Three freshmen have kind of defined the Arizona Wildcats’ season, but there were some huge improvements made by a few of the returners this year.
So possibly the toughest of our regular season awards is “Most Improved”.
Here are the players that we think should get it. Let us know what you think!
James Schlittenhart: Parker Jackson-Cartwright. I felt that PJC played mostly in the shadow of T.J. McConnell for years, and didn’t get a chance to show what he was capable of. After getting off to a slow start from behind the arc and eventually suffering an injury early in the season, Jackson-Cartwright has come back to be a real threat from deep, an incredibly capable ball handler and distributor, and a solid defender. Plus, he’s a block machine.
Ronnie Stoffle: I’m going with Kadeem Allen here. PJC deserves serious consideration as well, though. For me, the case for Kadeem is simple in that his defensive game elevated to a height that I didn’t know it could reach. He also improved as a facilitator. This wasn’t necessarily evident in the stats but it was apparent that he was more comfortable and controlled with the ball. His three point shooting also dramatically improved. Last season he shot 36 percent on 1.5 attempts per game. This season he shot 41.5 percent on 2.3 attempts per game.
Brandon Hill: For variety, I’ll go with Chance Comanche. His minutes per game have tripled from last year, from 6 to over 18. Comanche still hasn’t put up big numbers but his per 30 minutes averages of 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds have been important, particularly at times when the rotation has been especially thin. Unspectacular but solid and beneficial contributions from a role guy who has gone from bench afterthought to important backup.
David Potts: Chance Comanche. Chance’s minutes per game jumped big time, he was more efficient in the minutes he played, and he finished a lot better around the basket. Last season, Chance only took 33 shots, making 48.5% of them. This year, he’s taken almost four times as many shots (130) and made a staggering 59.2% of them. No one else has made the same jump in both playing time and productivity, so Chance gets the nod from me.