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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Olson’s grandson hired by Wildcats

    Matt Brase
    Matt Brase

    The Arizona basketball program filled its opening for the director of basketball operations position yesterday and added a member of the Lute Olson clan to boot.

    Olson’s grandson and former Wildcat Matt Brase will rejoin the program as an administrative assistant and video coordinator, and Jesse Mermuys, the video coordinator at New Mexico State and a former Pima Community College assistant, will take over for Jack Murphy as the director of basketball operations.

    “”I’m just excited to be back in the program,”” Brase said. “”I feel like I never left. It’s like stepping back in, but in a different role.””

    Brase said the duo would discuss how the duties will be divided when Mermuys comes to Tucson tomorrow.

    Mermuys was an assistant coach at Southern Utah last year and previously worked under Pima head coach Brian Peabody. Mermuys graduated from Arizona in 2004 and also played two years at Glendale Community College.

    “”He’s very, very good in the detail stuff and has some pretty high-tech video stuff that’s going to be a huge help to us,””UA associate head coach Jim Rosborough said. “”And he’s done the job.””

    Rosborough said Mermuys handled many of the operations duties at Southern Utah and has been involved with the Arizona program in a number of capacities. Mermuys has spent more than 10 years working with Arizona basketball camps and administered the Luke Walton/Richard Jefferson Camp.

    “”(Mermuys and Brase) are familiar with the camps, and that to some people may seem like a small thing, but it’s not a small thing,”” Rosborough said.

    Brase played for Arizona for two seasons, 2003-04 and 04-05, and averaged 0.6 points per game in seven games his senior year. He said Olson called him and said “”welcome back.””

    “”He said he was excited to have me in the position and told me to work hard at it,”” Brase said.

    Said Rosborough: “”His plusses are he’s been in the program, and that’s a real plus. He’s organized, he’s had some business world experience, he knows former players.””

    Rosborough said the front office work has changed with the addition of the Arizona Elite Camp and the reliance on video technology, adding that Mermuys’ computer skills and energy made him such a viable candidate.

    “”We felt we had two extremely good people that would really complement each other,”” Rosborough said.

    Wildcats on TV

    All 29 of Arizona’s basketball games, as well as one exhibition game, are scheduled to be televised this year. The Wildcats willl play 12 national games, including seven on Fox Sports Net, two on CBS, two on ESPN and one on ABC. Five games remain tentative and broadcast information will be determined at least 12 games prior to tip-off.

    The Wildcats’ first national game will be aired on ESPN Dec. 2 when they take on Illinois in Phoenix.

    “”It’s great exposure for our team, and it’s a real plus to be able to say that to kids: ‘you’re going to be on TV every time,'”” Rosborough said.

    “”I think our network is good, and I like the fact that we’re going to be on the big networks, and I like the fact that we’re going to be on ESPN as well,”” he added.

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