Hoop Notes: Awards, strategy and unis

It was a day of awards for the Wildcats. Not only were the All-Pac-10 teams announced, but Ivan Radenovic was named Pac-10 Player of the Week. Lute Olson spoke to the media and also gave some updates on injuries and strategy for the Pac-10 Tournament.

Freshman of the Year:
Chase Budinger was named the 2007 Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year. The wing from Encinitas, CA was one of six players named to the Pac-10 all-Freshman team after averaging 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in 29 appearances. Budinger shoots 49.0 percent (168-of-343) from the field and a leads the team with 47 three-point field goals (.370 percentage). He has 24 double-figure scoring games to his credit in 2006-07 and has registered four double-doubles.

He was joined on the team by Ryan Anderson (Cal), Taj Gibson (USC), Spencer Hawes (Washington), Brook Lopez (Stanford) and Tajuan Porter (Oregon).

Interestingly enough, Anderson, Hawes and Lopez were honorable mention selections for the All-Pac-10 team, while Budinger was not.

He is the fifth Wildcats to earn freshman-of-the-year honors, joining Sean Elliott (1986), Mike Bibby (1997), Michael Wright (1999) and Salim Stoudamire (2002).

Sophomore Marcus Williams is the only Wildcat to be named to the nine-man All-Pac-10 team. This season he averaged 16.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists through 28 games, but saw his scoring average climb to 18.8 ppg in league play. He shots 50.7 percent from the field (186-of-367). He scored in double figures 24 times in 2006-07, including a team-leading 11 games with 20 or more points. Williams was a Pac-10 all-Freshman pick last season.

In another interesting move, the Pac-10 only named nine players to the All-Conference team, due to a little know rule stating that a player must appear on at least 50% of the ballots to make the team.

Ivan Radenovic and Mustafa Shakur were both honorable mention selections.

Radenovic was named the U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for his performance in the Bay Area. He averaged 28.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 68.0 percent (17-of-25) from the field in road wins over Cal and Stanford. The senior forward also connected on both of his three-point attempts and added two blocks and two steals.

He opened the week with 19 points and eight rebounds and two blocks in the win over California. He followed that up with a career-high 37 points, nine rebounds, a career-high seven assists (with no turnovers) in 44 minutes of action in the overtime win at Stanford. Radenovic connected on all 11 free throws en route to the second-highest point total by a Pac-10 player this season and the most for a Wildcat player in two seasons.

New Uniforms
Arizona will be one of four teams wearing a new Nike uniform in the NCAA Tournament. The Cats will actually debut the new duds on Thursday. The uniform is similar to those being worn by Florida and the Gators, Cats, Ohio State and Syracuse will all were the new styles.

The biggest difference is in the material. Instead of a heavy mesh, the Cats will wear a lighter weight fabric that dissipates moisture better than the current design. Olson said that the graphics will be similar to the current uniform.

Olson also stressed that despite the players really liking the red road uniforms that they would be wearing the blue design the rest of the way.

Jawann McClellan, who missed Saturday's game with a shoulder injury, will be held out of practice Monday and Tuesday. He is expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday and should be ready to play on Thursday. His injury has been described as a shoulder strain.

Bench Play
Olson said that he would continue to use the bench in the Pac-10 Tournament much like he did against Stanford. He said that Nic Wise played "great" and was also pleased by the performance of Fendi Onobun. Olson admitted that he probably should have used the bench more over the course of the season, but that they will be needed this weekend.

Expect Jordan Hill to start against Oregon, but his time could be limited based on defensive match-ups. Hill struggled defensively against the perimeter oriented line-up of the Ducks.

Olson said that Marcus Williams will probably get the defensive assignment of guarding Aaron Brooks. Williams' size advantage worked well in the game in Eugene.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories