The Beach Boys have nothin' on the Arizona Wildcats. The basketball team's version of an "Endless Summer" has featured more action than any Brian Wilson song.
The Beach Boys have nothin' on the Arizona Wildcats.
The basketball team's version of an "Endless Summer" has featured more action than any Brian Wilson song.
This month alone, the Wildcats have lost recruit Brandon Jennings to Europe, gained guard Garland Judkins out of Humble, Texas, for the upcoming season and received a 2009-10 commitment from small forward Mike Moser of Portland, Ore.
But where does that leave everyone else? It's hard to say, considering five players who will receive scholarships next season have yet to play in college.
About halfway through the offseason, here's what we know about the Wildcats' lineup - and what we're dying to find out:
What we know: Junior Nic Wise is the only guard on the roster with more than 74 career minutes as a college player. Last season, he totaled nearly 4 1/2 times the minutes as he did his freshman year. If his left knee holds up - he had arthroscopic surgery Feb. 5 - Wise should log even more time.
What we don't know: The Wildcats' two projected backup combo guards, Judkins and late signee Kyle Fogg, played in high school last year.
What we know: Sophomore Zane Johnson is the team's best shooter, but still averaged less than five minutes in 15 games after lifting his redshirt in January. Forward Chase Budinger also could play shooting guard - or the point - in a pinch.
What we don't know: A lot. Mesa Mountain View High School graduate Brendon Lavender's athleticism could equate to playing time; the same goes for Fogg and Judkins. Senior walk-on David Bagga has played 31 career minutes.
What we know: Budinger, who decided to return after exploring his NBA draft chances, averaged 17.1 points per game last season and could improve in coach Lute Olson's fast-paced offense. Sophomore Jamelle Horne, whose athleticism reminds Olson of ex-Wildcat Richard Jefferson, figures to play small forward after time in the post last year.
What we don't know: If Budinger and Horne share the floor, who guards the other team's power forward? Horne's confidence figures to soar this year after falling in and out of favor with interim head coach Kevin O'Neill last season.
What we know: Jordan Hill might be UA's sole big-man starter. He improved from 4.7 points per game as a freshman to 13.2 as a sophomore. Another such leap could place him in the NBA draft lottery. Here is where it gets confusing. If the Wildcats employ Hill as their main post player, Fendi Onobun could play power forward, or Horne could play the wing. Onobun, one of two seniors on the roster, played last season with a stress fracture in his left leg.
What we don't know: Hill averaged more than three fouls per game last season. In that sense, losing committed freshman forward Emmanuel Negedu, who was released from his scholarship in May, might be harder to overcome than Jennings going to Europe.
What we know: Neither redshirt freshman Alex Jacobson nor true freshman Jeff Withey has played a minute in college.
What we don't know: In a faster-paced offense, there might not be room for either of the Cats' 6-foot-11-inch centers. If UA's lineup is based on its opponent from game to game - as it often was last season - the Wildcats need to find one center they can trust to play at times alongside Hill.