Along with the 5-star recruits come the role players; the four year guys that understand the big picture of development.
This year, Chance Comanche will be the one who will need the development Sean Miller prides himself on.
The only problem with developing big men for Arizona is that they haven't been able to keep them around. We saw Grant Jerrett prematurely declare for the NBA Draft after just one season, Angelo Chol transfer to SDSU due to a lack of minutes and Craig Victor leave for LSU after one semester for the same reason. Plus Zach Peters due to injuries.
Sean Miller has proved himself to be one of the best recruiters in the nation, often referred to as the John Calipari of the west. Since 2011, every recruiting class has been ranked 6th or higher according to 247Sports. He provides a nice balance of top NBA-bound recruits and role players.
Gabe York was ranked 64th in the nation coming out of high school in 2012. Still one of the top recruits in the nation, but significantly behind the rest of the class with Brandon Ashley (18th overall), Grant Jerrett (9th overall), and Kaleb Tarczewski (7th overall). York went from averaging just under seven minutes a game in 15 appearances his freshman year, to being the confident, offensive catalyst for Arizona he was in 2015.
Elliott Pitts came into the program in a class behind the shadows of Aaron Gordon (4th overall) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (15th overall). Ranked 101st in the nation overall, Pitts' freshman year was very similar to Gabe York, and he has also continued to progress over the last two years, just like York However, with the depth at shooting guard, it's going to be hard for Pitts to find his way on the floor this season.
The 2014 class was headlined by Stanley Johnson (3rd overall). But also in the class was Craig Victor (41st overall), Parker Jackson-Cartwright (51st overall), and Dusan Ristic (215th overall).
We saw Victor leave after just one semester, due to the incoming depth at power forward. To be fair, Ivan Rabb to Arizona was likely, Ryan Anderson was going to be eligible and Brandon Ashley could have elected to stay for his senior year, all on top of the commitment of TJ Leaf, the No. 2 power forward for 2016, No. 9 overall. So you could say he just didn't buy into the development factor and didn't want to work for playing time, but Arizona just probably wasn't the best fit for him to begin with.
For now, it wouldn't be surprising to see Justin Simon come in and start over Jackson-Cartwright. He's a freak athlete at 6-4, who has an arsenal of offensive firepower. This pushes back Jackson-Cartwright and allows him to develop for a few more years to refine his game.
Dusan Ristic will play behind Kaleb Tarczewski for one more year before he fully takes over the center spot. Although he played a backup role, his improvement in year one was noticed down the stretch of the season. The true center with a sharp offensive game was already noticed by several NBA scouts this season.
This leads up to Chance Comanche, ranked 50th overall, 8th in the nation among all centers. He'll most likely work his way behind Ryan Anderson for a year and then behind TJ Leaf throughout his time at Arizona. Comanche is a bit of an undersized center, who could also develop behind Ristic once Tarczewski is gone. But because of the sheer depth Arizona will have, it wouldn't be surprising to see Comanche redshirt this season.
So for Sean Miller, it's not always about loading up with five-star recruits in every class. Arizona is a player's program and needs the supporting cast just as much as the highly-touted recruits. These role players are easily over looked and undervalued. They could easily transfer in fear of less playing time and high profile recruiting coming in to take over. But they've bought into the mentality and are all in to bring Sean Miller his first Final Four appearance.