Arizona played its first exhibition game last week with only 10 scholarship players, sitting a trio due to minor injuries, and did just fine. The Wildcats will be without at least one of those 10 for Monday’s preseason finale, and likely a lot longer.
Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority is reporting that sophomore center Henri Veesaar will miss four to six weeks after suffering a dislocated elbow. The injury did not happen in practice, per Scheer.
Veesaar appeared in 29 games for the UA last season, averaging 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.1 minutes per game. The 7-footer from Estonia had seven points and four rebounds in 18 minutes in the 110-70 exhibition over Lewis-Clark State on Oct. 20, a game that saw centers Oumar Ballo and Motiejus Krivas and wing Pelle Larsson unavailable.
All three could be back for Monday’s exhibition against New Mexico Highlands.
Without Veesaar, more will be expected of Krivas and Dylan Anderson in relief of Ballo. Anderson started and had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting against Lewis-Clark.
“Dylan has really been practicing well and making good progress, and those other two guys he has been battling (Ballo and Krivas) with are really good players,” Lloyd said of Anderson, a sophomore who played in 15 games last year.
Lloyd has cited Arizona’s improved depth this season, noting it’s much less likely he’ll only go with a 7- or 8-man rotation in 2023-24. Most of that depth was in the backcourt, and with Veesaar’s injury the Wildcats could be even more guard-heavy in Lloyd’s third season.