|Arizona coach Olson to return for some practices, no games yet|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 27 November 2007 14:58|
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -Arizona's Hall of Fame basketball coach Lute Olson, on a leave of absence since Nov. 4, will return for some practices, but not for games just yet.|
Assistant Kevin O'Neill will keep his interim head coaching title for now despite Olson showing up for his first practice on Monday night, after three weeks away from the program he has coached for 25 years.
``He is going to be with us in some of the practices over the next little bit. He is not going to coach games at this point,'' O'Neill said on Tuesday. ``There is absolutely no timetable.''
Olson will not be on the bench when Arizona plays Cal-State Fullerton on Wednesday, O'Neill said.
Arizona is 3-2 since Olson left for personal reasons, including last weekend's 76-72 overtime loss to No. 4 Kansas.
Olson, who is 780-280 in 35 years of coaching, showed up for his first practice since his departure in a supervisory role, offering advice and critiquing the previous games.
``He is going to bring the things back you can't replace'' Arizona guard Jerryd Bayless said. ``He is a Hall of Fame coach. We definitely need him back and we are happy that he is here.''
O'Neill said Olson knew all the stats and was giving some pointers during the 70-minute workout.
``He is sharp. He does not miss a trick. It would appear he still has not missed any tricks,'' O'Neill said.
Several players believed Olson was back for good, but O'Neill said that wasn't going to be the case. Olson had missed only eight previous games during his Wildcat career.
There has been no indication when the winningest coach in Arizona history will return for game action.
``No timetable could mean anything from one day to 10 days. Believe me there is no plan,'' O'Neill said. ``We are not covering up anything here. We are just giving him his personal space and letting him do what he needs to do.''
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