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Sean Miller: Stone Gettings is a ‘matchup nightmare’ for Arizona

The Cornell transfer can pass and shoot

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stone-gettings-arizona-wildcats-basketball-sean-miller-2019-20-cornell-transfer-depth-chart Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats are welcoming some talented newcomers this season, including a pair of All-Americans in Nico Mannion and Josh Green, but one that often goes overlooked is Cornell transfer Stone Gettings.

The fifth-year senior put up some eye-popping numbers in the Ivy League, where he was a second-team all-conference player as a junior in 2017-18.

Gettings averaged 16.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game that season. He was good for an offensive explosion every now and then, with three 30-point games and 11 20-point games.

In an interview with The Athletic’s Doug Haller, UA head coach Sean Miller called the 6-foot-9 Gettings a “matchup nightmare” because of his jump shot.

Gettings shot 49 percent from the floor, 37 percent from 3-point range and 83 percent from the free-throw line in 2017-18.

As far as how Gettings fits in at Arizona, that remains to be seen. He joins a frontcourt that has a unique mix of talent with Zeke Nnaji, Ira Lee, Chase Jeter, and Christian Koloko, all of whom have different strengths.

With the loss of sophomore guard Brandon Williams to season-ending knee surgery, the Wildcats need Gettings to maximize his.

Arizona is coming off its worst 3-point shooting season since 2005-06, only converting 33.6 percent of its 3s last season. What is more concerning is that UA’s top three shooters from 2018-19—Williams, Ryan Luther and Justin Coleman—are no longer in the picture.

Graduate transfer Max Hazzard, who shot in the high 30s at UC Irvine will knock down shots, but the Wildcats will need more than that to effectively space the floor around Mannion and Green.

Who better to do it than Gettings, who can play both frontcourt positions?

Then there is Gettings’ playmaking too. Mannion and, to a lesser extent Hazzard, are the only point guards on Arizona’s roster now that Williams is down.

Shots will have to be created somehow, and Gettings is known for his passing from the high post. As a junior, he posted the highest assist rate on the Big Red, who often ran their offense through him. Nine times he had five or more assists in a game.

Arizona has had bigs who could shoot (Lauri Markkanen, Ryan Luther) and bigs who could pass (Aaron Gordon), but few that could do both consistently.

So if Gettings can continue where he left off at Cornell, the Wildcats should be able to do some special things offensively in 2019-20.