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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Olson denies Parkinson’s disease rumor

    Olson has heard the health rumors on the radio and from his sports information directors and was asked the question after his radio show.

    All of the chatter about Parkinson’s disease is “”totally false,”” he said.

    “”I’ve gotten some calls from people about rumors and some radio stations running things about my having Parkinson’s, which is a complete lie,”” said Olson.

    “”Very simply, Lute Olson does not have Parkinson’s disease, said Steven D. Knope, M.D., Lute Olson’s personal physician in a statement. “”He is in robust health.””

    “”I have physicals like everyone else does, and there’s absolutely no medical indication of any kind of problem of that type,”” he said. “”It’s really a vicious rumor that’s passed on.””

    Olson said rumors of that type can be started from “”maybe people you’re recruiting against or something,”” but he felt the need to address the issue unprompted to cut the rumor before it spread.

    “”I don’t think anyone deserves that kind of rumor to be circulated,”” he said.

    Budinger to stay next season, Williams to go

    Freshmen Chase Budinger, Nic Wise and Jordan Hill were looking for apartments during Christmas time.

    If that wasn’t a clear enough sign that Budinger would be back for his sophomore season, the McDonald’s All-American went ahead and confirmed yesterday what UA head coach Lute Olson thought all along.

    “”I’m pretty certain I’ll be back next year, I’m almost 100 percent positive,”” Budinger said.

    Though NBA scouts were undoubtedly interested in Budinger, who’s averaged 16.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, Olson told them they shouldn’t bother.

    “”The NBA, everybody, was just told, ‘Don’t waste your time,'”” he said.
    Budinger said he talked with his parents, “”people who are close to him”” and Olson regarding his future, but said his mind is unlikely to change.

    “”What can change that? I know for a fact that I can be a top-five pick,”” Budinger said. “”I just know that I still got some things I gotta work on and next year I want to try to be the best college basketball player out there.””

    As for testing the waters and simply declaring for the draft as Mustafa Shakur did last season before pulling out prior to draft day, Budinger said he hadn’t thought about it yet.

    “”It might be a possibility, but it hasn’t crossed my mind yet,”” he said.

    Said Olson: “”There’s no need financially for him to do it and I think he’s enjoying his college experience.””

    While Budinger will likely be on campus next year, Marcus Williams will almost certainly not be.

    Williams, who leads Arizona in scoring at 16.8 points per game, held a press conference at the end of last season to announce his decision to stay for his sophomore season. But Olson is pretty sure there will be no such press conference this season.

    “”My feeling is that Marcus has made it pretty clear from when he didn’t put his name in last year that he would definitely put his name in,”” Olson said.

    “”If you recall last year, he said if I put my name out there, it’s going to stay out there, so I think that’s pretty much a given,”” he added.

    Olson said he was happy that both have made their intentions clear to prevent mid-season distractions to the team.

    “”I think in fairness to the coaching staff, that’s the way it should be,”” he said.

    J Mac back at practice for good

    After being mired in a deep slump over the last five games, guard Jawann McClellan will have a chance to gain back his rhythm.

    For the first time since off-season right knee surgery, McClellan was cleared to practice every day after only being able to participate in practices off and on throughout the season.

    “”In regard to Jawann, now that the swelling is down, basically gone, he’ll practice every minute of every practice,”” Olson said. “”During the year, it was Justin Kokoskie’s (the basketball athletic trainer) feeling and the doctors’ feeling that we needed to really protect against swelling during the course of the year.””

    Olson attributed McClellan’s struggles (4.4 points in the last five games) to being out of game rhythm because of the lack of playing time in practice.

    He met with McClellan and said the Houston native was “”relieved”” to be on a regular schedule again.

    “”He needs to be with his teammates on the practice court, not here today, gone tomorrow,”” Olson said.

    McClellan who started the first 21 games, played eight minutes against ASU all in the first half.

    “”Jawann’s a very emotional player, his knees do give him an up and down tempo,”” Budinger said. “”He’s a great player, he gets very intense in practice and in games. … I think he gives us that toughness that we have lacked and I’m glad he’ll be in practice every day because it helps us with the toughness part.””

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