Wildcats fans may see 'different team' after controversy

Wildcats fans may see 'different team' after controversy
Michael Luke of Wildcats Radio expects it to be a crazy, wild environment in McKale Center. (Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The University Arizona basketball team takes on Stanford on Thursday night, March 1, but there is still no word if head coach Sean Miller will be on the sidelines.

He has not been seen since the federal wiretap controversy made headlines last weekend.

He did not show up to the team's last game against Oregon, which they lost in overtime, 98-93. Arizona (22-7) is ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press basketball poll.

READ MORE: Board of Regents to discuss Sean Miller's future Thursday | Wildcat Breakdown: The Bribery Scandal I UA fans consider teams future without Miller I Miller, UA release statements in wake of scandal I What former UA players are saying about allegationsUA assistant basketball coach suspended, charged in bribery scheme I Looking for answers in the Book Richardson case I UA fires assistant basketball coach Book Richardson

Michael Luke, assistant program director at Wildcats Radio, said the team on the court Thursday night will be different team fans have seen earlier in the season.

"This is a team who is a Top 4 team for a reason and now without a coach, and you saw against Oregon, if you don't have your coach on the sideline, Oregon was about to out-scheme Arizona in that game," he said. "Especially in the second half and I don't know if Arizona loses that game if Sean Miller is on the sidelines."

He said having a scandal like this is going to affect players. He said these players are 18 to 22 years old and weren't involved. They have a sense of innocence about them.

Even though it is unclear if Miller will be on the sidelines, Luke said the players will have the support of the fans.

He expects it to be a crazy, wild environment in McKale Center.

He said basketball is the life blood of Tucson, so fans will have the players' back even if Miller's future is up in the air.

"When you are used to looking over at your coach the entire time and you got a guy like assistant head coach Lorenzo Romar, while he has head coaching experience, he is new to this. He has been here six to seven months. I mean it is going to be an entirely different phenomenon for any of those seniors involved," he said.

The UA plays the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the McKale Center.

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