The thing about roster crunches in college basketball is they always seem to work themselves out.
The Arizona Wildcats were two players over the 13-scholarship limit for 2019-20 after landing a commitment from Zeke Nnaji in November, but they announced the departure of sophomore forward Emmanuel Akot on Tuesday, putting them at 14 scholarship players for next season.
That total includes former walk-on Jake DesJardins, who was put on scholarship this summer but is unlikely to stay scholarship next season, meaning Arizona is down to 13 players.
As a refresher, here they are:
- Brandon Randolph
- Brandon Williams
- Ira Lee
- Dylan Smith
- Chase Jeter
- Stone Gettings
- Nico Mannion
- Josh Green
- Christian Koloko
- Terry Armstrong
- Alex Barcello
- Devonaire Doutrive
- Zeke Nnaji
Roster crunch solved, right? Well, not necessarily.
In this day and age where player movement is more prevalent than ever, it would hardly be surprising to see the Wildcats lose another player or two this offseason. Perhaps Jeter, who graduated in December, will go pro. Or maybe Barcello, who has been glued to the bench during Pac-12 play, will transfer somewhere he can get more playing time.
“Every program is experiencing a lot of turnover,” UA coach Sean Miller acknowledged Tuesday.
For that reason, the Wildcats plan to stay active on the 2019 recruiting trail in case a roster spot opens up. They could either go the traditional high school route and bring in a sixth freshman, adding to their already No. 1 recruiting class, or they could attack the transfer market and add an experienced veteran.
“We’re always recruiting and the spring isn’t here yet,” Miller said. “But no doubt we’ll continue to look to add quality people and players to our program.”