Notebook: On Jeter's injury, Lee's suspension and scheduled ABOR meeting
Arizona men’s basketball got one step closer to the regular season with a 95-44 win over Western New Mexico Tuesday. As the season draws nearer, there are plenty of intriguing story lines surrounding the team. Here are the top ones to keep an eye on.
Arizona’s wide variety of scoring options was on full display in the exhibition match. Five players scored more than 10 points, and sophomore Brandon Randolph dropped 20, which would have been a career high in a regular season match.
“I have a bigger role than last season,” Randolph said. “I believe anybody can step up both offensively and defensively. We all can score the ball.”
Freshman Brandon Williams and grad transfer Ryan Luther were the other two highest scorers with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Chase Jeter's UA debut will have to wait another game as the junior center did not suit up for the Wildcats Tuesday. The team announced prior to the game that Jeter was sidelined due to an undisclosed injury.
“He’s injured. We expect him back in the short term,” head coach Sean Miller said. Miller said he wasn’t sure if Jeter will be back for Arizona’s next game against Chaminade Sunday.
Jeter’s teammates noticed that their lineup looked different without the 6-foot-11 center on the court.
“We definitely missed his size and athleticism, but we’re just excited to get Chase back,” Randolph said.
Arizona also announced before the game that forward Ira Lee is suspended for next week’s season opener against Houston Baptist. The one-game suspension stems from Lee’s DUI incident in late-August where the sophomore was charged with a “super-extreme DUI”.
A university press release said the disciplinary action was for Lee’s “violation of the university’s student code of conduct and Arizona Athletics’ community standards.”
“Ira took it very well, he’s worked hard at all aspects on and off the court. I think our support is unwavering to help him through this difficult time,” Miller said.
Outside noise on silent
Stop if you’ve heard this before: the Wildcats are dealing with outside distractions. The ongoing FBI investigation into the college basketball bribery scandal has loomed over Arizona for the last year, and the UA program continues to have its name mentioned.
A new ESPN report detailed the amount of phone calls Sean Miller and agent Christian Dawkins had during a two month period. The Arizona Board of Regents has called an executive meeting for Thursday to discuss “the future of Arizona men’s basketball” but the board is not expected to take immediate action.
Despite all of this, Arizona players say it hasn’t affected their ability to focus on the season.
“We’re just here to play ball. That’s it,” Randolph said.
Miller mum on meeting
Speaking of the upcoming ABOR meeting, head coach Sean Miller isn’t concerned with the details of the meeting and said it’s a regularly scheduled item.
“I’ve been in regular contact with Dave Heeke and Dr. Robbins,” Miller said of how he’s been prepared for the meeting.
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