The Arizona Wildcats are back to the 13-scholarship limit after it was reported Wednesday that 2019 recruit Terry Armstrong will be skipping college to go pro.
With that, there is a good chance the Wildcats’ roster is finalized for the 2019-20 season, so let’s do some inventory.
Note that transfers Jordan Brown and Jemarl Baker Jr. are not being factored into the equation because they have to sit out this season. Walk-ons are not being accounted for either.
Guards: Nico Mannion, Max Hazzard, Alex Barcello, Brandon Williams
The one thing that stands out is the lack of size, as none of the aforementioned players are taller than 6-foot-3. The good news is this group has just about everything else you’d want—shooting, multiple ball handlers, and guys who can get to the rim. Mannion alone makes it one of the best backcourts in the country. Hazzard provides senior leadership and big-game experience.
Wings: Josh Green, Dylan Smith
Arizona’s guards are short, but Green and Smith—both listed at 6-5 or 6-6—are capable of playing the 2, so the Wildcats aren’t going to be forced to trot out an undersized backcourt.
The weakness of this tandem is shooting. Smith has shot 34 percent from 3 during his UA career, and it’s not known to be Green’s strength either, with Sean Miller saying in November that that’s the last piece to the puzzle for the McDonald’s All-American. But both Green and Smith can be solid defenders, and Green is a terrific slasher.
Without Armstrong there is not much depth here (which is one of the drawbacks of having two transfers), especially if there is any merit to the rumors that Williams might not play at Arizona this season. (There does not appear to be any.)
Post players: Chase Jeter, Ira Lee, Stone Gettings, Zeke Nnaji, Christian Koloko
This is the most interesting position group, certainly a deep one. Arizona has a shooter and playmaker in Gettings, a back-to-the-basketball post in Jeter, an energy big in Lee, and a wild card in the athletic 6-foot-11 Nnaji, who may very well end up being the best frontcourt player on the roster. Koloko has some intriguing physical tools, but needs some polish and isn’t expected to play much as a freshman.