Angelo Chol is transferring from the Arizona basketball program and San Diego State University is one possible landing spot, according to UT San Diego's Mark Zeigler. With that he becomes the fifth player in the last three recruiting classes to leave the program, joining Josiah Turner (pro), Daniel Bejarano (Colorado State), Sidiki Johnson (Providence), and Grant Jerrett (pro).
Only Nick Johnson remains from the 2011 class.
Call it survival of the fittest or call it questionable over-recruiting, Sean Miller hasn't done well at keeping players around. I'll take flak in saying it might very well be the latter, and that's not the most ideal situation for building a college basketball program. Maybe it's simply a sign of the times.
Either way, that over-recruiting makes it a safe bet that the Arizona Wildcats won't be struck all that negatively by Chol's decision.
Chol played more during his freshman season than he did his sophomore year. He averaged 1.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in just 8.5 minutes per outing and appeared in just more than half the minutes (239 to 436) as he did his freshman campaign. That was mostly due to necessity, as Arizona had nothing in the front court during his arrival.
While he was stuck behind the front line of Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Jerrett this past season, Chol still exhibited raw athleticism, a perplexed knowledge of the offense and questionable defensive smarts. In short, Chol at Arizona's was more of a four-year project whose returns would come during his senior season -- even a fifth year with the program.
It's a wonder, however, why this process of player movement continues. Especially with Jerrett's decision to leave for the NBA, Chol would have a role, seemingly. Miller, after all, implemented his deep rotations early on this year, but as the production from the second unit took a hit, he pulled back the reins. Chol was at the heart of a shortened bench. While he wasn't a starter, he struggled to fit on on what could've been a frontline that was four-deep with traditional big men.
Chol often looked confused as the Wildcats set up their offensive sets. He was slow on defensive rotations and often made up for it all with his natural knack to play hard, reach far and jump high. Presumably, that is why he ultimately fell out of the rotation despite showing promise as, at the very least, a shot-blocker and energy guy.
Now, the depth is thinned but definitely not barren. Aaron Gordon certainly will have the chance to slide to the power forward slot now, and Cochise College transfer Matt Korcheck certainly could bull his way into the lineup at this point as an undersized, high-motor forward.
The depth chart is as follows:
SG - Nick Johnson, Gabe York, Elliott Pitts
SF - Aaron Gordon, Rondae Jefferson
PF - Brandon Ashley, Matt Korcheck
C - Kaleb Tarczewski
Note: I'm making assumptions at the starting lineup and of course the Wildcats will go with a smaller lineup with their bench unit, effectively sliding the power forwards to the center spot, the small forwards to the power forward spot, so on, so forth.