Arizona's Adams to start despite arrest last weekend

Updated: December 14, 2005, 8:21 PM ET
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona senior guard Hassan Adams, the leading scorer for the Wildcats (Not ranked in ESPN/USA Today poll; No. 24 AP), will be in the starting lineup Saturday at Utah despite being arrested last weekend and cited for disturbing the peace.

"I think in this country, the legal system is you are innocent until you are proven guilty unless you are an athlete," Wildcats coach Lute Olson said Wednesday. "I'm not the least bit concerned about what happened. What he is charged with is similar to you getting a speeding ticket."

Adams was arrested Sunday after an early morning incident outside his apartment complex here.

Some 200 people were in the parking lot about 2 a.m. and a party apparently erupted into fighting along with drinking and dancing on cars, according to Tucson police.

Adams reportedly became involved in an argument between a woman and her former boyfriend.

Police said Adams was ticketed and released after he refused to leave when officers told him to go home.

Adams is averaging 18.3 points this season and is Arizona's second-leading rebounder at 7.3 per game.

Meanwhile, Wildcats guard Chris Rodgers is looking for more playing time.

Rodgers did not start in two of the last three games because of missing a team meal at Houston and then having a final exam during preparation for last weekend's home game against St. Mary's.

Rodgers is averaging 10.3 points and 2.1 assists.

"We are a better team when I am on the floor," Rodgers said. "The seniors need me out there. Hassan needs me out there to help him out. I do a good job as far as disrupting things. We are a better team when I am out there, and I think everybody can see that."

Olson agreed, to an extent.

"The guy is our best defensive player. We need him on the court, but he is not going to be on the court if he over penetrates, over dribbles or shoots with people in his face," Olson said. "That has been the same message he has heard for four years."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press