Radenovic happy to be a Wildcat

Ivan Radenovic suited up as a Wildcat for the first time on Monday night. He was not able to participate, but got his first taste of being an Arizona player by sitting on the bench. The big man also got his media indoctrination after the game.

The Serbian power forward seemed a bit surprised when he was converged upon by the local media, but was very gracious and seemed pleased to give an interview. He has a thick accent but speaks English well and had little trouble understanding the barrage of questions thrown at him.

He has been to a pair of Wildcat basketball games before, but had to sit in the stands. Tonight he was in uniform and saw all of the pageantry of American collegiate basketball. He seemed to enjoy himself in warm-ups and especially liked the introductions and the pregame hype the guys do as they jump in a circle.

"I liked it," Radenovic confessed. "It is something new to me. In Europe it is not usual."

Radenovic has only been with the team since Saturday, but so far the experience has been positive. The team has welcomed him with open arms.

"The guys are great," Radenovic said. "Everything is so great for me. It is a new experience. Everything is so new. Everyone is so nice to me, so I don't have a problem with that. They help me a lot, so that is a great thing."

He knows he will see the floor next time out when the Cats take on Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl Classic. Olson has already told him he will see playing time and he is going to be counted on.

He has played some of the top competition in Europe, but taking the floor with this edition of the Wildcats was a bit of an eye opener for the 6-10 power forward.

"This brand of basketball is faster," Radenovic said. "Everything is faster. The guys are so athletic. That's the main thing."

Lute Olson was not surprised to hear that.

"I don't think they have athletes like these guys over there, at least not many," Olson said.

Olson had high praise for the newcomer. He put him in with some rare company.

"He has a great feel for the game, a lot like (Luke) Walton," Olson said. "He shoots the ball like Ricky (Anderson). He has really good feet. That's usually the biggest adjustment for European players."

Olson makes no secret about the fact the team will use Radenovic right away. There will be little time for the big man to get his feet wet. Olson hopes to get better rebounding numbers out of the team by not only using Radenovic's size, but the added depth he provides.

"Ivan will make a tremendous difference," Olson said. "We're very comfortable with him. The guys really like him."

Although he seems to be adjusting well, there are still challenges ahead.

"He's not used to guarding someone as sexy as me," Channing Frye joked, barely containing his laughter.

He may or may not be used to the offbeat humor of his teammates, but he has gotten used to one thing in Tucson: the weather.

"Back home it is very cold," Radenovic said. "Right now it is snowing, so I'm glad to be here."

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