Williams returns to the desert for an encore season after flirting with the NBA after last year's successful freshman campaign. Although this year's version of the Wildcats has more scoring options that last year, Williams should undoubtedly be the points leader. He maneuvers his 6'7" body well to get into the lane for his deadly midrange shot, and also hit at a 43.5% clip from 3-point range last year. He has said that he spent his summer working on his ability to get to, and finish at the rim.
If Williams becomes more capable at taking his man to the basket, then it could be reasonable to put him in the realm of "unguardable." In preseason practices Williams has emerged alongside senior Mustafa Shakur as a vocal leader on the team. He will be the leader on the floor as well. Last season, Williams was the highest scoring player in seven total games, four of which came in the last six games. In the NCAA tournament Williams averaged 17 points and 7.5 rebounds, after averaging 13 and 5.6 boards during the regular season.
One statistical category that I look for Williams to improve significantly is his assist number. Last season, Williams only averaged roughly two assists per contest. With teams who are going to now direct the focus of their defense at him, Williams will have to prove that his court vision is as NBA-level as the rest of his game.
After a frustrating sophomore year for McClellan, Jawann rejoins the team as a huge "wild card" of sorts. It has been so long since anyone has really seen McClellan play that there certainly are a lot of questions as to what to expect from him this season. The former McDonald's All-American was academically ineligible for half of last season, then immediately underwent season ending wrist surgery a week after becoming eligible. He then had another operation on his knee in April. Now that McClellan is eligible and mended, the hope is that he can contribute as an inside/outside player on next year's squad. McClellan posses a good 3 point stroke, and is strong in the lane.
He is one of the better rebounders on the team despite being undersized. It will be interesting to see whether Lute Olson starts McClellan or Chase Budinger (assuming his sticks with a traditional line-up with a center), but my guess is that Jawann will be the team's sixth man for awhile this year. The "most talented" line-up that Coach Olson could field would put McClellan and Budinger on the floor at the same time with Radenovich at the center position. I would look for McClellan to get earn roughly 20-25 minutes per game next season, however, if he can prove the ability to defend bigger players and rebound effectively, then maybe Olson will be coaxed into running with a nontraditional line-up.
There have been few Wildcats to enter the program with the expectations that Budinger is facing. It has been no secret that this team wants to win a national championship this season, and Budinger has been penciled in as a major contributor to that goal. Chase, "the-all everything" (all-region, all-state, all-American, national player of the year candidate, 'Mickey D'er, McDonald's dunk contest runner up, McDonald's Game MVP) freshman will be hard to keep on the bench.
Although he is only a freshman, Budinger posses an amazing array of offensive abilities. He averaged 34 points a game as a senior in high school (and broke Bill Walton's all-time San Diego high school scoring record). His scoring capabilities, however, may not even be the most impressive part of the package. Budinger can shoot, rebound, score with his midrange game, and pass. In fact, his passing skills bring a level of versatility to the Wildcat attack that they have not had since Luke Walton. Look for Budinger to be used as a point-forward in some sets next season. He should be a serious contender for Pac-10 freshman of the year, and is probably a lock for the Pac-10 All-Freshman team. The question is not whether Budinger will be good, the question is more about whether he'll even stay for longer than one season.
Dillon came into the program as a combo guard but now appears to be solely an off guard. Although he is a good passer it is his defense and ability to hit the boards that will get him on the floor.
Now in his third season, Dillon has his best chance to become a rotation player. He was arguably the MVP of the Canada trip and if he can continue to make good decisions and stick open jumpers he should see consistent minutes.
Prince came to Arizona as a point guard, but his short-term future may be as a wing. At 6-6, with an Andre Iguodala-like wingspan, he certainly has the size and length that Lute Olson craves.
Some would argue that Prince has as much raw talent as anyone on the team. He is very athletic, has the skills to be a great defender and is improving his scoring arsenal. His outside shot is more consistent and his midrange game is coming along. What he has to do is find a place. Although skilled, he needs to play better in the Arizona scheme. He can be a terrific passer, but has to also make the safe passes and the good decisions. To me Prince is a player that will see more and more minutes if he is patient. His playing time in November may not be his playing time when February rolls around.