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College Basketball Preview: 13. Arizona Wildcats

13. Arizona Wildcats 23-12 in 2011 (12-6 Pac 12)

One year removed from Derrick Williams, it became clear that the Wildcats were still in a somewhat rebuilding stage and not yet to their old powerhouse level. That should change this season, thanks to much needed depth and size. Last year, with a whole lot of talented newcomers, Sean Miller's squad played decent, but not good enough to get a NCAA tournament berth. In fact, not good enough to beat Bucknell in the NIT. Much of that was due to an inexperienced backcourt with Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson, and a very small frontcourt. Times are changing in Tucson but how good will these Wildcats be this season?

Mark Lyons

Backcourt: Miller got a gem when he managed to land Xavier transfer Mark Lyons, a guy he coached while at Xavier. Lyons is explosive and a good shooter but mostly played shooting guard for the Musketeers. With no Turner, he should move to point guard which opens room for Nick Johnson, a sophomore, to start alongside him. Johnson slumped at the end of last season terribly but should benefit with more experienced help. He can score in bunches and is a very rebounder at his position. Sure to also see time in the backcourt is freshman Gabe York who can hit any shot on the court. He is small for a shooting guard so could backup Lyons at the point. Another shooter, junior Jordin Mayes should be a solid contributor. He isn't immensely talented but is smart and gets open. Kevin Parrom can start at either guard or forward but should see more time at forward. If healthy, he can add scoring punch and good defense.

Solomon Hill
Frontcourt: It was huge when Miller landed Grant Jerrett, the California Gatorade Player of the Year because he adds size, something that killed the Wildcats against taller teams. Jerrett isn't a back to basket guy, as he can scoring inside and out and also is a solid rebounder. The biggest returner in the frontcourt is Solomon Hill who can finally switch back to small forward, which is a better fit for him. He slimmed down to become more agile and quick and adds shooting capabilities and is a fantastic rebounder. He has to work on his mid range game to develope into a better all-around player. Sophomore Angelo Chol is a gritty, defensive minded player who should spend a lot of time at power forward. He can block any shot that comes near him, but the biggest thing was his improvement on offense. Center Kaleb Tarczewski is the only true center on the roster which means he can gain a lot of minutes. Unlike Jerrett, he has a back to basket game as he does damage inside the paint. Another freshman, Brandon Ashley is sure to get minutes on the wing.

Top NBA Prospect: Solomon Hill
Pac 12 Rank: 2nd
PG Mark Lyons- Senior
SG Nick Johnson- Sophomore
SF Solomon Hill- Senior
PF Angelo Chol- Sophmore
C Grant Jerrett- Freshman
Sixth Kevin Parrom- Senior

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