Rawle Alkins announced over the weekend that he will be returning to Tucson for one more year as an Arizona Wildcat.
Sean Miller held a press conference in Rawle Alkins honor, and Alkins dressed up nicely for the media.
Miller was very complimentary towards Alkins and the process he went through. Alkins kept in touch with Miller throughout the process, and the two cheered when Alkins told him he decided to come back. Alkins has gone from being nervous to play his first game in McKale to working out with the NBA and feels he can grow so much more.
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There are at least five things we learned from the Alkins/Miller ArizonaWildcats.com published press conference, let’s go through them one by one.
5. The NBA is enamored with Alkins, they like that he is a flexible player when it comes to playing multiple positions.
“I think that things that teams love about me – they like that I am a versatile player — that’s what they tell me.”
Miller spoke about this too, “But I think that the NBA, generally speaking, and really college basketball, you know it’s changed — It’s not exclusive to Rawle that they call him versatile or position-less. If you look at the games best, they all can play with an unlimited amount of combination of players, that’s not only offensively but defensively.”
4. Sean Miller wants him to be one of the leaders of the team.
Alkins showed up to his press conference all dressed up looking pretty darn professional. Miller felt that Alkins did a very good job communicating with the coaching staff from the last game until before his decision, studying and staying eligible, and how he went about testing the NBA Draft “In a healthy way.”
“So much I think of college basketball, it’s about recruiting, those that aren’t here yet — but I don’t think there is anything that’s more important than a returning player,” said Miller, “Especially if that returning player has a great attitude number one and also is talented. And in Rawle’s case, you not only get a talented veteran player back, but you also get somebody that is hungry in a good way, determined in a good way and I’m anxious for him to be one of our leaders this year.”
3. The NBA scouts advised Alkins to work on his jump shot and body fat percentage
“I’m one of these hybrid kids, that once I get a consistent jump shot then I will be virtually unstoppable,” said Rawle, “But that’s what teams tell me and I think that I am using that as motivation for this year and I’ll continue to be in the gym every night until the first game of the season.” He pledges that he will be shooting 1,000 jump shots a day to improve his game.
Miller said that they don’t have to find him a position at Arizona, he just needs to get healthier and better. Alkins just needs a jump shot and to lose body fat because Rawle measured in at a whopping 11 percent. The NBA will nit pick you on those types of measurements.
I don’t know how 11 percent body fat is unhealthy, but I guess that’s an issue? Anything to weed out a player probably. Draymond Green measured at 11 percent as well at his NBA Combine and we see how well that worked out.
2. Alkins is a fan favorite with Wildcats fans (Okay this is not from the press conference, but our experience on social media regarding feedback on our stories of his journey)
When Alkins took a selfie with a fan at Safeway in Tucson and told the fan he was staying, we shared that photo on social media and Wildcats fans poured out their love for the Wildcat, they were so happy.
Then Alkins announced that he was going to test the waters, and why not? That didn’t go over very well with Wildcats fans, they weren’t mad at him, they didn’t think he didn’t have what was needed. They were just plain disappointed as you would expect.
After that, we reported on his NBA Combine performance and subsequent NBA team workouts, and Wildcats fans were very happy for him. But they were sad as well because they wanted him to stay at Arizona but felt he should go if things were going well.
Finally, we reported he was coming back to Arizona, and the internet went nuts! Alkins Instagram post with his announcement received 8,577 likes and counting with almost 300 comments. On our pages, it wasn’t as quite as Savage as Alkins post, but we totaled thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.
On Twitter, the same announcement has garnered 3,080 likes and 1,316 retweets to date.
Wildcats fans are happy campers, to say the least.
1. The Savage Life WILL be a thing from now on
As Alkins left the press conference he told Miller, “Hey, [coach] before you leave,” he said as he patted Miller on the back, “Remember to say Savage Life.” His trust in coach Miller and the UofA will add to his confidence and his faith in his team. So if you thought he was a savage on the court last season, this season should be over the top.
“I think this team is going to be special,” said Alkins.
Did we miss something? Please let us know! I guess at this point all we have to say is bear down and long live the Savage Life [drops mic]!