A.T.T.A.C.K. Athletics Workout May 26, 2009 Interview:
While we were able to see most of the other players twice, Budinger was only working out the first day. The first thing you notice about him is his sizeóhe really does have great height to play on the wing, at either the 2 or the 3. His frame also appears to be capable of adding weight, and from what weíre hearing heís also measuring out extremely well on all the various agility tests heís taken in the workouts heís been at.
In the drills, Budinger was outstanding, showing picture-perfect shooting mechanics and knocking down his jumpers at an impressive rate. He was slightly less impressive in the three on three portion of the workout, though, having a difficult time matching up with the extremely strong and athletic Paul Harris, who was clearly a man on a mission in these two days. Defensively, Budinger will need to improve on his fundamentals, as he often appears too upright in his stance.
Budinger is an interesting prospect in this draft, as he brings a nice combination of upside and current productivity to the table. You know what youíre getting from him in terms of his ability to shoot the ball, operate in a team setting, and generally know how to play the game. Itís possible that a good coach in the NBA will be able to extract even more from at the next level, though, especially if he can get him to play with more toughness and aggressiveness than heís currently known for. [Read Full Article] Situational Statistics: This Year's Small Forward Crop April 24, 2009 Chase Budinger projects as role-player almost anywhere, but would be a real asset if he was as consistent as he is versatile.
Outside of his great frame and leaping ability, Budingerís biggest strength is just how many different things he does well. His assist numbers rank him fourth on our list, his 1.25 PPP (points per possession) as a finisher ranks him third, and heís amongst the top-5 in Pos/G from catch and shoot jumpers (5.2), pull up jumpers (2.1), transition opportunities (3.1), basket cuts (1.9), and shots off of screens (2). While heís getting his touches from all over the place, he doesnít rank in top-5 in PPP in any of those situations. His %TO (12.6%) and %SF (possessions he drew fouls, 12%) are both average as well, since neither figure skews his PPP statistical, it appears that Budinger is a jack of all trades, but a master of none, except possibly his spot-up 3-point shooting. He situational stats indicate that he struggles creating his own shot, pulling up off the dribble, and making perimeter jumpers with a hand in his face.
Though Budinger doesnít stand out in any particular area, there are definitely some things to work with. Considering he wonít be relied upon to score in the NBA anywhere near as heavily as he was at Arizona, his efficiency should improve. His athleticism will come in very handy in terms of finishing around the basket and running the floor in transition, and his court vision and basketball IQ will help him become a solid facilitator in half-court offenses. This all combined means he does not necessarily have to become a one-dimensional player in the NBA. The team that drafts him can likely expect him to adjust to the NBA fairly quickly considering his experience and fundamentals. Much like DeRozan, Budinger fits in a number of systems, but while DeRozan needs overall polish to reach his potential, Budinger needs specialization to become a high-quality role-player. That doesnít include anything regarding his defense, though, which we will explore further at a later stage. [Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers, 2/11/09 February 11, 2009 Those expecting massive improvements from Chase Budinger in his junior season might be a little disappointed. Those expecting him to develop into a more efficient and better all-around player, though, have been pleasantly surprised.
Budinger scoring numbers have remained pretty consistent over the past few seasons. This season heís become an even better shooter, though, knocking down 41% of his 3-pointers, while improving his free throw percentage nearly 10%. Other than his assist to turnover ratio, up to a very solid 1.5/1, as well as a slightly better rebounding rate, he hasnít changed a great deal from last season.
Budinger hasnít quite developed into the star that some people unrealistically expected him to become thanks to his lofty recruiting rankings. He was after all ranked as the 7th best player (according to the RSCI) in a terrific high school class, which already produced 16 first round picks in its first two seasons of draft eligibility. Itís pretty safe to say that heís not going to become a real go-to type scoring juggernaut, since thatís just not the type of player he is. The type of NBA player he does project as doesnít look all that bad, though.
What makes Budinger a unique NBA prospect starts with the excellent size (6-7) he brings to the wing position. Fairly skilled offensively, Budinger can get his shot off in a variety of ways, and indeed gets most of his offense playing off the ball. An excellent spot-up shooter, Budinger does a good job running the floor in transition, moving off the ball, utilizing screens and finding ways to cut to the basket (where he can finish lobs with authority), and has even shown some willingness to post-up smaller matchups inside. His excellent leaping ability makes him a very dangerous finisher in the paint, even if he isnít very good at creating shots for himself, and sometimes lacks a bit of toughness finishing through contact.
Not particularly explosive with his first step, and a fairly average ball-handler, especially trying to change directions with the ball, Budinger is the type of player who needs to be around other talented shot-creators if heís to be effective. The fact that he has a very nice feel for the game, being an unselfish player with nice passing skills, should help in that regard. Only 36% of his field goal attempts come from beyond the arc, showing that he has a little more offensive versatility than you might initially expect. He needs to improve his ability to make shots off the dribble, as currently he is far more effective with his feet set.
Even if his size and frame give him a decent framework to build off, Budinger still projects as a below average defender at the next level. His poor lateral quickness, combined with his high center of gravity and tendency to easily get out of his stance makes it fairly easy for college players to blow by him on the perimeter. Itís not hard to envision him being Isoíd against at will in the NBA, which might make him a tough fit for some coaches. Heís going to have to make drastic improvements over the next few years if he wants to avoid being labeled as a liability.
Although his ceiling isnít incredibly high, you know what you are getting for the most part by drafting Chase Budinger. Itís pretty easy to see him fitting into a rotation on an NBA team, thanks to his ability to make shots, play smart and not make mistakes on or off the court. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-10 (Part One: #1-5) September 24, 2008 Weíve already written extensively about Chase Budinger, but as one of the PAC-10ís better, if not its best, NBA prospect, all eyes will be on the Arizona junior next year. Last season, Budingerís role increased to the tune of 23% of his teamís possessions, and he responded by increasing his scoring average to 17.1 ppg, albeit on less efficient shooting from the field. The difference, however, between freshman and sophomore Budinger, however, was fairly pronounced, especially by the end of the season: Budinger showed the potential to develop into the first option that he was expected to be since the first day he stepped onto campus. This year, likely his last in Tucson, he must prove to scouts that he can amount to more than merely a role-player in the NBA. Becoming an elite college scorer on a depth-depleted team isnít a bad place to start.
Physically, Budinger has a lot of athletic tools to work with, namely his explosiveness and 40-plus inch vertical jump. While he does not move incredibly well laterally, must gain more strength and possesses an average first step, it is hard to ignore a 6í7 guard with a solid basketball IQ who is a highlight reel waiting to happen in the open court. At the collegiate level, he is a tremendous mismatch on the perimeter, and should be able to translate that into dominance next season.
On the offensive end last year, Budinger became more assertive as the season went on, showing an improved offensive repertoire. His shooting stroke, particularly from the perimeter, looked much better. He showed the same quick release and good elevation, but his form looked more fluid, and he showed the ability to knock down shots off of the dribble as well as while spotting up. Moving inwards, he does a good job of scoring in a majority of ways, mostly due to his ability to use the backboard and his solid body control. One area in which Budinger should look to improve next season is his ball-handling ability. He is competent now, but he could increase his offensive versatility, particularly his mid-range game and quickness with the ball in hands if he were to improve this part of his game. Also, at times last season, he was overambitious with the ball, costing his team bad turnovers. He will likely be a second offensive facilitator from the wing next season, and it is essential that he play within his strengths and not try to force the issue.
Defensively, Budinger is still quite lacking. Despite his athleticism, size, and length, his lateral quickness is poor, which does not allow him to be a very effective perimeter defender at this stage. Likewise, his defensive awareness is not great either, failing to close out his man on the perimeter, not running above screens, and not looking focused for stretches of games. Considering his basketball IQ and athleticism, Budinger should be able to develop into a decent defender in the future, but it is up to him to show scouts that he will not be a liability at the next level.
Budinger is almost a lock to declare for the NBA Draft after next season and should be in good shape as far as the first round is concerned. Right now, he is being viewed as a role-player at the next level, but scouting Budinger only reveals how much more potential he still has left to realize. Should he continue to expand his game and emerge as one of the top scorers in the NCAA, donít be surprised to see him projected higher come March. Much of that for him is mental, and weíll plenty about that this upcoming season. [Read Full Article] Bad News for Those Who Didnít Do Their Homework Early... March 26, 2008 Budinger did a good job in this NCAA tournament game of not only being extremely productive, but also displaying better potential in various parts of the scouting report that were thought to be weaknesses. He was extremely aggressive for one looking for his shot and trying to make things happen, moving off the ball extremely well and showing absolutely no hesitation spotting up with his terrific stroke when an opportunity presented itselfówhich hasnít always been the case this year to say the least. He also showed a little more versatility on the offensive end, handling the ball and finishing in transition, and beating his defender off the bounce with an aggressive slashing move on at least five separation occasions from what we counted, either getting fouled or scoring off the glass in the process. He scored 23 points on 8-13 shooting, adding 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and got to the free throw line seven timesóa very nice all-around offensive performance to leave a good taste in scoutís mouths if he indeed decides to enter the draft.
The other end of the ball was a completely different story, though. Budinger struggled badly on virtually every defensive possession he was directly involved with, struggling to fight through screens, giving up too much space on the perimeter, not being very physical or aggressive, getting beat off the dribble due to his poor lateral quickness, and at times not even getting a hand up trying to contest shots. In the 10 defensive possessions we counted that he was directly responsible for, he got scored on nine times (giving up five 3-pointers, and one 3-point play), for a total of 24 points. The one ďstopĒ he got (more due to his matchup missing an open look than any great defense) resulted in an offensive rebound and put-back for West Virginia. This part of his game is a big concern NBA scouts have with Budinger, and itís something he must put more effort into at the next level.
Budinger came into this season sporting somewhat unrealistic expectations about the type of player he truly is, partially stemming from fact that Lute Olsen called him the ďbest freshman I ever coached.Ē Some were disappointed that he failed to assert himself as a go-to guy for Arizona, as thatís just not the player he is. Even though he couldnít quite live up to the hype, he is still an excellent prospect, and will likely develop into an outstanding role player in the NBA. With Olsen now returning to Arizona after a year off, Budinger has a tough decision in front of him regarding whether to leave for the NBA. [Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers, 1/9/08-- Part One January 9, 2008 Chase Budinger has picked up right where he left off last season, making some slight advancements in his game and having no trouble adjusting to his slightly larger role on the Wildcats. The versatile and athletic wingman has made small improvements in his points, assists, and three-point shooting percentage, and shows no sign of slowing down as conference play begins. Budingerís scoring actually was above his season average in Arizonaís three games against ranked opponents thus far (#2 Memphis, #4 Kansas, #9 Texas A&M).
Budingerís style of play hasnít changed much in his sophomore season, but heís getting things done slightly better in a few areas, most notably from behind the three-point arc. With his near-textbook form, boasting a high, quick, and consistent release on his shot, Budinger is shooting a very solid 40% from behind the arc, up from 37% last season. Heís been equally effective spotting up and coming off screens, doing some damage in that vein from the 15-18 foot range as well. He still isnít nearly as dangerous when pulling up off the dribble, but heís making more of an effort to incorporate that into his game, getting off quite a few shots in that manner from the 15-18 foot range, though having inconsistent success with it.
In terms of taking the ball to the basket, Budinger still isnít a great threat in isolations, but his improving ball-handling and ability with both hands bodes well for his future success. His handle is fairly tight, even though itís not especially low to the ground and he doesnít use many advanced moves. Because of such, he struggles splitting double teams and dribbling in a crowd, but looks very comfortable in space, either coming off screens with the ball, finding open space on the floor, or handling in transition. Budingerís dribble-drive game should benefit from the extra spacing on the floor in the NBA half-court game, due to the deeper three-point line, along with the tougher scrutiny on perimeter defense by referees, similar to the way Rudy Gayís dribble-drive game has improved in the NBA.
Budinger has continued to show his excellent motor and basketball IQ on the offensive end of the court, constantly moving without the ball, making good use of screens, and getting out in transition. He finishes well in transition, and also has shown some nice passing proficiency there, with his assist totals up on the season. Budinger would be best off if he was drafted by a team with an up-tempo style, as his ability to play in space would best be utilized on a team that tries to catch defenses off guard.
On the defensive end, Budinger has continued to play well this season, though itís worth noting that his motor is not as consistent on this end of the court, yet itís still very solid. His perimeter defense is heavily reliant on his lateral quickness, as heís not very physical, with his game being almost entirely based on beating his man to the spot. His lateral quickness is good, but he is a bit stiff in the hips and he doesnít have the lowest center of gravity, so heís likely best suited to defend small forwards at the next level, provided his body can handle some extra bulk, which it should be able to. Budinger is also prone to overplaying at times on defense, either over-rotating while leaving his man open off the ball, or overplaying in man-to-man defense, leaving him prone to quick crossovers. To his credit, he recovers well when he gets beat, sometimes being able to move laterally and still get in front of his man on the second effort.
Thereís a very good chance Budinger will enter the draft this season, and if he does, he should be firmly in lottery discussions. With his work ethic, athleticism, and foundation of skills, he should be a fairly low risk prospect, likely amounting to a solid starter at worst. His continued improvement and learning curve will determine how high his ceiling is, though he doesnít seem to have the mentality to ever be a #1 option scorer. Adding some strength, extending his shooting to NBA three-point range, and continuing to improve his ball-handling should be his main priorities at this stage. [Read Full Article] Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Pac-10 (Part One: #1-#5) September 18, 2007 Playing on a talented Arizona team, Budinger had a good freshman season, managing to stand out as a lottery prospect despite the lack of team chemistry and tournament success for the Wildcats. Rather than opting for the draft, the shooting guard decided to try and boost his stock and improve his all-around game with a second year in Tucson.
As he proved last year, Budinger has all the physical tools to stand out in the NBA as a shooting guard. In addition to great leaping ability and blazing speed up and down the floor, he also possesses good size for the position, standing somewhere around 6í7Ē. Though the sophomore has elite athletic ability, he must continue to spend time in the weight room in order to become physically stronger.
Offensively, Budinger plays his best basketball in transition, where his athletic abilities allow him to do a number of things. He made a number of highlight finishes while filling the lanes last season, using excellent body control to adjust around defenders, and being a regular recipient of alley-oop passes from Mustafa Shakur. On the break, he can finish successfully with either hand, while adjusting his body around the defense in traffic.
Budinger has ability beyond just being an athlete, however, primarily with a shooting stroke that shows great promise. Featuring excellent elevation on his jumper, he has a very consistent release point, an area where many leapers struggle when it comes to shooting. At this point in his career, Budinger is more accurate on the catch and shoot. His ability to make a jumper off the dribble was inconsistent throughout last season, and will be an area that scouts will watch closely to project how versatile of an offensive threat he might develop into in the NBA.
In the half court, Budinger scores the majority of his points on either spot-up jumpers or quick drives to take advantage of off-balance defenses. Despite his athletic ability, Budinger isnít the type of player to score a lot of points on isolation looks in the half-court, largely due to his underdeveloped ball-handling skills. The sophomore guard rarely loses his handle, but lacks the ability to utilize any type of advanced dribble to get his man off-balance and create an easy lane to the basket in one on one situations. Budinger looks a bit mechanical at times in this area, lacking the craftiness and body control in traffic that makes him such an effective finisher in transition. This led him to pass off or settle for a raw looking mid-range jumper rather than take the ball strong to the basket and utilize his athleticismówhich is what makes him such an intriguing prospect to begin with. For an elite athlete like Budinger, three free throw attempts per game is much too low, especially considering he shot 84% from the charity stripe last season.
For a freshman, Budinger played very efficient basketball last season, and his basketball IQ was especially evident in his off the ball movement. While playing on the weak side, he often found open spots on the floor for open looks from behind the arc. Budinger was also perpetually in movement, and oftentimes caught the defense sleeping by slipping into the lane on a backdoor cut for an easy lay-up. He also looked highly unselfish in the way he operated in the half-court setósometimes to a faultóbut nevertheless impressing with his ability to find the open man and play within the team concept.
Defensively, the sophomore guard shows good promise as well. Budinger has the lateral quickness to stay with his man on the perimeter, and positions his body well enough to cut off most defenders when they attempt to take him off the dribble. The ability to react quickly and elevate also helps him contest shots, even if he sometimes loses ideal position on the defensive end. Help defense will need to be an area of focus for Budinger, who too often got caught ball-watching on rotations. He rebounded the ball well for a swingman last season, especially considering that he was usually the first player filling the lanes next to the point guard on the fast break. The success in this area can be attributed to Budingerís willingness to locate the nearest opposing player after a shot attempt, and use his body to keep them away from the ball.
Added intensity would also do a great deal to help Budinger on the court. As a freshman, he played with a business-like approach on the court, showing very little in terms of emotion or leadership. With more of an aggressive approach to the game, it will help Arizona advance further as a team in addition to boosting the draft stock of Budinger. Scouts will surely want to see more of a go-to scoring mentality from him if heís to be projected as the elite prospect his upside says he could be.
The Wildcats lost scorers Marcus Williams and Ivan Radenovic from last yearís team, and it will be interesting to see if Budinger steps up and becomes the leading player for Arizona, or if that role will be taken by talented freshman guard Jerryd Bayless. [Read Full Article] NCAA Tournament: Stock Watch (round of 64, Friday games)--Down/Neutral March 16, 2007 Chase finished his impressive freshman year by playing an average game by his standards. He was very assertive in the first half, not really making any mistakes, but also not looking to take a huge offensive burden on his shoulders. In the 2nd period, with Arizona trailing, he became more aggressive looking to score, but had poor results as he turned the ball over a few times and forced some tough shots.
The best part of his game today was his passing, which was remarkable even though he was credited with just one assist. Budinger showed great court vision creating numerous good looks for his teammates, which they did not convert for the most part. He mostly settled for outside jumpers today, which were not falling at his usual clip, but his form and touch are very good as evidenced by his season averages of 48.6% from the field and 37.1% from behind the arc. Budinger gets in trouble when he tries to get too fancy with his dribble, and he doesnít have much of a mid-range game at this point.
He played passable defense in this game, usually guarding players that were a few inches shorter than him, but was still able to prevent dribble penetrations most of the time. Chase crashed the glass with his impressive leaping ability and finished with 6 rebounds, but his team could certainly have used even more of his help in this department today, particularly on the defensive end.
Budinger remains one of top wing prospects in the country thanks to his outstanding physical attributes, reliable outside shot and good understanding off the game. It would be interesting to see Chase in more of a go-to role at Arizona next year, when he will be called to do more things on his own. He says heís returning to school for another season, and although we love his potential, it certainly will help him long-term to continue to add experience and polish to his all-around game. [Read Full Article] NCAA Weekly Performers -- 1/10/2007, Part Two January 11, 2007 Chase Budinger had a very strong showing against Washington earlier this week, showing off his versatile game while helping Arizona defeat its Pac-10 foe in a very exciting match-up. Budinger did a little bit of everything in the contest, but was looking his best stroking the outside shot, hitting three 3-pointers on the night. Budinger has excellent shooting form and a lightning-quick release, which makes him very deadly spotting up from behind the arc.
Budinger doesnít possess much of a dribble-drive game at this stage of his development, but in Arizonaís quick passing offense, he gets some opportunities to take his man off the dribble when his defender doesnít have his feet set, and he took advantage of those in this game. Budinger looked very solid in this regard, making about three or four drives in this manner, using both his left and right hand and finishing by means of lay-ups, pull-ups, and floaters, looking comfortable with each. All of his drives consisted of one or two dribbles without much change of direction, but Budinger seems to understand his limitations and knows how to play within himself and the teamís offense. When he doesnít have the ball, heís always in constant motion, working to get in position for an open shot opportunity.
Budinger also looked very impressive in transition, showing off his court awareness by dishing out a lot of nice passes for shot opportunities, only some of which were converted by his teammates. He makes great split-second decisions, always keeps his head up with the ball, and dishes out strong, crisp passes through seams in the defense.
Defensively, Budinger was very disruptive in this game, using his instincts and good hands to play aggressive defense against the opposition, making four steals in the game and forcing some other turnovers as well. He possesses good lateral quickness and doesnít let up his intensity, pestering his man and forcing him into making mistakes with the ball.
Budinger is a very fundamentally sound and versatile player on both ends of the court, and he has a strong work ethic and a high basketball IQ to boot. Further, he is extremely athletic and has good overall physical tools, which makes him an excellent NBA prospect. The only thing Budinger really lacks is true go-to ability, which stems from his sub-par dribble-drive game, though thatís something he can work on with time. Budinger would have a good chance of being a lottery pick if he declared this year, though thereís a good chance he could return for another season at Arizona as well. How he develops his game over the rest of the season, how far Arizona goes in March, and how Budinger performs down the stretch are some factors that could weigh in his decision. [Read Full Article] What If? 2006 High School Class Boasts Several One and Done Candidates June 21, 2006 A former volleyball player that has seen his stock skyrocket over his last year in the prep ranks, the curly redhead Budinger may not look the part of emerging NBA standout. Nonetheless, few players anywhere can boast Budingerís combination of athleticism and outside shooting ability. He is a truly elite leaper, ferocious in the open court and winner of the McDonaldís All-American dunk contest, but his emergence as a shooter has put him in this elite class. Budinger recently dominated the international competition in Douai (he won tournament MVP), and is going to be an instant star for Lute Olson. ďHe is an over the top athlete with NBA 3-point range. The Arizona system was custom built for him.Ē Budinger still needs to work on his in-between game and add strength, but the fact that he has improved so much in recent months bodes well for his future development. The Wildcats already have several other potential NBA players vying for time at the wing this fall, but it may not matter. Chase Budingerís star is on the rise, and it may land him in the first round as early as 2007. [Read Full Article] 2006 McDonald's All-American Game, individual player breakdown March 30, 2006 Budinger was one of the most impressive players throughout the game. He displayed his awesome jumping ability in more than just the dunk contest, using it to finish in the paint on a few occasions. His perimeter stroke looks good, though if he used his explosiveness to elevate more it would make his shot unblockable. Budinger passed the ball surprisingly well, and has a pretty good understanding of the game. He will need to improve his handle, as well as his ability to create for himself off the dribble. In addition, Budinger is rail thin and really needs to add weight to his frail frame. He is also a weak defender, and will need to improve his lateral quickness in the future. Chase Budinger has all the tools to become a good NBA prospect, but will need to put in some good work at Arizona under Lute Olson to reach his full potential. [Read Full Article]