They lost eight players from the 2019-20 roster alone. That kind of exodus has meant Arizona’s recruiting classes have regularly consisted of six, seven and even eight players if you include transfers.
The 2021 class could be different.
Arizona will only graduate two seniors—Ira Lee and Terrell Brown—and its highest-ranked incoming freshman is Dalen Terry, a four-star wing who barely cracked 247Sports Top 50. Ergo, he’s not a surefire one-and-done like Josh Green or Nico Mannion.
So is it possible Arizona might only sign two 2021 recruits? Sure, but it’s not likely.
Nowadays programs have to be prepared for all kinds of player movement. International ballplayers like Daniel Batcho or Azuolas Tubelis could decide to go pro after one season, whether that’s back overseas or the NBA/G League. They already had pro offers before joining the Wildcats.
Maybe redshirt junior Jemarl Baker Jr., who’s a senior academically and has been riddled with injuries during his college career, goes pro because he wants to make money playing basketball while he still can.
Someone like Terry could have a big year and test the draft waters, even if he knows he’ll have to spend a year or two in the G League, a route that is no longer frowned upon. He’s said he hopes to be a one-and-done.
Also: the NCAA is likely implementing a one-time transfer rule that will no longer require transfers to sit out a season, making it easier than ever for disgruntled, unsatisfied or homesick players to switch schools.
We won’t know the actual number for a while, but Arizona is probably going to sign anywhere from two to five players in this recruiting cycle. Maybe six if things really get crazy.
My prediction: Arizona signs four-star guard K.J. Simpson (who’s already committed) and four-star wing Shane Nowell in the fall and lands four-star forward DaRon Holmes and maybe a transfer or two in the spring.