With Arizona Basketball losing all five starters from last season, there will be a lot of new faces entering the 2020-21 season, so here is my projected rotation.
It’s a story that we’ve heard over and over again, the Arizona Basketball team will have to reload on talent for the upcoming season.
As it stands, the Wildcats will lose their entire starting five, in addition to the graduations of both Chase Jeter and Max Hazzard. With so much turnover, Arizona is still looking for solutions along the recruiting front.
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More headlines around FanSided:— Arizona Football: Safety Scottie Young, Jr. enters transfer portal — Arizona Basketball offers four-star guard, Jahmai Mashack — Arizona Basketball to virtually host five-star forward Paolo Banchero — Arizona Athletics to experience $7.5 million shortfall this year — Arizona Women's Basketball adds graduate transfer Trinity Baptiste
Luckily, Euro-league star point guard Kerr Kriisa already signed with Arizona and Coach Sean Miller, making him the latest recruiting addition to the class, which is turning out to be better than expected.
However, with so much unknown at this point, it’s hard to gauge just what the rotation will look like, but nonetheless, here is my projected rotation for next season’s Arizona Basketball team.
PG: Kerr Kriisa (until James Akinjo is eligible), otherwise, think James is our PG
SG: Terrell Brown
SF: Dalen Terry
PF: Jordan Brown
C: Christian Koloko
6: Jemarl Baker
7: Brandon Williams (assuming he’s healthy and can play, then I think he starts)
8: Kerr Kriisa (once Akinjo is eligible)
9: Ira Lee
10: Benedict Mathurin
It’s worth noting that Arizona does have some experience returning; as many of the players have high level basketball under their belt already, as they will have three talented transfer guys to add to the rotation in: Terrell Brown (Seattle), Jordan Brown (Nevada), and James Akinjo (Georgetown).
However, the most vital will be Baker and Lee, as they both have experience in the program, and will be very helpful in developing the younger players in learning the system
A key player that this team needs to breakout next season is Baker. Baker came into Tucson last season after transferring from Kentucky and in my opinion was asked to play out of position for most of the year. His main position is shooting guard, and allowing him to play more time in his natural spot will let him shine more on the offensive end. I believe allowing him to focus more on scoring the ball and getting open looks for himself, rather than focusing on getting his teammates the ball will not only benefit himself, but the team as a whole.
Having only two guys (three if you include Brandon) who have played under Miller so far, will mean that the team could get off to a slow start, but if they can develop some chemistry, Arizona could make a Pac-12 Championship push, if the right things fall into place.
Playing Krissa, Brown, and Terry together will be very fun to watch, as any of the three players can handle the ball, find the open man, and make open shots. Add a potentially healthy Brandon to that group, and this is a very solid back court.
One area that Coach Miller needs to do his best to improve at leading up to next season, is to try to find another big man with or stretch 5 who can play some Power Forward, As of right now, they really only have one center being Christian Koloko, but Ira Lee will likely get a lot of time there with the second unit if someone bigger doesn’t come in.
Koloko this past season showed flashes of excellent defensive ability, blocking shots and being aggressive on the defensive end, but was very inconsistent on offense. A couple areas of his game that he will need to work on this off-season is his foul shooting.
Christian shot 35 percent from the free throw line on limited attempts (20), but missed a few key ones down the stretch in tight games while playing Oregon and Washington.
If this group of Arizona Wildcats can grow together over the next few seasons, the future looks promising for the Men’s Basketball program moving forward!