With a few Arizona Wildcats still deciding if they will continue their college careers, Sporting News went ahead and projected this team to next year with the current players, and Arizona is at the top.
Here is Ryan Fagan’s reasoning for having Arizona No. 1 right now:
If the guys on the should-I-go-pro fence decide to return, Arizona is the clear Pac-12 favorite, and the Wildcats will stay atop this ranking when next fall rolls around. Will that happen, though? Hard to know. Either way, Sean Miller will have tons of talent on his roster; his top-five recruiting class includes the prospect some consider No. 1 in the country — big man DeAndre Ayton — and three more four-star players, power forward Ira Lee and guards Brandon Randolph and Alex Barcello.
Seth Davis also seems to agree with this assessment.
This is fine for right now, but Arizona could still lose two more — possibly three — players due to NBA Draft early entrees. Lauri Markkanen is already gone, but we’re still waiting on decisions from Kobi Simmons, Allonzo Trier, and possibly Rawle Alkins as well.
The rest of Fagan’s early top-five includes: Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan State. Other Pac-12 teams on the list are UCLA (11) and Oregon (24).
There’s certainly a lot of talent at U of A right now as well as coming in, but will it all be there when 2017 actually starts is the real question right now.