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Breaking down Arizona basketball’s wings

We’ve already taken a glance at the state of Arizona’s frontcourt and backcourt, so we’ll close out this series by evaluating the wings, the thinnest position group on the team.

But head coach Sean Miller has been adamant that Arizona will be using lots of three-guard lineups to best maximize their bevy of guards, so the lack of traditional wings shouldn’t be a huge concern.

Dalen Terry

dalen-terry-arizona-wildcats-nli-signing-2020-recruiting-miller Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Positions: PG, SG, SF
  • Year: Freshman
  • Measurables: 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, 6-foot-7 wingspan
  • Strengths: Passing, court vision, ball-handling, versatility
  • Likely role: Starter or key reserve, possibly a point forward
  • Overview: Forgive him for being a Tempe native, Terry is Arizona’s top-ranked 2020 recruit, with 247Sports pegging him as the No. 48 player in the country. The skinny swingman attended Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, the same school that produced Deandre Ayton. Terry is a stat stuffer. He averaged 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 3.1 steals and 2.1 blocks per game as a senior. Shooting is not known as Terry’s strength—that’s his ability to handle the ball and make plays—but he shot 20 for 50 from 3. Josh Gershon of 247 Sports writes that Terry has “easy NBA upside” if he continues to improve his shot, strength and ball-handling. Terry has said that he wants to be a one-and-done. His size and skill set makes him an extremely versatile player who could be key to Arizona pushing the pace, especially if he is surrounded by two other guards and a mobile power forward like Azuolas Tubelis, Ira Lee or Tibet Gorener.
  • Miller’s take: “To pigeonhole Dalen Terry as just a point guard, just small forward, or two-guard would be just really unfair. I believe this that he’s today’s version, the way our game’s played, of just a guard. He can play the 1, 2 or 3. When I talk about a three-guard lineup, he could be that third guard where the No. 1 thing that Dalen does well is he’s an excellent passer and he’s 6-foot-6. He loves to be in the open court with the basketball. He has just an innate ability of being able to find a man—and he does it at 6-foot-6. He also competes at a level that I admire. He’s a two-way player. I believe Jordan Brown and James Akinjo are as well. [Terry] gives great effort and as he gets smarter as a defensive player, same with his versatility on defense. He doesn’t just guard a certain type of guard. He can guard players all over the court, and I think with his length and size that will be something that will serve him well.”

Bennedict Mathurin

2020 NBA All-Star - BWB Camp Photo by Nicole Sweet/NBAE via Getty Images
  • Positions: SG, SF
  • Year: Freshman
  • Measurables: 6-foot-6, 190 pounds, 6-foot-8 wingspan
  • Strengths: Slashing, athleticism, perimeter defense
  • Likely role: Energy player off the bench
  • Overview: Arizona fended off Baylor to land Mathurin, a Haitian-Canadian who attended NBA Academy Latin America in Mexico City. 247Sports composite ranks Mathurin as the No. 116 player in the country, though the outlets own rankings have him at No. 50. Evan Daniels notes that Mathurin is exceptional at finishing at the rim and “has good instincts, makes plays in transition, does a good job of making plays off the bounce and is an improving shooter from long-range off the catch.” In two appearances at the 2019 Academy Games, Mathurin averaged 27.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 10 for 24 from the field and 8 for 15 from 3.
  • Miller’s take: “Some of the great wings that we’ve had at Arizona, athleticism, guys who thrive in the open court, Ben is every bit 6-foot-5, maybe 6-foot-6. He finishes above the rim. I think he’s a very good shooter with a chance to be even better. But a guy who can play pick-and roll-basketball and can do a lot of different things. I would say the difference is from an athleticism perspective, he’s like a lot of guys that we’ve seen at Arizona who’ve played the wing position, Josh Green being one of them that thrives in the open court, a high flyer. And as he continues to get more skilled and learn the game, the sky’s the limit for Ben, so we’re really thrilled to have him.”

Tautvilas Tubelis

  • Positions: SG, SF
  • Year: Freshman
  • Measurables: 6-foot-6, 190 pounds
  • Strengths: 3-point shooting
  • Likely role: Redshirt candidate
  • Overview: Tautvilas is the fraternal twin brother of Azuolas Tubelis, who is regarded as the best international prospect to go the college route. However, not much is known about Tautvilas, who is barely ranked inside 247Sports’ Top 500. He once appeared in seven games for the Lithuania national team in the U16 FIBA European Championships, where he averaged 3.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.1 minutes. His strength appears to be his 3-point shooting, as he hoisted seven 3s in the tournament, sinking three of them. More recently, Tautvilas played six minutes in two games for Perlas Vilnius in a Lithuanian junior league, missing all four shots he attempted. Tautvilas will be out to prove that he was recruited to Arizona for a reason—and not as a throw-in to land his ballyhooed brother.
  • Miller’s take: “We’re excited about both guys. Obviously Azuolas is probably a little bit more advanced and more decorated at the moment. ... Lithuania is a country that speaks for itself when it comes to having great success. It really, really does. There’s been an amazing amount of players from their country that have come over here and impacted college, NBA. Their national teams are always incredibly well coached and competitive and those guys are a part of that.”