Arizona Basketball: Honoring our 2018 Wildcats seniors!

TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 27: Dusan Ristic
TUCSON, AZ - JANUARY 27: Dusan Ristic /

Arizona Basketball is set to finish up the regular season by honoring their Seniors and sending them off to postseason play on a positive note.

Arizona Basketball returns to Tucson for the final time of the season.  In what was a dark weekend for the University. It is time to focus our attention on the Seniors that will be honored this week.  Arizona will host the Stanford Cardinal on Thursday, March 1st at 8 p.m. (MST).  The final regular season matchup will be against the California Golden Bears this Saturday, March 3rd at 4:30 p.m. (MST).

There has been a lot of noise surrounding the program, in which a key player was suspended and serious allegations were levied against coach Sean Miller and some players. Despite all the turmoil, the Wildcats split their Oregon games. The No. 19 Arizona Basketball team needed overtime to get past the Beavers and then fell to Oregon in overtime two nights later.

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This week they look to finish the regular season as Pac-12 Conference champions.  As they get ready for postseason play, the school will honor four players who play a pivotal part in the team’s success.  In an era dominated by “One-and-Done” players, Arizona has some veterans playing key roles.

Talbott Denny: The 6-5 local product from Salpointe High School has not really had a chance to be a factor on the court.  He transferred from Lipscomb before the 2016-17 campaign but missed the season due to a knee injury.  The redshirt Senior forward has only played five minutes all season but is an important part of the roster since he provides a much-needed presence on the team and in practice.

Keanu PinderThe Perth, Australia native has been a key part of the Arizona Basketball program for the last two years.  While not a focal point offensively, it is his defensive acumen and athleticism that has been invaluable.  When Pinder does provide offense it is usually a spectacular dunk or much-needed free=throws at crucial times during the year.

At 6-foot-9, he has the length to come in and defend the opponents’  big men, as well as the agility to defend the perimeter. Keanu’s defensive contributions will be missed! Bill Walton loves Keanu Pinder. “I want Pinder on my team,” said Walton during the Wildcats game against Oregon.

Parker Jackson-Cartwright: PJC has been another solid point guard for Arizona Basketball in the Sean Miller era. He has improved each year with the program and is the unsung leader of the team. While he hasn’t quite delivered the stats that TJ McConnell has, his ability to run the offense and contribute is vital to Arizona’s success.  He is averaging around seven points, two rebounds, and nearly five assists per game.  Despite his size, PJC has shown that he can be a difference maker for one of the sport’s best teams. And no one on the team can break the press better than PJC!

Dusan Ristic: Of this year’s Senior crop, Dusan has probably had the best career.  He is in a prime position to be the All-Time winning-est player’s at the University of Arizona with one more win.  But the 7-foot Novi Sad (Serbia) native has come along way, literally. In his freshman year, Ristic was averaging three points a game in nine minutes of action.  He has developed into a pillar on the frontcourt alongside phenom DeAndre Ayton winning a Pac-12 Player of the Week honor.

Ristic is having a career year for Arizona Basketball, averaging almost 12 points and seven rebounds per contest. Ristic has brought the savage life to his game this season, emerging as a key leader and making sure the world knows he can shoot a three too. It has been a joy to see his career trajectory take fold.

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Dusan told ZZ that he and PJC want to bring a Championship to Arizona, and they will hopefully get two tries in the next few months. The Senior celebration will be a welcome distraction from the off-court fiasco to focus on our Seniors.  These four Wildcats have made great contributions to Arizona Basketball.  The players deserve to be honored, and hopefully, it will be done with a Pac 12 Championship and a Wildcat victory with Sean Miller coaching!