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Thursday, May 15, 2008

From AZ Sports Hub - The Lute Olson Debacle: Six Questions with our Wildcats Insider

The Lute Olson Debacle: Six Questions with our Wildcats Insider
05/14/08 5:19 PM

The Lute Olson situation debacle has gone from confusing to perplexing, and from harmless to shameful. Here at AZSH, we could only sit back, scratch our heads and say “What the heck is going on here?”

To clear up all of the various situations, I figured there is no better person to reach out to than our Wilcats Insider, Josh Gershon, Senior Editor and Columnist for And what he has to say does shed some insight on everything happening down in Tucson.

1. What do you make of Josh Pastner leaving for Memphis?
I think it’s a big blow for Arizona’s basketball program. A good percentage of the UA fan base doesn’t understand Pastner’s importance to the program, not only in recruiting but in day to day operations. John Calipari and the several other coaches that sought Pastner out realized what he could do for their programs though and in the end Pastner is in a good spot. Arizona is going to have to find an established, well-connected recruiter to replace him.

2. What is the general feeling down in Tucson about the way that Lute has handled everything so far this offseason?
I think a good percentage of the UA fan base will always be supportive of Lute Olson no matter what he does. He does have doubters of course but there are always going to be a large amount of fans that support every move he makes.

3. What has been the effect, or will be the effect on recruiting for the coming seasons, following this turbulent season/offseason?
There has been some stalls in recruiting, but we’ll see if the new staff can make up ground. It was tough for the previous assistants to recruit but maybe the new assistants will find it easier. I guess it remains to be seen.

4. Did Miles Simon really play a role in Lute Olson’s divorce?
Absolutely not. It’s a vicious rumor with no truth.

5. How serious is Nic Wise about transferring?
He’s very serious about it. Unless Lute Olson convinces him otherwise, right now it definitely looks like he’s leaning towards leaving.

6. With all that has happened, how do you think the team will fare next season?
Ask me again when Chase Budinger and Nic Wise make their final decisions. If they both return, UA could be very good. If they both leave, Arizona could struggle next season. Budinger and Wise coming back to school is very important.

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