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Brandon Randolph (concussion) out vs. NAU

The Wildcats will have eight scholarship players available in their season-opener

Mataro All-Stars v Arizona Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Arizona Wildcats freshman guard Brandon Randolph will miss Friday’s season-opener vs. NAU with a concussion, it was announced shortly before tipoff.

Head coach Sean Miller said Tuesday that Randolph was making “slow, steady” progress in his recovery. Randolph suffered the concussion last week and missed last Sunday’s exhibition vs. Chico State.

“We’re not going to put him out there if he has any symptoms,” Miller said. “He has to be completely free of all symptoms to play. The other thing is we also want him to be able to practice and be symptom-free.”

Randolph was projected to start in place of Rawle Alkins who is out with a broken foot, but now that job will likely be freshman Emmanuel Akot’s.

It’s possible Randolph could miss Sunday’s game vs. UMBC, too. The timetable for his return is unclear.

The Wildcats will have just eight scholarship players available against NAU, as they are already without Alkins, Keanu Pinder, and Dylan Smith for Friday’s opener.

Pinder is suspended for one game after violating NCAA rules. Smith is also suspended for one game, but for a violation of team rules.

Alkins won’t be back until December.

Assistant coach Mark Phelps will miss the first two games after he was suspended for violating NCAA rules.

Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m. MST and it will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire