Thoughts, number and opinions

The Cats face North Carolina on Saturday, but the ASU game is still fresh on my mind. With a lot of happenings in and after the win over the Sun Devils it is time to take a few more looks back, as well as a few glimpses forward.

*You can't say enough about the outing Jordan Hill had on Wednesday. He got his first start and was instantly effective. In the first three minutes of the game the freshman had four points and four rebounds. Two of his boards were on the offensive end and led to both of Hill's early buckets.

All told Hill set several career marks including points (12), rebounds (9) and minutes (32). Maybe all he needed was a little confidence from cracking the starting line-up.

*You also can't discount the job Hill did on the defensive end. Although the Cats used a zone most of the game Hill did a fantastic job denying ASU's big men the ball, especially Jeff Pendergraff. Pendergraff scored just five points and grabbed six rebounds in 33 minutes. The five points was a season low for the sophomore.

*Bad news for Mohamed Tangara. The sophomore power forward saw some early action in the ASU game but was taken to the hospital at half time after being hit by an elbow from teammate Jordan Hill.

Tangara actually stayed in the game and played a few more minutes but complained of dizziness and blurred vision when the came of the floor and was taken to UMC for an MRI.

The results were not good. He has suffered a frontal sinus fracture and will need to undergo surgery. His return is not known at this time.

*The Cats did get some good news on the injury front. Wildcat coach Lute Olson said that Bret Brielmaier should be suited and available for the North Carolina game. Brielmaier underwent knee surgery after he injured himself during pregame warm-ups before the Washington game.

*Although Brielmaier has not put up monster numbers this season, he may just be the Wildcats' luck charm. In games where Brielmaier was available the Wildcats were 12-1. Since he was injured the Cats are just 3-4.

*Arizona will also get Marcus Williams back from a one-game suspension. Although the team has only said that the sophomore violated team policies, some sources close to the situation said that Williams' transgression was minor in the grand scheme of things, but that he did break a team rule.

*Are Jawann McClellan's struggles from behind the arc over? Well, on Wednesday night he missed his first three-point attempt, his 16th in a row, but went on the hit his next three, and four of the next six. There is no guarantee that he will continue to shoot well, but he certainly looked relieved after making the first few outside shots.

*Interesting stat of the week: The Tarheels have more players on their roster from California (three) than the Wildcats (two). In fact the Tarheels have the only two scholarship players from the Los Angeles area in the game. Quentin Thomas (Oakland), Alex Stepheson (Los Angeles) and Deon Thompson (Torrance) are all players the Wildcats looked at in recruiting, but Stepeheson was the only one the Cats' seriously pursued and even their interest in him seemed to wane a bit late in the process. In fact, the player on the roster the Wildcats probably made the biggest effort to land was Tyler Hansbrough, the big man from Missouri.

*Although everyone assumed that Budinger and McClellan were fatigued, and that assumption seemed correct, let's not discount how much wear and tear Ivan Radenovic has suffered. The past few weeks teams have gotten very physical with the Wildcat big man. Players like Maarty Leunen and Lorenzo Mata have really put a body on Radenovic and it may have taken a small toll. The senior has not seen his numbers dip too much, but struggled against Oregon and ASU a little bit.

*Mustafa Shakur currently has 144 assists. He is averaging 7.6 a game and the Wildcats have no fewer than 12 games remaining. If he was to continue that average AND the Wildcats lost in the first round of the NCAA and Pac-10 Tournaments, he'd finish with 235. Russell Brown owns the school record with 247. Assuming the Shakur continues to dish out the assists at a high level, he has a legitimate chance at catching Brown sometime during the NCAA Tournament.

*All of the available scholarship players for the Wildcats saw time in the first half. That being said, the bench was getting crowded with Williams, Brielmaier and Kirk Walters all in street clothes.

*Did anyone else think that Serge Angounou looked like a 55-year old man out there? With various wraps and braces, as well as some slumped over posture, he looked like the old guy at the rec center who needs to don a knee brace and various ace bandages to keep up with the younger pups. I feel bad for Angounou. He's just not the player he was before the knee injuries.

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