for this game

Without Olson, Arizona hosts Northern Arizona in season opener

Nov 13, 2007 - 2:50 PM Northern Arizona (1-0) at No. 17 Arizona (0-0) 9:30 pm EST

TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) - No. 17 Arizona will be without a familiar face on the bench when it opens its season Tuesday against Northern Arizona.

Coach Lute Olson, who has been at the helm for the past 24 years, has taken a leave of absence for unspecified reasons. Assistant Kevin O'Neill will run the team in Olson's absence.

Arizona is 4-3 in games Olson has missed since he became coach in 1983.

The Wilcats will be led by sophomore Chase Buddinger, who averaged 15.6 points and 5.8 rebounds last season.

Northern Arizona opened its season with a 78-65 home win over Adams State on Sunday. Josh Wilson scored a career-high 20 points to pace Northern Arizona.

Arizona, which has opened the season in the rankings in 20 of the last 21 seasons, has won 23 straight meetings against Northern Arizona.