Though it is not easy to predict the starting lineup after one scrimmage and for a team that has at least ten players who would be automatic starters in the majority of other basketball programs, I am going to go bold and give it a shot. Come the beginning of the season, here are Arizona’s starting five as I see it now:
1. Point Guard: Mark Lyons
This is the most obvious choice of them all. After the disaster that was Josiah Turner, coach Miller did an incredibly smart thing and convinced senior veteran point guard Mark Lyons to transfer. Lyons was fun to watch during the scrimmage and has a great eye on the court. Jordin Mayes may come off the bench to give Lyons a break occasionally, but Lyons is by far the point guard for the Wildcats.
2. Guard: Nick Johnson
It was only one scrimmage, but Johnson looks more comfortable from last season already. It is as if Johnson is more at ease in his natural position for simply knowing he will not have to play point guard to make up for Turner’s mental and physical absence. For now, Gabe York will back Johnson up.
3. Forward: Solomon Hill
Other than Lyons, this choice is about as obvious. He is the best player on the team, the most experienced and the smartest. This year, the Arizona Wildcats are Solomon Hill’s team. It is likely that Parrom will be Hill’s primary sub.
4. Forward: Grant Jerrett
Against smaller teams, I can see Hill and Parrom playing side by side (after seeing Parrom at the scrimmage, it is clear that he is healthy and at the top of his game again), but Miller recruited for size and size is what he got–he will use it. Out of the incoming freshmen, Jerrett impressed me the most. He is explosive, versatile and has the arsenal to be an outstanding basketball player in all categories. I see him starting in most of the games. Brandon Ashley is not far behind.
5. Center: Kaleb Tarczewski
The “Zeus” was a little rough around the edges during the Red and Blue game, but 1. he was being guarded by Angelo Chol, who is a pretty good defender and 2. I think it would be pretty difficult for Miller to sit a seven footer with some real talent. Chol may get the nod against smaller lineups, but Tarczewski is going to see a lot of playing time this year.
two other interesting combos because we have size
Solomon Hill/Kevin Parrom