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November 9, 2006

Wildcats look great in exhibition blowout

The Wildcats posted their second straight over-50-point margin of victory Wednesday night, beating the University of Victoria (Canada) 111-56. Unlike this past Saturday's opponent, Team Georgia, the University of Victoria was Pac-10 tested coming into Wednesday's game, barely losing to ASU 58-53 on Tuesday.

Marcus Williams led the Wildcats in scoring with 25 points in addition to posting six assists and four rebounds.

Arizona came out running in the first-half, opening up a 26-5 lead during and 18-0 scoring run about six minutes into the contest. In fact, the Cats played almost flawlessly for the better part of the first-half.

The defense was tenacious and rotations and double-teams happened quickly. The offense was extremely efficient and everyone was making good passes to find the open shooter, and with the caliber of Arizona's shooters, the open man will drain the shot, even from behind the arc.

The Wildcats shot 64% from three-point range in the first-half and 59% for the game.
Arizona entered the locker room at the half leading 61-29.

Coach Lute Olson took out starters Williams, Mustafa Shakur, Ivan Radenovic, Chase Budinger and Jawann McClellan early in the second half and proceeded to experiment with a few different lineup combinations, including a three point guard set with Shakur, Nic Wise and Daniel Dillon on the court together.

Olson also experimented with a big lineup including J.P. Prince, Fendi Onobun, Bret Brielmaier, Mohamed Tangara and Jordan Hill.

Every Wildcat got playing time in the game.

Arizona's final tune-up was Williams' first game back since sustaining an ankle injury early last week in practice and looked to be without pain and back to his silky-smooth ways.

Kirk Walters also played in his first action since his concussion in practice early last month and while he only logged eight minutes, he still made his presence known with three blocks and two points, albeit against an relatively undersized Victoria team.

Walters definitely has some work to do to get back into game shape but will be depended upon from here on out to provide defensive inside presence.

McClellan showed great leadership and registered 13 points on 4-5 field goals including 3-3 three pointers. He is a tremendous asset to this team and he is showing how much he was missed last season.

All three freshmen saw decent minutes against Victoria and all of them played well.
Budinger was the second leading scorer of the game with 20 points, followed closely by Wise with 19.

Budinger had another great game and showed not lonely his scoring prowess but his great court vision. He passed on some long range shots to make a pass to the open man under the basket.

Wise played 20 minutes in the game and shot 50% on both three-pointers and from the field, hoisting up 10 of 12 total shots from behind the arc.

Getting good minutes in the post, Hill played a solid game with eight points, three rebounds and three blocks. Beyond his stats, Hill played with fire and uses his athleticism and wingspan to try and make a play every time he is near the ball.

Dillon had nine points and five assists in relief of Shakur, who posted four points, seven assists and five rebounds.

The rest of the Wildcats saw limited action, including Ivan Radenovic, who started the game but was limited to 14 minutes.

Arizona faces off against the University of Virginia in their first regular season game Sunday at 5:00 pm MST.

Tim Schultz


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