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Arizona basketball: Assessing the Wildcats’ scholarship situation for the 2017-18 season

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How many more players will Arizona be able to add this offseason? It depends

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Arizona vs Saint Mary's Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats have four signees in the incoming 2017 recruiting class, and Sean Miller plans to add at least one more player to the mix, “maybe two.”

Arizona needs a sufficient number of scholarships to do that, but where does it stand in that regard?

Let’s take a look.

Players on scholarship for 2017-18 (13)

  • Parker Jackson-Cartwright
  • Dusan Ristic
  • Chance Comanche
  • Dylan Smith
  • Keanu Pinder
  • DeAndre Ayton
  • Alex Barcello
  • Ira Lee
  • Brandon Randolph
  • Rawle Alkins
  • Kobi Simmons
  • Lauri Markkanen
  • Allonzo Trier

Players whose scholarship status is uncertain

  • Talbott Denny (applied for sixth year, and it’s not clear what the status of that is)
  • Ray Smith (retired for medical reasons, likely does not count toward UA’s scholarship total)

Simply, the number of scholarships the Wildcats have left to offer for 2017-18 will be directly tied to how many of their current players bolt for the NBA (unless Denny is granted a sixth year, which seems unlikely).

That’s because Division I basketball teams are allotted 13 scholarships and Arizona’s roster would be full if all 13 underclassmen decide to return.

The Wildcats will likely lose multiple players to the NBA, though, so here’s a good way to look at Arizona’s scholarship situation moving forward:


For every player Arizona loses to the NBA, it can add another recruit or transfer

So...

  • If Arizona loses one player to the NBA, then one more recruit/transfer can be added
  • If Arizona loses two players to the NBA, then two more recruits/transfers can be added
  • If Arizona loses three players to the NBA, then three more recruits/transfers can be added, etc.

Obviously the same is true if a player decides to transfer instead of declaring for the draft.


This is why it makes sense that Miller expects Arizona to add another player or two to its 2017 class. Not everyone is going to stay in school, and he must figure at least one or two players will go pro.

As far as who the Wildcats may add to fill any spots that may open up, they’re in pursuit of 2017 five-star recruits Brian Bowen and Trevon Duval, plus Brandon McCoy remains a possibility.

Transfers are always an option, and Arizona was connected to Duke transfer Chase Jeter last week.

Of course, with the coaching carousel being the way it is right now, it’s also possible Arizona can add a recruit that was previously signed or committed elsewhere.

Either way, Arizona’s 2017-18 roster most likely isn’t set yet, so we’ll see what Miller and company can pull off in the next few months.


You can follow this author on Twitter at @RKelapire