Mustafa Shakur Q&A and Bio

The Cats will only go as far as sophomore point guard Mustafa Shakur can take them. The good news is that from all reports he has made vast improvements since the end of his freshman year.

What are your feelings entering the season?

"I think we're going to do a great job, it's going to be a lot better this year for us in terms of everything. I think defense is going to be a lot stronger this year. Just having the experience of two seniors, and me being a sophomore, Hassan being a junior and Isaiah Fox is back, it's going to be a fun season I think.?

What did you do over the summer to work on your game?

"I worked on my jump shot, I went to the Nike All-America Camp, Jordan Camp, played with the USA team. I just worked on my game."

Could you comment on the team as a whole?

"As a whole we're working hard right now, just try to be productive every day in practice."

"Other players have mentioned that there's a lot of chemistry on this team. Would you agree"

"Yeah. Definitely. Our team loves playing together. Everybody loves each other off the court. It's just a lot better than last year, and it really helps with our focus in practice right now."

How have you helped the incoming freshmen?

"Just try to give them pointers here and there every time they make a mistake. Every time they do something good, compliment them and let them know maybe what they could do better the next time. Just try to be there for them anytime they need me.?

How do the incoming freshmen look?

"They look great. They're very mature for freshmen, all of them. We're going to really be able to use them this year, let's hope that they keep working hard.?

Do the high expectations put stress on the team or do they motivate you all?

"It's a motivator. If you come to Arizona you should know what to expect. If you commit here and you sign here, this is what you expect, to win. That's why we're here.

Which players do you think will have a breakout season this year?

"It's hard to say. I know Salim (Stoudamire) and Channing (Frye) will have great seasons, Hassan (Adams) as well, but I don't know as far as who will just break out, but I know that all three of those guys right there are definitely going to have great seasons."

What are the goals for the season?

"To win and to win it all, I mean whatever we're playing is to win."

What would you say are the strengths of this team?

"I think we can do everything right now. We just have to keep improving and become consistent at what we can do."


Bio: Another in a long line of outstanding freshman point guards. He started all but two games as a true freshman and was the recipient of a lot of praise from Lute Olson. His teammates dubbed him the "Golden Child" because of it. Shakur is a master ball-handler and has a great knack for seeing the floor. He was the nation's top point guard recruit coming out of high school in 2003 and started from day one. He had an up and down season, but hit the game-winner against USC to open the Pac-10 Tournament. He represented Team USA at an under-21 qualifying tournament over the summer.

Type of player: Shakur is a long, lanky point guard in the mold of Jason Terry. He is a pass-first, shoot-second player with great floor awareness. Shakur has an awkward outside shot, but it is potent. He shot right around 50 percent from behind the arc in Pac-10 play. He has all the makings of a great defender, but that is one area in which improvement is necessary.

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