Word on the street is the Arizona Wildcats could be in the conversation to pick up Duquesne transfer TJ McConnell after the point guard announced he'd leave the Dukes' program.
Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweeted the rumors on Wednesday and Bruce Pascoe wrote on his blog earlier today that it's a possibility as well.
Rumblings out of the western suburbs is thatArizona is near the top of a short list of possible landing spots for TJ McConnell.— Paul Zeise (@PaulZeise) March 22, 2012
First of all, the likelihood of at least a shared interest makes sense.
McConnell's bio page on the Duquesne website reads like a family tree of Pittsburgh basketball royalty, something that Arizona head coach Sean Miller is not far from at all.Ron Everhart, who was fired as Duquesne's head coach this morning, told Mike Schmitz of the Daily Wildcat a few months back that McConnell is a mirror of a younger Miller, who starred as point guard at Pitt.
"I think he's one of the best point guards in the country," Miller told the Daily Wildcat. "He's the consummate point guard. He makes his team better. Just my familiarity with Duquesne and the success they have in the Atlantic 10, he's a really good player that will test our point guards."
At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, McConnell was the A-10 Freshman of the and finished his sophomore season with averages of 11.4 points and 5.5 assists per game, numbers that Miller could surely use on a roster with a current iffy point guard position and a single scholarship offer remaining open should he choose to use it.
Penn State is also a possible landing spot for McConnell, according to Adam Bittner over at SB Nation Pittsburgh, and the potential addition of the savvy point guard probably leans a lot on what happens in the near future with Josiah Turner.
Were Arizona's highly-recruited point guard to return, it'd surely put the Wildcats in the back seat if McConnell is hoping to see playing time with a move to a big-conference program. With Jordin Mayes and incoming Gabe York also in the point guard mix, that might be overkill at the point guard slot.
It all depends on how soon Miller will know about Turner's status, and it's doubtful that McConnell will be interested in waiting around too long for that decision to be made if it hasn't already. If McConnell sits out his season after the transfer, who knows what the status of Turner will be when both of them will be juniors.
But if Turner is turned away?
Adding a true point guard, one who has a stellar assist-to-turnover ratio, will be mighty interesting. The Wildcats haven't had such a point guard for the last two seasons, and with two promising power forwards in Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley coming into the picture, it's ultimately a big deal that Arizona has someone capable of running the pick-and-rolls with the young big men.
If this is really a possibility, then McConnell's decision will be huge.
While not likely, the Wildcats could theoretically end up with two stellar point guards on the roster in Turner and McConnell.
Or, they could end up with neither.