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‘No chance’ Stone Gettings plays for Arizona in 2018-19

NCAA Basketball: Cornell at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

As the Arizona Wildcats’ 2019 recruiting class has ascended atop the national rankings, one of its key additions is often lost in the shuffle.

That’s Cornell transfer Stone Gettings, who committed to Arizona last spring. The senior will graduate from Cornell this winter, join the Wildcats after Christmas break and begin practicing with his new team soon thereafter.

While not a five-star recruit, Gettings is a big addition — quite literally. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 16.7 points and 6.6 rebounds at Cornell last season, shooting 49 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3 and 83 percent from the charity stripe.

“We’re obviously extremely excited about him as well,” said UA coach Sean Miller.

To boot, Gettings dished out 2.9 assists, often facilitating the Big Red’s offense from both the low- and high-block. His ability to shoot — and distribute — from any place on the court makes him a tantalizing building block.

“You start talking about experience, talent, and versatility, he really has all three of those,” Miller said.

Since Gettings is graduating this winter, he could technically play for Arizona in the second half of the 2018-19 season, but Miller said there is “no chance” of that happening.

For good reason.

By redshirting this year, Gettings will get a full season with the Wildcats in 2019-20. If he were to play immediately, he would exhaust his final year of eligibility and only get a half season to show for it.

Sure, the Wildcats’ frontcourt could use a boost right now, but it makes more sense to save Gettings for 2019-20. Arizona needs to replace Ryan Luther in the starting lineup and Gettings will be a valuable post presence to a team that has Final Four potential.

The 2018-19 squad, with or without Gettings, simply doesn’t have that kind of ceiling.

Moreover, Miller thinks Gettings will benefit from having an extra semester to learn Arizona’s system before he officially dons the red and blue.

“I think anytime you are a transfer student and you have the opportunity to learn our system and practice and get comfortable with kind of a new surrounding environment, not only on the court but off the court as well, it’s helpful,” Miller said. “It’s really helped Chase Jeter and I think it’ll really help Stone as well.”