It seems Arizona Basketball players are dropping like flies around Tucson, but that may not really be the case, it’s been a slow news drip for a reason.
It is true, Arizona Basketball power forward Chance Comanche has declared that he will test the NBA Waters, or go through the draft process, to see what his draft stock stands and to see if it is worth getting an agent. He stands to learn a lot from this experience, but he has not hired an agent and has until May 24th to return, his status to play next season for the Wildcats is however still in question. This is the same route Purdue’s Isaac Haas has decided to take.
There has only been one official press conference thus far when it comes to the NBA Draft and Wildcats declaring, and that was for Lauri Markkanen. If you know Sean Miller’s style, you will understand why Kobi Simmons felt it was time to enter the NBA Draft. Simmons has been mentioned in mocked drafts, and he may feel that with incoming players, he would remain a bench player in 2017/18. Especially if Rawle Alkins stays and even more so if Allonzo Trier stays, it may be kind of a repeat season for him.
Kobi has the inside scoop; he hangs around with his teammates, he may see the writing on the wall. Maybe transferring makes no sense when you are already being talked about? In any case, we will miss him and hope it all turns out the way he wants.
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As far as Chance, he has spent the last two seasons weaving himself into our hearts. The Chief always gives his coach, his team, and his fans 150 percent effort. Fans and media alike support Comanche but also feel he should probably stay another year.
One reason fans feel this way is because they know Miller needs him and believes in him. That translates into a possible starting role next season for Chance. Miller likes to play his experienced players. He likes to be sure of what he is going to get when he calls a player into the game.
Players that fall into that category are Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins, Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Chance Comanche going into next season. Miller is probably trying to convince all of them to stay after watching Mark Few take his seasoned players to the finals. So Miller cannot take these veterans for granted either.
It’s great to get exciting young one-and-done talent, but harder for the coach, or Miller to trust those players in critical situations. The most trust I think he has ever given a player is T.J. McConnell, and you can throw in there Nick Johnson. That’s how Miller rolls, and unfortunately in the last Sweet 16, Comanche was not a part of the final minutes where this contributor thinks he could have helped.
Comanche knows how to get on the inside of the opponents he guards, between himself and the basket. That’s called boxing out (see the feature photo for example). Skills in this area are something that has alluded some of our other bigs, and ultimate could be a big reason the Wildcats did not move on to the Elite Eight.
This move of Comanche’s, to test the NBA Waters without hiring an agent giving him the ability to keep his eligibility, is smart. It puts Miller on notice that Chance wants to play in the NBA and expects to be given the opportunity to start, to get more minutes and stats and get noticed. Comanche is so good at what you cannot see on paper on the stat sheet, and he brings size and athletic hops to the team’s defense. He stays under the radar and gets open frequently for dunks and quick two’s.
Having a 7-foot-2 wingspan won’t hurt Comanche when scouts look at measurements, potential, and skills. NBA Scouts I talk too are looking for potential mostly. They are not looking necessarily for the star in a game in the NCAA Tournament. If that were the case, you wouldn’t see those players playing in the NBA D-League or overseas like Jimmer Fredette.
So Chance will find out what the scouts think he needs to work on, Miller will be aware of Chance’s expectations and his mom will feel good supporting her son’s decisions. We are sure they have done their homework. You have to commend her for guiding her son, yet also allowing him to affect his own future.
Who knows? We can be certain he will impress the powers that be, and hopefully, it will give him more stock or he could just make his way into the league this year. Either way, if he feels that by May 24th he has heard enough and it’s not his time, he will come back knowing that he tried and will come out better for it. Regrets are something hard to shake in life, and Comanche should not come out of this experience with any regrets.
I feel he has a legitimate chance to start next season, totally. And now Miller knows that Chance wants it, whether it be for him or a coach in the NBA. Smart move and let’s let him be and stop all those darn rumors. He is doing well in school and working towards a degree. Comanche has a great nickname, The Chief (yes he is part Native American), and he is also a clean-cut and well-spoken young man. He is a legit stand out on the court and in college basketball.
Bear Down Chance! Give the NBA decision makers what you give all of us all the time: 150 percent effort and 200 percent excitement! Bear Down!