The Wildcats’ top freshman is Brandon Williams, who was the No. 34 recruit in his class, and they aren’t returning a single player who was a major contributor in 2017-18.
Still, one draft site believes a Wildcat will be drafted in 2019. It just might not be who you think.
The redshirt junior center has not suited up for Arizona yet, as he had to sit out last season after transferring in from Duke.
A former McDonald’s All-American, Jeter does have some intriguing physical tools like a 7-2.25 wingspan, good mobility, and some bounciness, and his calling card is his defensive prowess, but he will have to show a lot more offensively to be an NBA prospect.
He averaged just over two points and two rebounds per game in 48 games at Duke (albeit he dealt with a serious back injury as a sophomore). Jeter shot 53 percent from the field, 55 percent from the free-throw line, and just 5-for-18 from mid-range, per hoop-math.com. He did not take any 3s.
Jeter also struggled as a rebounder, collecting 8.5 per 40 minutes.
The good news is Jeter should have plenty of opportunities to showcase his development next season. Arizona’s frontcourt will be much thinner than usual, and Jeter is penciled in to start at center and play major minutes.
How well he capitalizes on that opportunity will have a big impact on Arizona’s success as a team and his NBA aspirations.
“He’s hungry to have a big role, which he’s going to have, and he’s hungry to play again,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “We’re counting on big things from him both on the court and as a leader, and you can make the case that he might be as important as anybody on this team.”