Projecting Arizona Basketball's starting five for the 2024-25 season

The roster turnover that was expected has come to fruition, so who can be expected on the court next year?
Colorado v Arizona
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3 of 5

3: Small forward

Starter: Anthony Dell'Orso

Dell'Orso spent the last two years in Buies Creek, North Carolina, as a member of the Campbell Fightin' Camels — which is an absolutely fantastic mascot. He shot around 49% from the field in his first two seasons and averaged an impressive 19.5 points per game last season.

Listed as a guard and playing the wing position, Lloyd is likely trying to have Dell'Orso play the same role Larsson has over the last three seasons. However, the wrinkle is that Dell'Orso can shoot from distance: 35% of his shots were 3-pointers and he shot 35%. He can pair with Love as a secondary dynamic shooter from range when Lloyd wants to keep a fast-paced offense.

This type of production doesn't automatically transfer over from the mid-majors, though. Despite being the starter, Dell'Orso will likely be shelved in favor of Love to make room for both Bradley and Lewis on the court. In these situations, Dell'Orso lacks the mass that Larsson had to be able to stand his own as an occasional power forward. These factors will impact his playing time in Year 1 in the desert.

Backup: Tobe Awaka

Tobe Awaka
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Every forward from the 2023-24 season aside from Henri Veesaar and walk-on Luke Champion is gone, so this group must build chemistry quickly. Awaka is Arizona's best option as the backup small forward, and he'll likely sit atop the "true" bench rotation as the seventh man with Lewis poised to be even more integrated with the starting line than the typical sixth man.

Awaka transferred to Arizona following two years as a key bench player at Tennessee, where he saw action in all 69 games. Last season, the 6-foot-8 forward averaged 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game on 13.1 minutes of play while shooting just above 59% from the field for the second straight year.

With former Hofstra standout Darlinstone Dubar on the way in for the Volunteers, the writing was on the wall for Awaka in Knoxville. The formula of plucking a backup from one of the premier programs in the SEC worked out for Arizona Football with Bill Norton, and it seems that Lloyd is hoping to channel some of that magic onto the hardwood.