First the news everyone wants to know, Lute Olson. There is still no word when he will return to coach the Wildcats, but Kevin O’Neill said on Monday that he expects it to be “soon”.
O’Neill said that he and Olson spoke over the weekend, but did not talk basketball.
The Cats will go with the same starting line-up as the final exhibition. Jamelle Horne gets the start at PF, with Jerryd Bayless at PG, Jawann McClellan at SG, Chase Budinger at SF and Jordan Hill at C.
O’Neill has had a few private and team meetings with the players about individual roles on the team. Hopefully the players will buy into their designated roles. A few of the recent teams had guys not accepting the roles expected of them and that led to chemistry issues.
The staff has no plans at this time to redshirt anyone. O’Neill stated that he goes into the game against NAU expecting to have everyone available, but if a few of the newcomers haven’t taken the floor in a few weeks, those plans could change.
The only player who will not be available is Fendi Onobun. He is still sidelined with his shin injury and there is no timetable for his return.
The Cats will get Zane Johnson back. The freshman wing missed the last game with a head injury but returned to practice on Monday.
Although the Cats have six newcomers, that is nothing compared to NAU. The Lumberjacks have 10 new players on the roster. They have a combination of freshmen, junior college transfers and D-I transfers bolstering their ranks.
The pregame show is streamed live at 4:00 p.m. Tucson time on 1290 am. It can be heard at http://www.kcubam.com/