A consistent issue plaguing Arizona in its 12-year Final Four drought -- has it really been that long? -- is post play.
Sure, good 4s and 5s have come through the program in the decade-plus since the Wildcats last played into the tournament's last weekend. Channing Frye, Ivan Radenovic, Jordan Hill and Derrick Williams had varying degrees of success plying their particular trade at either power forward or center, but none had a reliable presence sharing the workload in the key.
That shouldn't be a problem in the coming season. Should the team's young talent live up to its potential, Arizona will have its best frontcourt since 2001. That season, Lute Olson could mix and match with traditional center Loren Woods, imposing power forward Michael Wright, athletic swing man Richard Jefferson, and Luke Walton and Eugene Edgerson providing depth off the bench.
Sean Miller amassed a lineup for the coming season with an unprecedented amount of frontcourt talent. Seven-foot freshman Kaleb Tarczewski and 6-foot-10 Grant Jerrett bring size that has eluded Arizona for years, but perhaps more importantly is that each has a unique skill set.
Tarczewski is the traditional 5 UA hasn't had since Woods. Like Woods, his length should make him a defensive force in the lane. He's also reportedly packed on 30 pounds of muscle, which should translate well to his back-to-the-basket offense and presence on the boards.
Jerrett's style is more comparable to Frye. I covered Jerrett and his La Verne Lutheran team at the prestigious Torrey Pines Holiday Classic last December, and was astounded by his soft jump shot touch. He shot as well from behind the arc as any two-guard. Miller has the flexibility to use both Jerrett and Tarczewski on the floor simultaneously, with the former manning the high post and the latter down low.
And that's just one combination for Miller to experiment with in his frontcourt. Ever-improving Angelo Chol showed flashes of brilliance in his freshman campaign. At his best, Chol played a style comparable to Hill, but less refined. That said, Chol was much more polished as a freshman than Hill, who made a tremendous leap as a sophomore. If Chol has made similar improvements, he could be Arizona's breakout star this season.
Another Wildcat forward with breakout potential is freshman Brandon Ashley. Another player I had the privilege of covering, Ashley plays with explosive athleticism that best case, could evolve into something resembling Williams.
A key byproduct of this influx of new talent is Solomon Hill moving to his natural position. That bodes well for the senior's draft stock in his final campaign, and translates to potentially big things -- pun intended -- for this Wildcat team.