April 7, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz.-- University of Arizona men's basketball player Chase Budinger has decided to make himself eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft. Budinger will not return to the program in 2009-10.
Budinger, a 6-foot-7, 218-pound junior forward from Encinitas, Calif., averaged 18.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in 35 appearances. He shot 48.0 percent (219-of-456) from the field and 39.9 percent (67-of-168) from three-point range. Budinger ranked among the Pac-10 leaders in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals (1.4 spg), free throw percentage (.801), three-point field goals made (1.9 per game), assist:turnover ratio (1.4:1) and minutes played (37.6). Budinger finished in double figures 31 times this year, including 16 20-point games.
A first-team all-Pac-10 selection, Budinger earned all-District IX honors from the USBWA and second-team all-District 20 kudos from the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He averaged 19.0 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent (23-of-41) from the field during Arizona¡¦s three-game NCAA Tournament run.
He posted season bests in nearly every statistical category as a junior, including field goals (219), free throws (125), free throw attempts (156), rebounds (217), assists (118), steals (50), points scored (630) and scoring average. His 1,317 minutes played in 2008-09 are the most in school history for a single season, while his scoring tally equaled the 11th-best figure in UA annals.
¡§I am so thankful for the fans and alumni at Arizona that have been so supportive of me throughout my time in Tucson,¡¨ said Budinger. ¡§I¡¦d like to express my appreciation to my coaches and teammates for their support in one of the most important decisions I¡¦ve ever made.¡¨
In three seasons at Arizona, Budinger averaged 17.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game in 100 career appearances (all starts). He connected on 46.9 percent of his field goal attempts (599-of-1,276) in that span, including 38.3 percent (190-of-496) from three-point range.
Budinger finished his career with 1,697 career points, a figure that ranks 11th on the UA career scoring list. No Wildcat to play three seasons or less has ever tallied more points than Budinger. Additionally, he ranks among the Arizona career leaders in the following statistical categories: scoring average (17.0 ppg/9th), field goal attempts (1,276/9th), three-point field goals (190/6th), three-point field goal attempts (496/5th), and minutes played per game (35.4/2nd).
He was a two-time Associated Press honorable mention All-American (2008 and 2009), a two-time all-Pac-10 honoree (third team 2008/first team 2009), and the 2007 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
Due to the fact that Budinger went through the NBA Draft evaluation process last season, he is not eligible to return to school. He has indicated that he has signed with an agent.
He is one of 12 Wildcats to declare early for the NBA Draft since 1984: Brian Williams (1991), Mike Bibby (1998), Gilbert Arenas (2001), Jason Gardner (2001), Richard Jefferson (2001), Michael Wright (2001), Andre Iguodala (2004), Chris Rodgers (2005), Mustafa Shakur (2006), Marcus Williams (2007) and Jerryd Bayless (2008). Of that list, only Gardner, Rodgers and Shakur returned to school and completed their eligibility.
The 2009 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 24, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Richard Paige Associate Media Relations Director University of Arizona McKale Center, Room 106 P.O. Box 210096 Tucson, AZ 85721-0096 Phone: (520) 621-4163 Fax: (520) 621-2681 www.arizonaathletics.com