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Lute Olson Named Finalist for Naismith Coach-of-the-Year Award
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 02, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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 Wildcat mentor one of 20 finalists named by the Atlanta Tipoff Club


TUCSON, Ariz. ?- University of Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson was named a finalist for the Naismith Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Wednesday.


Olson was one of 20 finalists for the Naismith Award presented by Coca-Cola, which has been presented annually since 1987 to the men’s basketball coach of the year.  The list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors and is based upon coaching performance this season.  The finalists include Rick Barnes, Texas; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse; Mark Few, Gonzaga; Ray Giacoletti, Utah; Billy Gillispie, Texas A&M; Frank Haith, Miami (Fla.); Mike Krzyzewski, Duke; Lute Olson, Arizona; Rick Pitino, Louisville; Skip Prosser, Wake Forest; Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Bo Ryan, Wisconsin; Kelvin Sampson, Oklahoma; Bill Self, Kansas; Al Skinner, Boston College; Tubby Smith, Kentucky; Eddie Sutton, Oklahoma State; John Thompson III, Georgetown; Bruce Weber, Illinois; and Roy Williams, North Carolina.


Through 29 games, Olson has guided Arizona to a 24-5 record and No. 11 national ranking.  Currently, the Wildcats have a 14-3 record and are in first place in the Pac-10 Conference standings.


Arizona will next be in action on Saturday, March 5, at Arizona State.  Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on Fox Sports Net.

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