Cats strut their stuff in open scrimmage

Lute Olson gave the fans a treat on family weekend with a Saturday morning scrimmage that was open to the public. It may only be a week into practice, but the Cats are certainly showcasing some serious talent.

The first 20:00 had the top-eight on one side against a team made up of younger players. Fendi Onobun, Daniel Dillon and Jawann McClellan played for both teams.

Starting in the place of injured Kirk Walters was Mohamed Tangara and the redshirt sophomore played pretty well. He looked more confident and also player more aggressive.

The first thing you noticed, was just how athletic this team is. There is size and speed at every position. With both sides trying to run whenever possible, it was quite apparent that this team has speed and works best in transition.

What was very good to see was that, for the most part, the team was shooting very well from the outside. Chase Budinger, Jawann McClellan, Mustafa Shakur and Marcus Williams.

The top group won going away. Scoring in the high 60's in just 20:00 and winning the first half by over 30 points.

The second 20:00 saw the team's divvied up more evenly, with an emphasis on tough match-ups for each spot.

Here is a look at several of the individual performances:

Mustafa Shakur: The senior point guard was not spectacular, but the offense functioned better with him on the floor. He hit a few outside shots and had the pull-up jumper working. It was the type of smart, steady performance that Wildcat fans want to see from their point guard.

Marcus Williams: Williams played well on both ends. He had the outside shot working and made a few nice steals that led to easy transition buckets.

Chase Budinger: The freshman has already put on good weight since I saw him two weeks ago at the team's media day. His legs appear to be back and he was showcasing a great stroke. He was getting a lot of work with the first team and appears destined to get a lot of playing time this season.

J.P. Prince saw most of his work on the wing, but played well, especially on defense where he used his great length to disrupt a handful of passes. His stroke appeared better and he had a very nice dunk in transition.

Jawann McClellan: It was a mixed bag for McClellan. Early on he looked a little rusty, almost as if he did not have his legs. Later in the scrimmage he played very well. He nailed an NBA three and made a pair of sweet no-look passes. McClellan also boarded very well, as well as any wing did during the scrimmage.

Nic Wise: Wise did not take care of the ball as well as I am used to seeing. It's not that he made bad or lazy passes, but on a few occasions it looked as if he did not anticipate just how long and quick some of the defenders were. For the most part Wise continues to play well. He worked a lot with Prince and/or Daniel Dillon which gave the team a lot of players on the floor at one time who are very good passers.

Fendi Onobun: Onobun saw time at both the three and the four. He is very intriguing as he is truly a combo forward. He was able to put the ball on the floor and drive, but also used his strength very well against weaker players. I am anxious to see what the Wildcats decide to do as he is a very unique player in the Pac-10 and could be a huge mismatched if given the opportunity.


*At one point the Cats ran a backcourt of Marcus Williams, Chase Budinger and Jawann McClellan.

*Arizona commitment was in town for his official visit.

*Walters continues to be held out of "contact" situations as he recovers from a concussion suffered a few weeks back.

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