Rollercoaster continues in the offseason

This is beginning to sound like a broke record but it's been a rollercoaster few weeks for Wildcat fans and those in the basketball office. Even in the off season the wild and crazy 05-06 season (is it over yet?) continues to show its at times ugly head. Some of the news was not all that unexpected and some of it seemed to have come out of nowhere

After a season of turmoil, why wouldn't the offseason have plenty of problems as well.

Surprise, surprise the first person to frustrate Wildcat fans was Chris Rodgers. One would think fans would be use to this by now and in a lot of ways they are. Even when he has left the program his name continues to come up. At one point this past season he was dismissed from the team and was a hot point on local talk radio shows. Later he returned to the team. This time his named was connected with a controversy in The Classics Department and if a professor aloud him to enroll in a class that he was not eligible for presumably because he is a basketball player. Some warned fans to be worried about possible NCAA violations.

Since the story broke, Professor Alex Nava has been cleared and as a result so has Rogers. In the course of on week Arizona fans went from concern over possible NCAA violations to relief that all is fine. Cleared or not, this was the last thing the program needed and it was the worst player for this to happen to.

The injury bug hit the Wildcats. After a season of injuries and suspensions to Jawann McClellan, why wouldn't the offseason be the same. Well, there were no more suspensions but McClellan went under the knife in an attempt to fix cartilage torn in his knee. According to reports McClellan will be 100 percent by the time October rolls around. Still knee injuries are never guaranteed to go as planned, so only time will tell.

Even assistant coach Miles Simon needed knee surgery. Simon needed to correct a previous injury, but the procedure would have kept him out of the trip to Europe.

Then there were the defections or rather the possible defections. Mustafa Shakur declared for the NBA draft-but won't hire an agent. It sounds as if the Wildcats will have to wait until the end of the process to get a final answer. Then as has been the case all season there was also a bit of good news for Wildcat fans. Marcus Williams surprised some when he announced that he is staying at Arizona-at least for another year.

So with McClellan out and Shakur out and Williams' status up in the air, the Cats were so short handed this summer that Lute Olson was forced to cancel the planned trip to Europe. The trip would have included a stop in Serbia-Montenegro-home of Ivan Radenovic. This means the team will miss out on much hyped home cook meal by Radenovic's mother. But fear not Wildcat fans, again there is some good news mixed with the bad. The team will still be traveling outside the U.S. But it won't be overseas instead the Cats will visit Vancouver, British Columbia Canada for three days. Even better news is that the three incoming recruits will be allowed to accompany the team on the trip.

This is a real shame. Radenovic deserves a chance to play at home, something Olson has tried to do for every player that comes into the Arizona program. The team needs a chance to bond, something that has been noticeably lacking since the days of Luke Walton and Jason Gardner.


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