By Roman Veytsman
KEVIN B. KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA junior forward Hassan Adams reaches for the basket during the Wildcats' 110-78 exhibition victory over Team Georgia yesterday in McKale Center.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, November 8, 2004
Cats dominate first exhibition mathup
The Arizona basketball had a day of highs and lows in a 110-78 victory over Team Georgia yesterday in McKale Center.
The highs included the performance of senior center Channing Frye, who had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and the overall play of the team in jumping out to a 58-38 halftime lead.
The lows had less to do with basketball than the absence of Isaiah Fox in the game because of off-court issues.
"It's a team thing, and he hasn't fulfilled his requirements as a teammate," head coach Lute Olson said.
Adding to Fox's absence was the different starting lineup. Hassan Adams and Salim Stoudamire did not start because of a lack of rebounding during the week, Olson said.
"Hopefully, it will motivate some guys to get on the glass a little harder," Olson said of the lineup change.
The Wildcats did not shoot particularly well from the perimeter, but the amount of layups and dunks they made more than made up for the poor outside shooting.
In the first half, Arizona made 20 baskets on 17 assists, as Mustafa Shakur created eight of those opportunities.
"We're a different team when he's in the game," Olson said.
Shakur had 11 assists on the day against only one turnover, and led a 10-0 run in the first five minutes while dishing out four straight assists.
"The guards were doing a great job of getting out on the wing, rebounding and getting me the outlet," Shakur said. "I was just trying to get everybody involved."
Many of Shakur's assists went to Frye, who was the leading scorer for Arizona for the second consecutive exhibition game.
"I definitely liked what I saw today," Frye said. "We showed some defensive intensity and enthusiasm, and (I liked) the way we stuck together as a team."
"I thought Channing was a big factor on the glass for us and defensively did a good job of challenging shots," Olson said.
After leading 26-19 with 8:03 left to play in the first half, Arizona went on another 10-0 spurt to take a 17-point lead. The Wildcats shot 46 percent from the field overall, 52.6 percent in the first half.
The Wildcats appeared more sluggish in the second half, as Team Georgia made a few runs to close the gap.
"We have to keep the pressure up more than just 20 minutes," Frye said.
Team Georgia was led by former Georgia Tech center Eddie Elisma, who scored 21 points and pulled down 11 boards. Former University of Florida player Brian Thompson also added 21 points as the team showed their experience by battling back.
"It was challenging because all those guys could dribble and shoot threes and that created matchup problems," Frye said. "It was awkward, especially for the big guys. I only played post defense once or twice."
To experiment before the start of the regular season, Olson decided to try out different lineups, starting Jesus Verdejo and Jawann McClellan, neither of whom produced much on the offensive end of the floor. Verdejo was 1-of-8 from the field and McClellan was 2-of-7, although he had a spectacular block on the defensive end.
"That team was very physical," McClellan said. "I'm just disappointed in myself because I didn't get as many rebounds as I like, but overall we played good as a team."
Team Georgia cut the lead to 70-53 in the second half, but Arizona closed the game by outscoring its opponent 40-25.
"We played good defense," McClellan said. "We can get baskets anytime we want to, but it's basically going to have to start on the defensive end so we can get easy points."
Overall, Olson said he was happy with the play of the team and the experience that Arizona gained.
"With Team Georgia, it's obvious that there was a lot of experience there, and I think that will pay off for us," Olson said.
"We did a lot of good things out there," added Salim Stoudamire, who poured in 21 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. "The biggest thing is that we played together and we had fun, unlike last year."