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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Rodgers rejoins Wildcats

    Chris Rodgers tries to pass around USCs Lodrick Stewart during the first half of Arizonas game against USC, Saturday Jan. 7, 2006 at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated USC 74-63. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)
    Chris Coduto
    Chris Rodgers tries to pass around USC’s Lodrick Stewart during the first half of Arizona’s game against USC, Saturday Jan. 7, 2006 at McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona defeated USC 74-63. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Arizona Daily Wildcat)

    Senior guard Chris Rodgers is back on the Arizona men’s basketball team after an eight-game absence and practiced with the squad yesterday. Rodgers was originally dismissed from the team Jan. 18.

    “”He’s fulfilled the various responsibilities that have been set up for him to get back,”” Arizona head coach Lute Olson said. Olson said he was unsure whether Rodgers will play Thursday at California, and that the decision would be made like any other concerning playing time.

    “”The same way I decide when anyone’s going to play, once I see the practices and how things go,”” Olson said.

    Olson met with each player individually regarding Rodgers’ status and said no one was opposed to the Oregon native’s return.

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    To a person, his teammates felt that it would be a good idea to have him back,”” Olson said.

    Rodgers averaged 10.8 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game in 16 games with the Wildcats.

    Since his dismissal, Olson said Rodgers has stopped by Olson’s office a number of times and has displayed a willingness to come back to the team.

    “”He just wants to do anything to help the team in whatever capacity,”” Olson said. “”He’s maintained a very positive approach all through this.””

    Olson said he wasn’t surprised by the way Rodgers has handled the process and the “”stipulations”” that Olson said would make the difference in his possible return.

    “”With some of the occurrences, the good thing I think is that Chris has recognized that yes, this has been a hard time, but I think five years from now, he’s going to look back and feel that this was part of his growing experience,”” Olson said.

    Neither Rodgers nor his teammates would comment on his return.

    From Prince to pauper

    Freshman guard J.P. Prince did not play Saturday against Oregon State after being late to a taping session. Olson would not speculate on Prince’s status for Thursday’s game, saying only “”He’s fine, there were some misunderstandings and miscommunications, but we’re fine.””

    Lute shocked about Sutton

    When Olson learned about Hall of Fame Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton’s driving under the influence citation and medical leave of absence from the media yesterday afternoon, Olson was speechless for a moment regarding his friend.

    “”I’m sorry to hear that,”” Olson said before pausing. “”I’m just shocked by it. Eddie’s been a friend for a lot of years and is a great guy.””

    Wildcats’ RPI keeps bubble from bursting

    Olson said Stanford and California were not in the same class as the Wildcats in terms of bubble teams. Based on the Rating Percentage Index, the Wildcats are currently No. 18 and have never been lower than that spot all season. California is No. 53 and Stanford is No. 77.

    “”I was a little concerned when I heard things about the bubble,”” Olson said.

    “”To me that’s a negative approach to throw us on the same bubble. It’s a very different bubble based on the RPI.””

    Adams channeling Walton

    After a career-high nine-assist effort Saturday, senior guard Hassan Adams was all smiles about his performance, despite scoring just eight points, a season low.

    “”I always try to model my game after someone like (Luke Walton),”” Adams said. “”Him, Dre (Andre Iguodala) – I love getting people involved. For me personally, I can do my thing and I feel comfortable as an individual (player), but it feels good to get your teammates involved. It was great just seeing everyone else with smiles on their faces when passes were getting converted and they were scoring easy buckets. It was fun.””

    Williams to the point

    With Arizona finally involved on the right side of a blowout, freshman forward Marcus Williams saw some time playing point guard, a position he played in high school. “”It gave us an opportunity to use Marcus Williams at the point a little bit and have (sophomore guard) Daniel (Dillon) come in at a position he feels more comfortable in at the wing/guard spot,”” said Olson. Dillon scored a career-high nine points.

    Extra day in between

    Arizona will have an extra day of rest Saturday because the game at Stanford will take place Sunday.

    “”It will probably give us an extra day to prepare for them,”” Adams said. “”That’s the biggest thing, just an extra day of preparation.””

    “”It’s definitely going to help us, it’s tough playing away from home,”” junior forward Ivan Radenovic said. “”With the rest, it’ll be easier for us to play that game.””

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