Olson not fully back

Editor-In-Chief
Posted Nov 27, 2007


A day after Lute Olson made an appearance at a UA basketball practice, Tucson was wondering just what was the status of the Hall of Fame coach. Nothing would be answered until the afternoon press conference. So just who showed up and who is on the bench for Wednesday night’s game?

It was Kevin O’Neill behind the microphone and he announced that while Olson would be with the team in many practices and film sessions, he was not quite ready to re-take the reigns of Arizona basketball.

“He’s not going to coach the games for a little bit,” O’Neill said.

The interim coach stressed that there was no timetable for Lute’s full return. He did say that while he was running practice Monday night that Olson was very vocal and took advantage for several “teachable moments.”

“He still hasn’t missed any tricks,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill also told the media that Olson has followed the team very closely and was well aware of what had been going on and knew the stats very well. That is key, because Olson is a firm believer in analyzing stats and trends.

Several players commented on the situation, not knowing fully what Olson’s exact status was, only knowing that he was going to be with the team more. Jerryd Bayless revealed that he had spoken to the Wildcat head man a few times during the leave of absence, but that the conversations were just a matter of Bayless checking in on his coach.

According to O’Neill, Olson will not be on the bench at McKale Wednesday night, but would not speculate further about when he could possibly fully resume his coaching duties.

“There is absolutely no timetable for his full return,” O’Neill said.

There is no update on the status of Fendi Onobun. The junior forward had hoped to be back for the Texas A&M game, but as of now has been able to do little more than shoot around with his injured shin.



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