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Arizona basketball recruiting 2014: Stanley Johnson leads classic Sean Miller class

Sean Miller's usual recruiting work has made another fine recruiting class, but a lot depends on the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

It's hard to predict how Arizona's roster will look next season, though it's not hard to imagine the Wildcats returning a solid core from this season that could give the 2015 NCAA Tournament a deep run. Aside from Aaron Gordon, it's unclear who should leave, though it's obvious a few others could.

T.J. McConnell will certainly be back, forward Brandon Ashley vowed after his season-ending foot injury that'd he'd be back and better than ever next season, and Kaleb Tarczewski isn't ready to handle the physicality of the NBA.

Nick Johnson could work his way into the first round if he has a strong NCAA run in the next few weeks, but it's completely plausible he returns for his senior season, especially if the 2014 NCAA Tournament doesn't provide the storybook ending to his Arizona career. Same goes for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who is a lottery talent who could be tempted to leave before he's ripe.

And because there's so much left open, UA coach Sean Miller has made sure to compensate. "Compensate" is certainly the rude way of phrasing "reloading," but with so many potential NBA players on the roster, it's certainly a word needed to explain the expectation that a player or two will leave or transfer unexpectedly -- call it the Grant Jerrett Rule.

The 2014 recruiting class sits at five players, and all of them play different positions, almost all of which will be in need of depth next season.

Point guard

Point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright is a bulldog at 5-foot-8 and could back McConnell and work as a change-of-pace floor general to start his career. Johnson and graduating senior Jordin Mayes have played backup point for the last few seasons, but Miller would love to have a true point guard learning from and playing behind McConnell.

Shooting guard

Junior college transfer Kadeem Allen could fill in at point but will also provide scoring punch off the bench. He might be the least-likely to become an immediate-impact player of the 2014 class, especially if Nick Johnson returns. That's because both Gabe York and Elliott Pitts have shown a lot of ability as floor-spacers and beyond late in the 2013-14 season.


Stanley Johnson, the 5-star forward and top-ranked swingman in the nation, will not only be the best talent, but the most likely player to earn a starting spot. He'll fill in for Gordon, though Hollis-Jefferson could make a run at the starting small forward spot. It's even possible the Wildcats could run with a small-ball group of both small forwards depending on the center and power forward spots -- namely Ashley and Tarczewski.

Craig Victor is a top-40 player in his class, and the Findlay Prep product is a raw combo forward prospect still growing into his perimeter game at 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds. Unlike Stanley Johnson, Gordon or Hollis-Jefferson, Victor has the potential to become a staple in Arizona's lineup for more than a year or two. He could play with either of Hollis-Jefferson or Stanley Johnson, and could see more time if Ashley decides he'll leave for the NBA despite his injury this year.


Dusan Ristic was the latest addition to the 2014 recruiting class, and like fellow late signee Kadeem Allen, came out of Kansas.  At 7-foot and 240 pounds, the Serbian who plays at Sunrise Christian Academy is considered a skilled big man who would grow behind Tarczewski and provide the frontcourt depth that was lost last season when Grant Jerrett went pro and Angelo Chol transferred to San Diego State.


The Arizona Wildcats have a 2014 NCAA Tournament run that will play a part in deciding what returning pieces Sean Miller has to work with. If more than expected leave, the Wildcats will be reloaded and leaning more heavily on point guard T.J. McConnell. If Aaron Gordon is the only player to jet for the NBA, then expect 2014-15 to be more of the same as this season -- only deeper.