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Sean Miller: Zeke Nnaji is ‘one of the most productive freshmen in Arizona basketball history’

He’s right

NCAA Basketball: Long Beach State at Arizona Jacob Snow-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona coach Sean Miller publicly addressed Zeke Nnaji’s departure to the NBA, saying Tuesday that his one and only season with the Wildcats makes him “one of the most productive freshmen in Arizona basketball history.”

An exaggeration? Not at all.

Nnaji became the fifth Miller-era player to be named the Pac-10/12 Freshman of the Year as well as the 10th in Arizona history to earn that honor.

Nnaji, who averaged 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 32 games, finished seventh in scoring in UA freshman history, as well as fourth in field-goal percentage, fourth in rebounds, and second in double-doubles despite missing at least two games due to the coronavirus crisis.

Not bad for a four-star recruit.

“His development is a testament to his strong work ethic, impeccable character and raw talent,” Miller said. “Zeke is a winner both on and off the court and his future in the NBA is very bright. All of us here at Arizona wish him all the success in the world!

“Personally, I will miss his good natured personality off the court and his competitive fire on it. Those two characteristics are what makes him a special player to coach and I’m thankful that I had that opportunity this season.”