Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Look for UA’s Wise to garner Pac-10 nod

Citizen Staff Writer



It’s not hard to figure out who is going to be the next Pac-10 player of the week.

There’s about, oh, a 100 percent chance it will be Arizona junior point guard Nic Wise.

“Phenomenal,” UA interim coach Russ Pennell said of Wise’s play.

He was speaking specifically of the past two games – rousing home victories over USC and 11th-ranked UCLA – that has re-energized a basketball town behind the Wildcats. But Pennell could have been talking about this entire, blessed three-week stretch.

Wise scored 26 points in Saturday’s 84-72 victory over UCLA, following a 27-point effort against the Trojans, dribbling and weaving though defenders as if he was auditioning for the Globetrotters.

The 5-foot-10 guard kept attacking and attacking the Bruins. Six of Wise’s nine baskets came on drives, including a reverse layup after he tiptoed along the baseline. The word his teammates used after the game to describe him: Fearless.

“I can’t believe some of the shots he made,” said Arizona junior Chase Budinger. “He’s just been a clutch player for us.”

Wise made 17 of 24 shots in the past two games, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range.

“The thing with Nic is he’s a real quiet, kind of an unassuming guy,” Pennell said.

“He’s a great teammate, but he doesn’t say a whole lot. Sometime he sees (UCLA’s Darren) Collison and some of these great point guards he plays against, and I think he quietly gets revved up for that.

“You will never hear him talk about it, but it’s something within him that burns. It seems that every time he plays a real good point guard, he steps his game up. This week, he was absolutely tremendous.”

During the seven-game winning streak, Wise has scored at least 23 points four times, including a career-high 29 against Washington. He is averaging 20.3 points during the run, despite scoring only a modest six points against Washington State.

“The biggest thing with me is confidence,” Wise said. “If you don’t think you can do it, you’re not going to do it If you don’t think you’re drive against Collison, you’re not going to do it.”

He’s doing it. It’s just like the placards held by the student section at McKale Center on Saturday afternoon. They featured one word: Believe.

With the way Wise is running the show, who wouldn’t do that right now?

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service