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What is Arizona getting in Pelle Larsson? A Utah expert weighs in

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NCAA Basketball: Utah at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats landed one of the best freshmen in the Pac-12 this offseason when they received a commitment from Utah transfer Pelle Larsson.

The 6-foot-5 Swedish guard averaged 8.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 25 games with the Utes as a freshman, shooting a 88.3 percent from the free-throw line, second-best in the Pac-12, and 46.7 percent from 3-point range, fourth-best in the league.

Larsson will have four years of eligibility at Arizona and can play immediately now that the Pac-12 eliminated its intraconference transfer rule. What will he bring to the table? We asked Shane Roberts from our sister site BlockU.com for some more insight.

Ryan Kelapire: How would you sum up Larsson’s time at Utah? Was he better or worse than advertised?

Shane Roberts: I think his time at Utah, for the one short season, was really good. He came in with high expectations, and by-in-large lived up to those expectations. He started a large chunk of the season, and did give the team a good shot in the arm on offense.

RK: Why did Larsson transfer from Utah?

SR: That’s a great question. I dare not speculate too much about his leaving, but it was not expected. He was working out with the new coaching staff and the rest of the team just a couple of weeks ago.

RK: What are his strengths as a player?

SR: He’s athletic and can get into the paint and make plays, and at his size that’s a big plus. He’s also a nice shooter from deep. He’s not a volume shooter, but he hit almost half of his shots from beyond the arc when he did pull the trigger.

RK: What are his weaknesses/what does he need to improve on?

SR: He’s just young, so he needs experience. He’s a well rounded player, and he’s a solid defender, he just has room to grow across the board, and he has a really high ceiling.

RK: What kind of role should Larsson have this season?

SR: I’m not super familiar with what Arizona is bringing back. With that said, he should likely be a key contributor, which is likely what he would have been at Utah if he would have stayed. I’m not sure if he’ll be a starter down there, but he’ll compete for it.

RK: What do you think his ceiling is as a player?

SR: I think he’s a pro prospect with his size and athleticism. He probably needs to up his ability to get buckets more, create for himself.

RK: How should Arizona fans feel about this pickup?

SR: They should be stoked. He’s a talent, and has a high ceiling. Him leaving took a bunch of us off guard because he was lined up to be a building block for the Utes.