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Arizona basketball transfer Angelo Chol chooses San Diego State

Angelo Chol will head back to his home of San Diego to play for the Aztecs.


Arizona Wildcats transfer Angelo Chol will indeed transfer to the San Diego State Aztecs' basketball program, reports UT San Diego's Mark Zeigler. SDSU was the apparent favorite from the early murmurs of Chol's decision to leave Tucson.

The Hoover High School product returns to San Diego, his first home in the United States after moving from his native Sudan. His high school coach, Ollie Goulston, told Zeigler that the move was about playing time. And with one of the better West Coast basketball programs in his own backyard, it appeared like a perfect fit.

"It's like a running back who gets better with more carries," Goulston said. "Angelo plays better the more minutes he gets. He's not a guy who works well in 3- to 6-minute stretches, where you're just in and out of the lineup."

That was the biggest problem at Arizona. While Chol was still very raw, he did show during his freshman season that his confidence was at its peak on individual plays -- that is, when there were many of them to go around. With a loaded frontcourt of Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski, Aaron Gordon and even Matt Korcheck, Chol's minutes wouldn't be consistent even if he made leaps in the right directions. As in, he'd be limited unless he became a first-round NBA pick overnight.

Chol averaged 12.1 minutes per game during his freshman season and just 8.5 during his sophomore campaign.

SDSU coach Steve Fisher has developed raw, lanky forwards in the past, turning their athletic attributes into consistent tools to make a difference in their play. That was a major reason Chol felt comfortable with the transfer, Goulston told the newspaper. The most recent and most successful of Fisher's players while at SDSU is small forward Kawhi Leonard.

Chol will enroll within a month and must sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. He has two years of eligibility left.

Interestingly enough, the Wildcats head to San Diego State to face the Aztecs next year, as Bruce Pascoe wrote earlier this week. Chol will watch the Arizona team from the opposite bench.