Olson returns to work as Arizona basketball coach
Lute Olson's leave of absence is apparently over.
The Arizona basketball coach returned to work Monday meeting with underclassmen individually.
What isn't clear is Olson's relationship with interim head coach Kevin O'Neill.
Olson said he would meet with O'Neill Tuesday but was noncommittal on any plans for him.
In December, it was announced that O'Neill was Olson's eventual successor.
O'Neill declined to comment Monday on Olson returning.
"I'm doing my job as normal," O'Neill said. "I'm working at Arizona."
Olson showed that he's in charge again, saying he was "not interested" in the three high school seniors O'Neill has offered scholarships to in advance of next month's spring signing period.
The Wildcats have a full complement of 13 players on paper for next season.
However, O'Neill extended the offers because the Wildcats could lose players to an early pro departure or transfer. Olson said he did not want to sign anybody this spring because the Wildcats would have everybody back.
Olson said he had a good talk with the three players considering a jump to pro ball, Jerryd Bayless, Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill. He added they still have not made final decisions.
"They need time," Olson said.
Bayless said after meeting with Olson he did not know what he would do, nor how long it would take to reach a decision on staying or going pro.
"We talked," Jerryd Bayless said. "Just trying to figure things out. That's about it."
Olson had not met with the Wildcats formally since before he took his season-long leave of absence on Nov. 4.
Besides meeting with O'Neill, Olson said he also planned to meet with UA's seniors Tuesday.
"Just to make sure they know I'm back and feeling great," Olson said. "I'm anxious to get back."
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