Wildcat Gifts

Although Christmas is over, there is still a week left in the Holiday season. Because of that (and because I took Christmas Eve and Christmas morning off), I present to you my list of gifts that I would like to give various Wildcat players, coaches and administrators one day late.

Mustafa Shakur Respect, or at least a little love. The poor guy is still hated by a number of fans. His crime? Not being the next Mike Bibby. While Shakur has not lived up to the hype that comes with being the nation's top rated point guard recruit, he hasn't been bad either. Considering he has never been in any trouble and that he is having a great senior season, you'd think the fans would start to come around. Not so far. After a recent eight assist performance, a few callers to the Wildcat postgame show actually said he was "lucky" on most of the assists.

Willie Tuitama Better health. As good as he has been he has been hurt in no fewer than seven of his 13 career starts. The head injury has been the most prominent injury but he has also hurt his ribs, calf and thumb over the past two seasons.

J.P. Prince A Fresh Start. Prince just never fit in at Arizona and hopefully he'll do better at his next stop.

Ivan Radenovic Recognition. Few outside of Tucson realize just how well the senior big man is playing. A nice stocking stuffer might be another big man to help out. Jordan Hill may just be that gift.

Jawann McClellan A good, positive year. The past few years have been tough on the Wildcat. In 2004 he lost his father, had a close friend get into serious legal trouble, become academically ineligible and had to deal with Hurricane Rita hitting his hometown of Houston. 2005 was a tough one as well. When he finally got off academic suspension McClellan injured his wrist and missed the rest of the season. He also had knee surgery and was unable to travel to Canada with the rest of the team.

Jordan Hill A quick learning curve. Hill has done a very nice job, but if he can pick up a little more of the offense and react just a touch better on defense the Cats have an extra inside presence this season. A gift certificate to a buffet would not hurt the skinny freshman either.

Kirk Walters A redshirt. Although the prospect is still quite iffy, Walters should not end his career trying to recover from mono. He never got the redshirt the staff wanted early in his career and has been able to play just four minutes so far this season.

Jim Livengood A bowl game. Sure, all Wildcat fans want a bowl game for the football team, but a winning football team would help every athletic program form the top down. The Cats had great attendance and good television exposure with a .500 team. A winning team would increase both, and in turn, generate more funds for the athletic department.

Mike Stoops Better luck. Stoops has things moving in the right direction, but he could use better luck. Not only did Oregon's "win" over Oklahoma knock brother Bob out of possible BCS Championship discussions, it knocked the Wildcats out of a bowl game. Had Oregon not been given the replay call, it would have been the Wildcats facing BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, not the Ducks. He could use a little more luck in recruiting as well. Sure, he's landed two straight top-25 classes, but in each of his three recruiting classes one of, if not the, top recruit in the class did not make it. In 2004 four-star DE McCollins Umeh passed away before the start of fall camp. In 2005 it was five-star WR recruit B.J. Vickers being ruled ineligible. This year Gabe Long could not get into Arizona (he could enroll at Utah), while Derke Robinson also had academic issues and wound up leaving the program.

Sonny Dykes Productive young receivers. The Cats have young, talented receivers. Now they need production out of them. Delashaun Dean, Terrell Reese and Terrell Turner all have talent, if Dykes has his way they will have the numbers to match.

Spencer Larsen Recognition. Larsen was arguably the Wildcats best player in 2005, but few outside of Tucson seemed to notice. Larsen was named second team All-Conference by the league but failed to make most online and print magazine All-Conference teams. At least opposing coaches noticed, because it seems that most journalists missed him.

Fendi Onobun A position. Onobun is a great athlete, hard worker and a really good kid. He just doesn't have a natural position. The definition of a "tweaner", he's too short to play the four, while not being quite quick enough for the three. He's a hard worker, with great strength and athleticism, but so far he has not been able to crack the rotation.

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