Freshman Jeff Withey is expected to transfer out of the Arizona program before ever playing a game.
The Tucson Citizen on Wednesday reported Withey skipped an afternoon practice, which immediately sparked questions about his future given how his mother had been quoted extensively expressing her displeasure with Lute Olson's abrupt retirement last week. Even then, a Withey transfer seemed realistic. Late Wednesday it was confirmed as a reality, and now the Wildcats will embark on a less-than-ideal season without one of their primary post players.
Withey was ranked as the 35th-best prospect in the Class of 2008. That the 6-foot-11 center will never actually play for the Wildcats means he'll join Brandon Jennings (now a pro in Italy) and Emmanuel Negedu (now a freshman at Tennessee) as Class of 2008 standouts who signed with Arizona last November but have opted not to follow through on the pledge given the uncertainty surrounding the program.
Arizona's first exhibition is Nov. 6 against Incarnate Word.
The Wildcats will be coached this season on an interim basis by Russ Pennell.