On the eve of their first exhibition, the Arizona Wildcats made a late addition to their 2019-20 roster, learning that Kentucky transfer Jemarl Baker Jr. is eligible to play this season.
We took a look at what the 6-foot-4 guard can add to the Wildcats, and here is my best stab what their depth looks like now that he’s in the fold. Feel free to tell me why I am wrong in the comment section below.
PG: Nico Mannion/Jemarl Baker Jr.
SG: Max Hazzard/Devonaire Doutrive
SF: Josh Green/Dylan Smith
PF: Zeke Nnaji/Stone Gettings
C: Chase Jeter/Ira Lee/Christian Koloko
- Mannion, Green and Jeter are shoe-ins to start assuming they are healthy. Remember, Jeter missed the Red-Blue Game with a strained groin. The other two spots are a lot more fluid. Lee, Gettings or Nnaji could all start at the 4, while Hazzard, Doutrive and Baker are all capable of starting at the 2.
- That said, the backup point guard spot is the most concerning part of the depth chart. All of Arizona’s non-Mannion guards profile more as 2s than 1s. That could cause Arizona’s offense to get stagnant any time Mannion leaves the court.
- Perimeter defense is a big concern as well. The Wildcats do not have one proven high-caliber defender on the wing. Green and Smith are the best candidates, but the former hasn’t played a college game yet while the latter hasn’t provided enough offense to justify his defense.
- The frontcourt has all the pieces you need: Shooting, shot-blocking, depth, athleticism, and interior scoring. It’s just a matter of finding pairings that are the most effective. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gettings or Lee start over Nnaji to begin the season since Sean Miller tends to ride with experienced players early on.