Arizona Basketball guard Rawle Alkins had a decision to make similar to Andre Iguodala; to stay in Arizona or go to the NBA. They chose different paths, but both decisions were the right ones.
Andre Iguodala decided to head to the NBA instead of coming back to Arizona as a junior. He made the right decision and he was NBA ready. Arizona Basketball fans have no problem with that decision except we could have used him against Illinois in the Elite 8 after holding a 15 point lead with four minutes to go.
There was a major hole left on our roster during the Wildcats 2004-2005 season after Star Andre Iguodala decided to take his talents to the NBA following his sophomore season in 2004. We are hoping that Rawle staying will give us that extra piece to solidify us as a true national title contender next season.
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Nobody can blame Iguodala because he was a two-time champion and Finals MVP in 2015 and he gave 100% to the University and continues to be an ambassador for Arizona Basketball. He is a two-time all-NBA defensive team member and has an all-star appearance to his resume. He was also on the first team all-rookie team in 2005, so we’re not questioning his decision.
Note: If Iggy were to stay, in my opinion we probably wouldn’t have blown that 15-point lead to Illinois in the Elite 8 back in 2004-2005. So it was good for him to leave, but it would have been better for Arizona if he came back.
Iggy is one of our favorite players to have played in Tucson.
After Iggy’s sophomore season he had a major decision to make whether to go pro or not, he chose the NBA and has represented Arizona basketball with class since he entered the league.
Iggy also helps in recruiting as well making phone calls
Which is why Arizona basketball has earned the nickname ‘A Players Program.’ Former players give back to the University, and Sean Miller kept that tradition running after Lute Olson left. Olson began that phrase, and Miller kept it and ran with it. Iggy, Steve Kerr, Richard Jefferson, and Channing Frye are prime examples of players giving back to the University.
Arizona fans have fallen in love with Rawle Alkins for many reasons. Alkins decision was to return as a sophomore, to give it one more year. If all the stars align, Alkins will leave to the NBA after his sophomore year just like Iguodala. Being able to test the NBA waters was beneficial for both Alkins and Arizona.
Rawle has the same qualities that Iggy while he played at Arizona and that is why he is considered an icon in Tucson. Cats fans are about to witness something special, and the tough-minded savage from Brooklyn will be a major player along with Allonzo Trier next season.
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Cats fans reactions have been positive; they feel his decision to come back will pay major dividends. And that look on Sean Miller’s face at the end of Alkins presser was priceless, and Miller is a happy camper.
Rawle is a very high character player who puts the team first and takes what the defense gives him. If they leave him open he’ll knock down a three in your face, if you try to run with him, he’ll blow by you with a monstrous dunk or an and-one, or he’ll find the open shooter. His basketball IQ is extremely high, and his motor is endless.
Since Alkins doesn’t have a true position being about 6-foot-3 or 6-foot-4 in shoes, it only helps him more because he is so versatile, very similar to Iguodala. He can guard any position on the floor except for the center, but we have plenty of size to take care of that. Rawle is also incredibly well-spoken, and when he talks people listen, he’s a very quiet leader and came back for one reason, winning Miller his first national championship.
Rawle and Iggy are very similar in other ways. One of their greatest attributes is his crazy toughness.
The man is an absolute ‘Savage,’ and he has embraced the title ‘Savage life’ for a reason. Just watch him in the tourney when he jammed his thumb went to the locker room and returned only to continue to make an impact when our team needed it most.
Sean Miller thought there was no chance we’d have Rawle back after seeing his injury. Alkins high school coach even said that he never missed a game due to injury. Being that ‘Savage,’ he came sprinting back on to the court after a short locker room stint. That kind of energy and toughness will rub off on everybody. This year’s champion North Carolina Tar Heels had a great mix of veterans and youth which goes a long way in winning the Tourney.
Head Coach Sean Miller is looking to having Alkins be one of the leaders of the team, and he has everything it takes to be that leader.
Next year’s Wildcats feature incredibly talented upperclassmen like Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Dusan Ristic, including transfers like Dylan Smith and Talbott Denny who sat out last season to go along a Top 5 recruiting class. The sky’s the limit for the preseason number 1 team in the Nation Arizona Wildcats.