Iguodala Highlights Tuesday's Pickup Games

Arizona's ultra popular student manager, Jack "Murph" Murphy, played in Tuesday night's pickup game session and spoke with Cattracks about his impressions. Surprisingly, he didn't immediately talk about the two Wildcats that are expected to finish 1-2 in this year's NCAA Player of the Year voting. Not Luke Walton and not Jason Gardner but instead it was incoming freshman Andre Iguodala who stole the show.

Those players that weren't yet in town for Tuesday night's games included incoming freshmen Chris Rodgers (he was on a plane to Tucson as the games took place), Chris Dunn (was scheduled to arrive around the same time as Rodgers) and Hassan Adams (will be on campus early Wednesday morning). Everyone else on the roster played. So did Luke Walton's younger brother, Chris, a sophomore-to-be at San Diego State this fall, and Murph.

Murph was thoroughly impressed with Iguodala, the 6-6 small forward from Springfield, Illinois.

"Andre Iguodala is a cannon!" Murph said of the reigning Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois and second-team Parade All-American. "He gets down the court like he was shot out of a cannon. He doesn't get a fast break every time but he's always a threat, if you know what I mean.

"His outside game is still a little raw but he is fine out there, too. He handles the ball well and he distributes the ball well. He does everything, defense."

Murph, who once beat Arizona recruiting target Ekene Ibekwe in several games of one-on-one at 4 a.m. in McKale during Ibekwe's official visit to Tucson this April, was also impressed by some returning Wildcats.

"Dennis Latimore was ‘The Man' for the other team," Murph said of his roommate from Halstead, Kansas and rising sophomore at Arizona. "He took it right at Luke (Walton) when he got the ball inside.

"Channing (Frye) is pretty much unstoppable when he gets the ball down on the low blocks. He was going up against Chris Walton, Luke and a couple other guys but he can do whatever he wants for the most part.

"Then there was Jason (Gardner). He just did his thing. I'd say those four were the most impressive tonight."

For now, it looks like Arizona couldn't be happier with the arrival of Iguodala and the safe return of all of its eight lettermen from a year ago. With Rodgers, Adams and Dunn joining the fray tomorrow night, the pickup games will only get more interesting. The games are open to the public, so if you live in Tucson, find a way to be at McKale at six o'clock tomorrow night.

Expected battles include:

*Adams and Rodgers vs. Salim Stoudamire and Will Bynum.
*Iguodala and Chris Dunn vs. Luke Walton and Rick Anderson.
*Latimore and Isaiah Fox vs. Anderson and Frye.
*I'd say Jason Gardner vs. someone for the point guard job but he's not going to be threatened for much of anything quite yet. Neither will Walton, but Iguodala has the potential to play serious minutes this year. Same goes with Adams.

Be at McKale for these pickup games. If you can't make it, I will provide complete coverage of everything that takes place, including full stats and highlights.

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Contact Ben Hansen at AZPointGuardU@yahoo.com

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