It’s a new year and the Arizona Wildcats have a new player on their roster.
Cornell transfer Stone Gettings, who committed to Arizona last spring, has joined the team and will practice with the Wildcats for the first time Tuesday when they begin prepping for Thursday’s Pac-12 opener against Colorado.
The 6-foot-8 Gettings, who is redshirting this season, graduated from Cornell in December and made his way to Tucson soon thereafter.
“Although he’s physically been here in Tucson, he had to go through all the tests, get cleared medically, and cleared to be able to participate,” UA coach Sean Miller said Tuesday at his weekly presser. “So today will actually be his first full day to be out there and it’s going to take some time.”
As a graduate transfer, Gettings is eligible to play for the Wildcats in the spring semester, but Miller said in November that there is “no chance” that will happen. Instead, the Malibu native will play a full season in 2019-20, figuring to be a veteran post presence for what should be a much-improved team.
In the meantime, Gettings will get acclimated at the UA and provide a boost to the scout team.
“He hasn’t practiced in a semester and he’s learning our system,” Miller said. “So there’s certain things he’ll be able to do, other things that he won’t be able to do, but we’re excited about having him here. I think it’s a big shot in the arm to add a quality player especially a frontline player who can help us every day. And he’s able to travel, which helps us on the road especially in the Pac-12 where you leave on a Wednesday or Tuesday and you’re gone for three or four days. So while we’re together, having another player who’s a quality player not only helps Stone for the future, but it really helps this year’s team.”
As for what Gettings will add, Miller said in November that he has “experience, talent, and versatility.”
Gettings averaged 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists at Cornell as a junior, shooting 49 percent from the field, 37 percent from 3, and 83 percent from the charity stripe.
Gettings had three 30-point outings and 11 20-point games with five double-doubles last season. He was one of two players to rank in the top 10 in the Ivy League in points (sixth), rebounds (third) and assists (ninth).
“He’s a very skilled player,” Miller reiterated Tuesday. “He can shoot the ball. Initially here I think he’ll establish that right away that he doesn’t take a backseat to really anybody on our team when it comes to shooting. ... He also loves the game, it’s fun to coach guys that love the game because they’re always working and they’re always trying to get better.”
Gettings mostly played center for the Big Red, but Miller said it is too early to tell what his role will be with the Wildcats.
“He’s a versatile forward,” Miller said. “I think you can move him around. A lot of it will depend — and we’re not there yet — on who he’s on the court with.”