By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Sophomore guard out until at least Dec. 17; will rehab ankle
Sophomore guard Jawann McClellan's second appeal to restore his academic eligibility for the fall semester was denied by the NCAA's appeal board yesterday afternoon.
McClellan, who was informed of the decision by the media at yesterday's men's basketball practice, can return to the team for its Dec. 17 game at Utah.
"I don't know what to say," he said. "I thought it was going to go through this time. The NCAA, I can't say nothing about that. How can you deny it twice when everybody else around the country feels it's wrong?"
Regardless, McClellan said he was thankful the decision had been made because the process was causing him stress.
"I'm glad they made it and not beat around the bush with it," he said.
While the announcement itself offered some relief, McClellan's reaction was less than celebratory.
"It's not the answer I wanted back," he said. "I really wanted to be out there with my teammates. It's tough for me. It's tough."
McClellan went through nearly full practices this week, said Arizona head coach Lute Olson, although he is now suffering from shin splints along with his ankle injury.
Olson put a positive spin on the decision, saying it would give McClellan time to rest.
"We'll continue to try to get him as healthy as we can," Olson said.
McClellan took a fall in the first half of Thursday's Red-Blue Game but did not re-injure his ankle. However, it did swell up, Olson said.
McClellan said he would receive an injection for his injury and likely sit out completely for the next couple of weeks without touching a basketball.
He will not travel with the team to the EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament on Nov. 21-23.
McClellan said he has learned from the situation.
"We just have to move on," he said. "I just have to come back and prove to myself academically and athletically. I'll be better as a person for it."
Sonoma State returns to McKale Center
This will be the second year in a row the Wildcats face Sonoma State, as Arizona defeated the team 105-80 last season.
The Seawolves, a Division II team from Northern California, were only down by 10 points at halftime in that game. They return their leading scorer, J.T. Tipton, who averaged 14.2 points per game in 2004-05.
Former Arizona assistant coach Rodney Tention is a friend of Sonoma State head coach Pat Fuscaldo, which was one of the reasons for the matchup, Olson said.
Sonoma lost to Stanford 87-52 in an exhibition game Saturday.