and he’s a terrific basketball player,”” UA assistant coach Josh Pastner said. “”There’s no doubt in my mind he’s going to have great success there. He’s going to do very well there, and (Tennessee head) coach (Bruce) Pearl is a great coach…J.P will thrive under coach Pearl.””

    Prince’s father John, who played collegiately at Southern Mississippi, declined to comment on his son’s transfer.

    On the road

    Pac-10 teams have taken to the road this season with success, going 14-13, including 5-4 this past weekend. Arizona is 4-2 on the road, including 1-1 in the conference.

    “”The whole league there isn’t anybody that doesn’t have the ability to knock off anybody else regardless of where the game is played,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

    The Pac-10 ranks first in Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and is getting national recognition. The conference may be in its best year ever, with up to eight different teams having legitimate NCAA Tournament aspirations.

    “”In my 11 years at Cal it’s as good as I’ve seen it,”” Cal head coach Ben Braun said in a conference call.

    Snubbed?

    Forward Marcus Williams did not earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors despite his 34-point, 12-rebound performance in a loss to then-No. 15 Oregon. Williams averaged 30.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in two games this week. Instead, Stanford guard Anthony Goods, who averaged 24.5 points and 3.5 assists in two wins, took home the honor.

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