The Arizona Wildcats are known for producing some of the nation’s top talent year in and year out. Before every home game, their intro video highlights the 72 NBA Draft picks and 31 All-Americans that have come through Tucson.
The 2018-19 season will be one to forget in that regard.
The Wildcats only have one player in the top 20 in the Pac-12 in scoring (Brandon Randolph, 12th) and rebounding (Chase Jeter, 7th). That is the only time that has been true in the Pac-12 era, despite this being the conference’s weakest field in years.
Even the 2011-12 Arizona Wildcats, the last UA team to miss the NCAA Tournament, had three scorers in the Top 20, along with two of the conference’s top three rebounders in Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry.
2018-19 is also the first season Arizona does not have a single player on KenPom’s five-member all-conference team since that became a thing in 2013-14.
The 2019 NBA Draft will also likely be the first since 2016 in which an Arizona player will not be selected and just the second time since 2010.
The Wildcats have had at least one player make the All-Pac-12 First or Second Team every season since 1983-84, but that could change in 2018-19 as well.
And barring a run in the Pac-12 Tournament, 2018-19 will likely be the first season since 2011-12 that Arizona misses the NCAA Tournament.
Obviously, things weren’t supposed to be this way. The federal investigation into college basketball dismantled Arizona’s 2018 recruiting class, leaving the cupboard bare after the Wildcats lost their entire starting five to graduation/the NBA.
The good news is the suffering won’t last very long. Help is on the way.