Leaner and meaner

There will be a lot of eyes on Nic Wise this season. The Wildcat point guard enters his second season in the program and it could be a make or break season for the youngster.

Nic Wise had a lot of pressure on him before he ever stepped foot on campus. After all, he was the youngest player ever to commit to the Arizona basketball program. However, between the time he chose Arizona over Texas and the time he actually enrolled at Arizona, he had gone from a top-15 player in his class to a fringe top-100 player.

Wise just never grew and got to campus as an undersized point guard who was build more like one of Mike Stoops' players in stead of a Lute Olson player.

He alleviated some of the concerns with some great pick-up and scrimmage performances, but was really never a factor.

Now that senior Mustafa Shakur has moved on, Wise gets a shot at becoming the starting point guard, but he'll have to beat out freshmen Jerryd Bayless and Laval Lucas-Perry.

The competition between the three has begun already over the summer.

"It has been a battle everyday," Wise said. "We all go at it everyday in. All it does is make all three of us better."

Anyone who has seen Wise at the pick-up games or out at the Summer Pro League will notice a physique change. He looks even leaner this summer.

"I lost 17 pounds in the off-season," Wise said. "I feel a lot better than I did last year."

In addition to getting in better shape, Wise has been working hard to put himself in place to succeed Shakur. While he certainly has to improve his actually game, it is another skill the coaches are stressing.

"Right now the coaches keep telling me they want me to be more vocal," Wise explained. "Be more of a leader. Talking, instead of leading by example, which is what I am used to doing. That is all I am doing, trying to get better at being a vocal leader."

One thing Wise was known for in high school was being an unselfish player. Although he could always get his shot off, he often times passed the open look to get his teammates involved. Wise hopes that an unselfish attitude can spread team-wide this season.

"I think we will be better than last year, without the selfishness we had last year," Wise noted. "I think this year we will have a lot more team cohesiveness and that will produce more wins than last year."

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