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Two starters out for first game

Luke Walton
senior foward
By Maxx Wolfson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday November 12, 2002

When the UA men's basketball team opens up its 2002 exhibition schedule tonight, it will be without two starters from last season.

Both senior forward Luke Walton and sophomore guard Salim Stoudamire will be out with ankle injuries tonight when the No. 1 Wildcats take on the EA Sports All-Stars at 8 in McKale Center. Both are listed as questionable when Arizona opens its regular season on Nov. 23 against Western Kentucky at home.

Stoudamire has a high ankle sprain that has bothered him since Oct. 16, while Walton suffered a lateral right ankle sprain Thursday the same ankle, though a different part of the foot, that he had a stress fracture in during his 1998-99 redshirt season and his ankle has been placed in a cast.

"It looks like whether we have them for the first game may be up in the air a little bit," said Olson after a scrimmage Saturday. "We were concerned initially because there was a whole lot of swelling (with Walton's ankle)."

Walton, a preseason All-America candidate, stepped on a teammate's foot in practice Thursday, trainer Justin Kokoskie said. The type of lateral sprain Walton sustained typically requires one to three weeks of recovery, while a high ankle sprain such as Stoudamire's can take three to six weeks.

With both players out tonight, that will leave two spots in the starting lineup open.

Olson said Saturday the starting lineup will likely be seniors Jason Gardner and Ricky Anderson, sophomores Isaiah Fox and Will Bynum and freshman Andre Iguodala, but he still has to average in Saturday's numbers, so that could change. Olson picks the starters by rebounding leaders during scrimmages at each position.

Olson will have 11 players available tonight because it's still unknown whether or not freshman Chris Dunn will redshirt this season, according to Olson.

The biggest thing the players are looking forward to tonight is to just play someone other than themselves after playing nearly every day against each other for the last four weeks.

"We are getting to the point that we are all sick of looking at each other," Fox said. "We all battle in practice against one another, and we are definitely looking forward to playing another team."

Sideline notes

The Associated Press followed suit with the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and named the Wildcats No. 1 yesterday in its first poll of the season. Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Pittsburgh round out the top 5 Bynum, who has played opposite Gardner at point guard in every scrimmage until Saturday, lined up alongside the All-American and played well. He had 17 points and five assists in only 20 minutes, and Olson is considering keeping Bynum there all season The EA Sports All-Stars will feature Ronnell Mingo, a player who the Wildcats saw in the NCAA Tournament last year when UA took on Wyoming in the second-round. Mingo scored two points in 12 minutes in the 68-60 Cowboy loss The EA Sports team is in its seventh game of a 15-week tour around the country EA Sports head coach Pete Cassidy is the former head coach at Cal-State Northridge in California.


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