Contact Us




The Arizona Daily Wildcat Online





News Sports Opinions Arts Classifieds

Wednesday November 22, 2000

Football site
Football site
UA Survivor
Pearl Jam


Police Beat


Alum site

AZ Student Media

KAMP Radio & TV


Arenas finds himself back in starting rotation

By Chris Martin

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Chaminade never expected to defeat Arizona

MAUI - Normally coaches don't expect to lose games. That wasn't the case for

Chaminade head coach Aaron Griess, as his team fell to Arizona 97-57 Monday

in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.

"What happened out there on the floor was in the book before the game

started," Griess said. "It played out exactly how I thought it was going to.

Nothing that we thought we were going to get done got done."

UA easily dominated Division II Chaminade from opening tip-off. The Wildcats

put the game out of reach when they went on a 19-0 run less than half way

through the first half.

Junior forward Richard Jefferson led Arizona in scoring with 16 points as UA

got 10 or more points from five players in its lineup.

UA head coach Lute Olson was more excited about his team's defense though.

"I was pleased by the defensive effort of our team," Olson said. "I thought

everyone worked hard to cover up when we did make mistakes. We got great

rotations, I thought on penetration most of the time."

The loss to Arizona followed by a round two loss to No. 12 Connecticut,

77-61, dropped the Silverswords to 3-44 all-time in the Maui Invitational.

"No matter how you break it down, when you lose a basketball game it is

disappointing," Griess said of the loss to Arizona. "If we would have lost by

10 it would have been disappointing. They were supposed to have beaten us by

40 points. I am just disappointed we didn't compete more."


The player who most impressed Griess was UA power forward Michael Wright, who set a Maui Invitational record with 19 rebounds.

Ron Reis of Santa Clara had held the previous record with 18, which was set

in 1990.

Wright continually out hustled and out rebounded the smaller Chaminade

players while pacing the Wildcats victory.

"This guy (Wright) he got 19 rebounds, we couldn't block him out," Griess

said. "I thought we had some big bodies and (Arizona) is not that much

bigger than us but (Wright) just wanted the ball more."

Olson said the record seemed fitting.

"I am just really pleased for Michael because anyone who is on the team who

watches him practice everyday, he gives you the same kind of effort everyday

in practice that you saw out there on the court (Monday)," Olson said.

Of Wright's 19 rebounds, nine were on the offensive end and were a major

factor in UA's ability in being able to out rebound the Silverswords, 57-28.


The game against Chaminade also allowed Arizona to rest its players for

games against Dayton and possibly No. 8 Illinois.

Jefferson and Wright led the Wildcats in minutes with 26 while every player

in UA's nine-man rotation saw at least 15 minutes of action.

"We had nine guys play 15 minutes of more. We didn't have any of them go

more than 26 and Michael wouldn't have gone 26 if we weren't trying to get

him that (rebounding) record," Olson said. "We shouldn't have to play with

anybody on the court that is the least bit tired or beat."

Senior forward Eugene Edgerson made the most of his 19 minutes by collecting

seven rebounds and contributing 13 points to Arizona's cause.

Olson was also encouraged with the performance of freshman guard Travis


"I am really pleased right now with Travis Hanour," he said. "If you look at

where he's come in four weeks, it's unbelievable. I thought he made some good

defensive plays today. He had much better pressure on the ball than what he

has had before."

Hanour played a total of 15 minutes and scored six points while grabbing

five rebounds in the winning effort.


Sophomore guard Gilbert Arenas finally seems to have gotten out of Olson's

doghouse. After sitting out the Marathon Oil exhibition game for failing to

"fulfill team obligations," Arenas did see 21 minutes of action Monday


Though he didn't start, Arenas scored 15 points on 4-for-11 shooting and

pulled down six rebounds.

"I thought Gilbert played well," Olson said. "He has always been back in the

fold. Whether he's in the starting lineup or not, I don't know. I thought

Gilbert played well but so did a whole lot of guys."

Arenas did start the second half of the Chaminade game and was in the

starting lineup for the Dayton game.

According to Olson though, none of the starting spots on UA's team are set

in stone. The spots can easily be won or lost on play in practice.

"I think these two guys (Wright and Jefferson) will tell you up here that

those starting spots are determined by the effort we see on a regular basis

in practice," Olson said. "We are not interested in press clippings or

anything else. Perform well, if you don't perform you sit and watch the guys

who will perform."