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Men's Hoops Analysis: Frye, fellow big men live up to the height

CLAIRE C. LAURENCE/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA senior center Channing Frye powers between two Stanford guards during No. 13 Arizona's 90-72 win on Saturday at McKale Center. Frye finished the game with 15 points and a game high of 13 rebounds.
By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, February 7, 2005
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Move over Hassan Adams. It's Channing Frye's turn to make the SportsCenter Top 10 List.

Six minutes into the second half of the Wildcats' 90-72 nationally-televised drubbing of Stanford Saturday, Frye threw down a two-handed, rim-rattling, Adams-like dunk - the type of slam rarely seen from the 6-foot-11 senior center.

"I just got it and was like, 'You know what? I'm tired of missing lay-ups,'" Frye said. "To be honest, I didn't even know where I was. I just saw the rim kind of in the corner of my eye. I was like, 'Whoever's there, I'm sorry.'"

The former Arizona high school Player of the Year seems to be fine with making the highlight reel only every once in a while, as long as the rest of his game stays strong.

"I get more excited from blocking shots and playing good defense," Frye said.

The Wildcats' "big three" of Frye and sophomores Ivan Radenovic and Kirk Walters led a defensive effort that held the Cardinal to 42 percent shooting, their lowest percentage against Arizona in nearly two years.

Stanford shot 35 percent on March 1, 2003, in a 72-69 Arizona win in Palo Alto, Calif.

Frye swatted four of the team's season-high eight blocks Saturday, while Walters and Radenovic - each standing 6 -foot -10 - added one apiece. This was a big turn around from the teams' last meeting, a 76-87 Stanford win in Palo Alto on Jan. 8, where Stanford had seven blocks, tied for the most against the Wildcats this season.

Saturday, the Cardinal didn't have one.

The Wildcats broke even with Stanford in rebounding, with 33 boards, but grabbed 24 defensive rebounds to Stanford's 17 offensive boards. Frye pulled down 13 rebounds alone, with Radenovic grabbing eight and Walters two.

"When we've got big men that are being effective on both ends and being aggressive, that's big," said junior forward Hassan Adams, who had two blocks, three steals and three rebounds.

If tips were a statistical category of their own, then the work of Frye, Walters and Radenovic on the defensive end would look all the more impressive.

Many of Stanford's 38 missed shots could be attributed to one of the three big men getting a piece of the ball, no matter how slight, to alter a shot.

On the offensive end, while the play of Walters and Radenovic - who combined for 15 points - may have been modest, Frye's presence in Arizona's sweep of the Bay Area schools gave the Wildcats the near-perfect complement to senior guard Salim Stoudamire's outside shot.

"We just wanted to be aggressive and establish ourselves," said Frye, who scored 35 points over the two games. "We felt like last time at Stanford we didn't establish ourselves early, and we had to get into the game kind of late and kind of force stuff up."

Frye's second-half slam was anything but forced, and neither was the smile on his face while giving his final thoughts after the game.

"It did look kind of nice," he said.

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