Brandon Randolph is making “slow, steady” progress in his recovery from a concussion suffered last week, but the Arizona Wildcats’ guard status for the team’s season-opener vs. NAU on Friday is still up in the air, head coach Sean Miler said Tuesday.
“I think there’s a chance that he could play on Friday. There’s certainly a chance that he wouldn’t, but it would all depend on where he goes from here,” Miller said. “He’s made good progress, and we’re hopeful that he continues to make that same steady progress.”
Randolph took an arm to the head in practice last week, and has yet to return to the court.
Miller had not spoken with UA trainer Justin Kokoskie on Tuesday before his presser, but is hopeful Randolph can return soon.
“He’s really doing a good job with his diet, drinking a lot of water, resting. He’s done nothing. It’s just a matter of the symptoms that he had going away,” Miller said. “They don’t always go away all at once. A few each day, a few every couple of days, but we’ll only put him back out there when he’s completely cleared and whenever that time is, then we’ll deal with it.”
Arizona will be without Dylan Smith (suspension) and Rawle Alkins (foot) on Friday, so Emmanuel Akot would likely start if Randolph has to sit out.
Akot started in Arizona’s exhibition Sunday, pouring in six points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 33 minutes.
With Arizona’s second game (vs. UMBC) being Sunday, just two days after its season-opener, it’s possible Randolph could miss that game, too.
Not an ideal way for the freshman to begin his college career.
“I’m looking forward to him getting back and I’m sure he is, too,” Miller said. “It’s always difficult when you work as hard as these young players and you’re getting ready for your season-opener and you’re not able to practice.
“I’m sure he’s itching to get out.”
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire