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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

October 23, 2008 at 10:06 AM

Lute Olson gone for good?

In case you haven’t seen it anywhere else, I’ll pass along the news that just broke a few minutes ago that Arizona coach Lute Olson is apparently stepping down, probably for good this time.
Here’s an additional report from the Tucson Citizen, indicating that nothing is official yet from the school.
Also, Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star wrote earlier today he thought it odd that Olson missed practice on Wednesday, and also threw in some other info that makes a little more sense if Olson is indeed leaving for good.
Interestingly, Olson held a lengthy meeting with reporters on Tuesday on which he said he was fired up for the season and also basically apologized for his manner with reporters during a press conference last spring.
Olson’s apparent permanent departure will obviously change the landscape of the Pac-10 forever. Mike Dunlap will be named as the interim coach, according to reports, and while he has an impressive resume, hard to believe that the UA basketball program will have the same stature as it has the last 25 years with Olson.
UPDATE — Sounds as if Arizona will conduct a national search for a permanent replacement, and Mark Few is listed as one of the candidates by Sportsline.com.
As for the immediate future, letter-of-intent day is early next month, so UA’s committed recruits — which include Abdul Gaddy of Bellarmine Prep — are free to explore their options and go elsewhere if they’d like. Arizona looks to have the talent to be a Top 25 team and a top 3-4 contender in the Pac-10 this season, and maybe if the Olson move is made permanent, the team will have an easier time adjusting to the sudden change than it did last season. But it’s also easy to figure that the Wildcats might suffer a few more bumps this season, which might only make it easier for the Huskies to move back up the standings.
What we know for sure is this — without the winningest coach in conference history, the Pac-10 will never be the same.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, top 25

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