Will changes be made?

Even before the season finished there was plenty of speculation about possible changes to the coaching staff. Now the rumor mill has cranked up big time, but is there any validity to them?

After Arizona fell to Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament many rumors surfaced about the Wildcat coaching staff. There was talk that Josh Pastner was a candidate for every coaching vacancy in the nation. Another had Pastner leaving for an assistant job in his home state of Texas. There were rumors that Jim Rosborough would retire, another had Miles Simon leaving the profession all together. Even the Arizona Republic mentioned a rumor that Lute Olson would retire and that former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery would assume the head coaching position.

None of these appear likely to happen, but a new rumor has surfaced that appears to have some at least some shred of legitimacy.

The latest rumor has former Wildcat assistant coach Kevin O'Neill rejoining staff, most likely in place of Rosborough who would take and administrative position within the athletic department.

Calls to sources close to the program were met with various reactions.

"I've heard the Kevin O'Neill rumors," said one source close to the program. "I couldn't tell you if they are true or not, but I am hearing it from a lot of people."

Another source who wished to remain anonymous had this to say: "If it is true Lute Olson has not told any of the assistants that changes are going to be made."

Yet another source was adamant that a change would be made.

"It is a done deal. It is just a mater of time before they announce it."

Similar rumors were abundant two years ago. At the time Olson hired Reggie Geary to replace Rodney Tention, who took the head coaching job at Loyola Marymount. Shortly thereafter Olson hired Miles Simon to the staff as well. Initial reports had Simon replacing Rosborough, but eventually Simon was added to the staff in place of Geary who became Director of Basketball Operations and Recruiting Coordinator. Geary left after one year to take a position in the NBDL.

If this proves to be true O'Neill would return to Arizona after head coaching stints with Marquette, Tennessee, Northwestern and the NBA's Toronto Raptors. He has also been an NBA assistant with New York, Detroit and Indiana.

Rosborough coached with Olson at Iowa before eventually becoming the head coach at Northern Illinois. He joined Olson's Arizona staff 18 years ago and was promoted to associate head coach after the 96-97 season. He has also worked within the athletic departments at Iowa and Tulsa.

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