By Monty Phan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
If there's one word that describes the way the Arizona men's basketball season has been going so far, it may be "ouch." In fact, rumor has it that certain players have been receiving an inordinate amount of get-well cards, signed by some guy named Lute.
With the supposed depth the Wildcats have enjoyed throughout the non-conference season all but gone due to injuries, Arizona definitely has its work cut out for it during the coming months.
Simon dislocated his right index finger against California Jan. 12, and the freshman will be out perhaps another two to four weeks. Perhaps more annoyingly, however, junior starter Geary has been bothered by a sprained left ankle suffered less than a week earlier at Rhode Island, and the injury has since turned into, as he put it, a "24-hour
stinger." Geary explained that some of the trainers have suggested seeking a second opinion, as it has been frustrating to treat.
"It's getting a little carried away now," Geary said. "It's time for the healing gods to come down and do something."
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Is there an M.D. in the house?
While Geary's problem may have baffled team trainers, the Geary Problem has been handled successfully by another M.D. Ä namely, freshman forward Michael Dickerson.
Dickerson has been touted by Olson as the team's best defender next to Geary, but he's had a good teacher Ä Geary himself.
"He's my little project," Geary said. "I've been riding on him, he knows I've been riding him, even in games I'm in his face. We're definitely the Odd Couple. He's real quiet, but when he talks, he talks. I just think he needs to get a little meaner."
"Most of the time when I go out on the court, it's for defense," Dickerson said. "When an open shot comes, coach tells me to shoot it or drive to the basket, but I haven't really got confident to do that yet."
Dickerson was the first man off the bench during Saturday's victory over Southern Cal, but Olson contends that was only because he saw Geary favoring his foot.
"His coming off early was, to a large extent, due to Reggie's condition," Olson said. "He's taking that backup spot that Miles Simon used to have. Michael's making good progress, it's just an awful lot for a freshman to learn and you just have to take it step-by-step."
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Fab ... three?
Kelvin Eafon joins Simon and Dickerson as the latest freshman to get on Olson's good side, as he made the most of his 10 minutes in the victory over USC. Dickerson had five points, four rebounds and three assists during his time on the court Ä not bad considering he was previously 1-for-5 on the year, his only field goal coming on a three pointer.
"I thought Kelvin Eafon did a nice job (against USC)," Olson said. "He's really been making good progress in practice and we'll probably take a little bit closer look at him in practice as far as availability on the trip. He went in, he was aggressive on the boards, hit some shots, and he always defends well, so I think he's made really good progress for us."
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At 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, senior Ray Owes is enjoying perhaps his finest season at Arizona. At just the right time, too. Over the last seven games, the forward is 43-of-75 from the field. His 18 rebounds against Houston earlier this season were not only a career high, it's the most by a Wildcat player since Pete Williams hauled down 20 in 1985. Despite this, however, Owes has gone relatively unnoticed around the nation. Olson says not to worry.
"How much do you know about anybody in the East or Midwest unless it's the top guy?" Olson asked. "Unless I miss my guess in the West, I think most everybody is pretty familiar with Ray having been a three-year starter and having been seen as much on TV as he's been seen.
"He just goes about doing his job very quietly. He's not a guy that demonstrates a lot on the court. He doesn't have Rodman's hairstyle or color. Maybe Ray should do that to get attention, I don't know."
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