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Omar Thielemans’ absence is a ‘longer-term’ thing

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The freshman’s future at Arizona is in doubt

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Buffalo vs Arizona Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Thielemans did not play for the Arizona Wildcats in the annual Red-Blue Game on Sunday, and maybe he never will.

The freshman forward was out for personal reasons, according to the school, and head coach Sean Miller said his absence will be a “longer-term” thing.

“He missed today because of personal reasons and I think we’ll expound on that as we move through this week,” Miller said.

Not only did Thielemans not play Sunday, he wasn’t with his teammates on the bench nor was he announced during pre-game intros.

Thielemans was called a “developmental player” by Miller earlier in the year and he was not expected to have a major role in 2018-19. A low four-star prospect, Thielemans was a mystery in recruiting circles when he committed to the UA in the spring.

Since Arizona has a young team and a 2019 recruiting class that is shaping up to be one of the best in the nation, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thielemans leave the program.

The Belgian could return overseas to play professionally or transfer to a school where he can take on a more prominent role, unless he is dealing with eligibility issues.

Either way, we should find out what the deal is soon.