The Arizona Wildcats will have a lot of changes in their roster going into this season. The team has brought in 3 frontcourt players and 2 backcourt players that will influence the outcome of the season. The roster should be impacted by all 5 players but who will have the most impact?
1. Kaleb Tarczewski 7’0” 240 lbs Freshman Center
The biggest recruit both physically and in terms of ranking is Kaleb Tarczewski. He is a true 7 footer with a lot of talent and will have the most impact on the Wildcats this season. Tarczewski was the # 4 over all recruit on the ESPN top 100 for the 2012 season and is ready to contribute the moment he steps on the floor in Tucson. Tarczewski is very polished for a 7 footer because of his great hands and feet. He runs the floor well, catches everything, and can finish with both hands. He has developed a hook shot and is an excellent rebounder. This kid is the real deal, make no mistake he is the reason why this season could be very special.
2. Mark Lyons 6’1” 188 lbs Senior Point Guard
This position is hard to choose but the point guard spot is arguably the most important position in basketball. Many publications believe that Lyons is the key to the whole season because every team needs someone to distribute the ball to the big men. Lyons has not played the point since high school but was recruited as a point guard to play for Coach Miller in Xavier. It will be nice to have a Senior leading this team and one that can score when needed. Lyons is a very capable scorer (averaging 15.1 and 13.6 points the last 2 seasons at Xavier) which will be needed at times for this team and that is overlooked quite often. Lyons will be asked to distribute the ball with all of the talent on the roster and that is where he will make the most impact but make no mistake this guy can take over as a scorer when needed.
3. Grant Jarrett 6’10” 220 lbs Power Forward
Grant Jarrett is another one of this highly touted recruiting class that will have immediate impact on the upcoming season. Jarrett is another part of this young frontcourt that will have to learn the speed of Division 1 basketball quickly and he will. Jarrett is a long and rangy PF that can finish both down low but also can step out and shoot the 3 at a high rate. He is a very gifted passer out of the low post so expect him to be looking to distribute from the post often. Jarrett may be the most versatile new member of this squad as he is more of a hybrid forward. He will log a lot of minutes this season and will make a major impact on this team.
4. Gabe York 6’1” 170 lbs Shooting Guard
There is one reason why Gabe York was recruited by Sean Miller; he knows how to score in many ways. York will be expected to score early and often for this Wildcats team. He will most likely not be starting but he will come off the bench and be instant offense when needed. He could easily average double digit scoring by coming in and playing short stretches at a time. He has long range and can create his own shot off the dribble. In addition even though he is only 6’1” he can finish in the paint. He will be a scoring machine right from the start for the Wildcats.
5. Brandon Ashley 6’ 8” 215 lbs Combo Forward
Ashley was considered the prized recruit for quite a while by the Wildcats, so it goes to show that he may only have the 5th most impact of incoming team members. Ashley will have a big impact on this season as well and is another versatile player. He has excellent quickness, hops, and has a good mid-range shot. Ashley is a nightmare defensively with his long range and quick feet. He may at times be asked to guard many different spots and shut down opposing scorers.
All 5 of these Wildcats will have an impact on this season in a major way and just how the gel together will determine how the season will go.