By Monty Phan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
That is the Arizona men's basketball team's record at McKale Center since the 1987-88 season. Tonight, the Wildcats hope to make Florida State No. 108.
The Seminoles ride into Tucson this evening to take on eighth-ranked Arizona (3-1) in its home opener. It is the first meeting between the schools since Dec. 31, 1970.
Tip-off is at 7:30.
FSU is led by preseason All-American Bob Sura, a senior guard who is averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the 3-0 Seminoles. And those kind of numbers can mean only one thing to the Wildcats: Oh, Reg-gie.
"(Geary) will go on Sura, but we have a problem in that their two best scorers (Sura and forward James Collins) are both wings," Coach Lute Olson said. "We will expect that Miles Simon will be playing quite a bit for us also, and the amount of playing time may be determined more by defense on the boards than by offense."
It won't be the first Geary-on-Sura sighting, however Ä the two were counselors and roommates at the Nike All-America camp in Chicago.
"I played with him every day," Geary said. "He's an extraordinary, extraordinary ball player, top ten easily for next year's draft. (With) the challenges he presents, it's going to be a very long night.
"He says he's going to put 38 on me," continued Geary, laughing. "It's going to be real interesting."
In addition to Sura and Collins, Florida State boasts one of the top freshmen in the country in 6-foot-10 Corey Louis, a forward from Miami who is averaging 9.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in the Seminoles' first three games.
"Corey Louis is only a freshman, but he was rated one of the very best freshmen in the country last year, and rightfully so," Olson said. "He runs the court, (and he's a) great jumper."
Along with seven-foot center Andre Reid and 6-5 forward LaMarr Greer, Florida State poses a formidable challenge on the glass, outrebounding its opponents by nine per game. This does not bode well for the Wildcats, who have been chastised by Olson for a lackadaisical effort on the boards.
"(Florida State) may be the best rebounding team that we'll see all year long," Olson said. "In that (rebounding) has not been a bright spot for us, this will be a primary thing that we're going to have to focus on Ä getting everybody involved on the boards Ä including Reggie and Joe McLean, and some of the guys that have not had much in terms of numbers."
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If you notice a change in the lineup tonight, no, Joseph Blair did not lose his starting job Ä he's been suspended. Olson has suspended the junior center indefinitely for failing to fulfill his team academic responsibilities.
Blair is still eligible to participate by University of Arizona and NCAA academic requirements, but will not be allowed to compete until his team academic responsibilites are fulfilled. He was unavailable for comment.
"As you can see, it's not a case of eligibility, it's a matter of not ful
filling his responsibilities," Olson said. "So as a result, we will not have him until such time as those responsibilities have been met, and how long that is is really not known."
In terms of size, senior forward Ray Owes will now be the biggest Wildcat starter on the court. Corey Williams will move to Owes' spot and McLean, a junior, will take the three-spot. Olson indicated that Jarvis Kelley and Michael Dickerson will see more playing time in an effort to make up for the lost 14.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game that Blair provided.
"It gives me some more motivation knowing that I'm going to be in the game," Kelley said.
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