Ariz. Coach Plans Return
Dec. 14, 2000
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Arizona coach Lute Olson will return to the sideline when the seventh-ranked Wildcats play No. 5 Illinois at Chicago on Saturday.
Olson stayed home last weekend to be with his wife while Arizona traveled to Connecticut and lost to the Huskies 71-69 on a controversial goaltending call against Wildcats center Loren Woods.
Olson's wife, Bobbi, who is battling ovarian cancer, is doing better, he said Wednesday.
``I will be back with the team barring anything unexpected coming up, but I don't expect anything unexpected to come up,'' he said.
Olson, who had missed only one other game in 28 years as a major-college coach, watched the UConn game on television.
``I had my notepad out,'' he said. ``I was going to talk to one of my assistants as soon as the half was over and do the same things we would normally do in the locker room, which is to go over what has happened in the first half, let the guys relax for three or four minutes while we are doing that and then make the proper adjustments that need to be made.''
But he couldn't get through to the cell phone of assistant Jim Rosborough, who was coaching in Olson's absence.
Olson watched his team blow an eight-point lead down the stretch, thanks largely to two turnovers.
``It was terrible,'' he said. ``It was frustrating to see what we did in the final three minutes, but that doesn't mean it would have been any different if I had been there.''
Olson said he decided Thursday to stay behind with his wife while she underwent an undisclosed procedure.
``It was awkward not having Coach Olson there,'' forward Richard Jefferson said. ``I know when you look across and see (Connecticut coach Jim) Calhoun there and (Duke coach) Mike Krzyzewski there is a different feel. It has to be the same for other teams with Coach Olson there.''