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Budinger to leave early for the NBA

Citizen Staff Writer



It was all but a forgone conclusion Chase Budinger was headed to the NBA.

He made it official on Tuesday.

“I feel I’m ready,” the 6-foot-7 junior forward said. “It was an easy decision for me.”

Budinger, who declared early for the NBA last season but returned at the 11th hour without hiring an agent, had prepared a statement for later this week but it came out Tuesday.

Junior forward Jordan Hill said he plans to announce his draft intentions as early as Thursday. Hill told the Citizen last month he’d at least test the waters for the NBA. Hill is projected to be a top 10 pick in many NBA mock drafts.

Budinger is projected to be a first-round pick, but his projections vary.

“I hope I didn’t scare Chase (away),” new Arizona coach Sean Miller said, joking. “I had heard he was going to (declare). If you have an opportunity to be an NBA first-round pick . . . it’s an incredible opportunity that could change you’re life.

“I look at both those guys and I’m sure everyone around here is very proud of them,” Miller said about Budinger and Hill.

Miller said he planned on talking to the entire team later Tuesday, but he was already making his pitch to keep UA point guard Nic Wise from going to the NBA.

Miller would be Wise’s fourth coach in four years at UA – and eighth in eight years, if you count high school.

“Nic is going to play for a point-guard coach,” said Miller, a tough, hard-nosed player at Pittsburgh in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “I’m the guy you want to play for if you play that position because that’s who I am and that’s the position I played.

“When I think the game, I really see it through the point guard. You’ll see that with our style and system.”

Miller said Wise is a “terrific player, and hopefully he wants to finish his senior year at Arizona and go out start a new legacy, bridging the gap between the old and the new.

“I respect him a lot. I know he’s been through a lot.”

Wise told the Citizen last month he’d “most likely” test the NBA waters but not hire an agent.

‘Nic is going to play for a point-guard coach.’


on trying to convince junior Nic Wise to stay at UA instead of declaring early for the NBA Draft

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