Rodgers glad to be back

No story dominated the minds of Wildcat fans last week than the return of Chris Rodgers. Forget the upcoming road trip, forget the NCAA Tournament bubble. No, the topic of conversation was Chris Rodgers.

Wildcat fans wanted to see what he would do. Would he be a team player? Would he provide a spark? Would he jack up shots just to spite Lute Olson?

It turned out that Rodgers was a near perfect soldier. He played great defense, tried hard to get his teammates involved and was actually asked by Olson to shoot more.

"I am just trying to come in and give my teammates a spark and take care of the ball and set up open shots," Rodgers said.

Rodgers has been part of an interesting platoon in the backcourt. Olson has been pairing him with Daniel Dillon as a sort of defensive unit. They have been spelling Hassan Adams and Mustafa Shakur and trying to give the Cats a spark off the bench by clamping down on the defensive end.

It may not be the dream role for a senior, but so far he is not complaining.

"I will do whatever it takes for the team," Rodgers said. "Whatever the coaches want me to do that is what I am doing."

People wondered if Rodgers would come back in good ‘basketball shape'. It is easy to stay in good shape, but without high level hoops competition, it can be tough to remain in game shape after nearly a month off. Rodgers showed few signs of rust or fatigue.

"I have been training the whole time so it was not hard to get back into the swing of things," Rodgers explained.

Olson has said that he hoped Rodgers would take the suspension as a lesson and grow from it. It is hard to tell if he has truly taken things to heart, but he is saying all of the right things in public.

"It is a matter of how you respond to adversity and different situations in life and then you have to move on," Rodgers said.

No player in recent memory has been as polarizing to Wildcat fans as Rodgers. Those who side with Rodgers love Rodgers, while other Wildcat fans have vilified him.

Rodgers says, the for the most part, that the fans he has come in contact with have been really supportive.

"I would like to say thank you for all the fans and the community of Tucson, my teammates and family and fiends support," said Rodgers. "It is amazing how much an impact they would have and how concerned everybody was. Hopefully I can give a good showing."

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