Minus Derrick Williams, Arizona Aiming For Another Deep NCAA Run

By: 10.31.11
Solomon Hill

Solomon Hill (photo. Luke Adams/Arizona Athletics Photography)

*College basketball is here (unlike the NBA), and this year might be one of the best in recent memory. The powerhouse is back, while the Cinderellas believe. That’s a deadly combination. We know some of y’all have been asking for some previews. We have you covered – the top 16 teams in the nation will be previewed individually in the next few weeks, starting with No. 16 Arizona (ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll). After Oregon and Cincinnati last week, we’ll keep this going with the ‘Cats.*

Every team in the nation will have suffered from losing seniors, but no team will suffer like the Arizona Wildcats. Losing Derrick Williams will be a crushing blow for Arizona. Not only did they lose Williams, but Lamont “Momo” Jones transfered to Iona. Many predict that the Wilcats will still be atop of the Pac-12, but after a exhibition loss to Seattle-Pacific – absolutely embarrassing even if it is an exhibition; Seattle-Pacific is Division II – things are not looking good (even if the highlights are).

On the bright side, Arizona has one of the most talented recruiting classes coming in and arguably the best freshman backcourt duo in Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner. They also return some solid perimeter veterans in Solomon Hill and Kyle Fogg. Their big question marks remain in the post, outside of senior Jesse Perry (one of the team’s biggest surprises last season). At some point, it is possible that we could see four freshman starting for Arizona this season.

***

Athleticism: B
The Wildcats are an athletic team at all positions. Nick Johnson can jump out of the gym. Sidiki Johnson and Angelo Chol are long and athletic big men. All of their players are athletic to a certain degree. The only issue is that they are not an “elite” athletic team. If you look at the Pac-12 alone, UCLA and Washington have better overall athletes. While the game of basketball does not solely depend on athleticism, when this team goes up against some of the top dogs in the NCAA, they could struggle to compete in this department.

[Related: The Return Of The Duck – A New Era For Oregon Basketball]

Fundamentals: B-
At the wing and point guard positions, the Wildcats show some good promise. Josiah Turner is a pure point guard who finds a nice balance between distributing and scoring. Fogg, Hill and Nick Johnson will be able to fill up the stat sheet under the points column. The only glaring issue is their big men. While Perry plays with a ton of energy, they have no legitimate post scorer. In fact, they do not even know who will be their starting center yet. Kyryl Natyazhko has the size and experience, but he has a tendency to stay away from the inside. Angelo Chol is raw. Odds are in favor of Sidiki Johnson starting at the center position. While he is a talented player, he’s not known to have a great feel for the game.

Chemistry: C+
Any time a bunch of freshmen come to unseat a bunch of veterans, things can either go well or bad. At this point, it seems that this could only be a bad thing. They lost an excellent on-court and off-court leader in Derrick Williams. Looking for a replacement will not be an easy job.

Subscribe to UPROXX

Around The Web

Featured

DJ Jazzy Jeff Talks World Tour With Will Smith, Culture of DJing, And Academy Awards Boycotts

Follow These Eight Travelers On Snapchat And They’ll Show You The World

Nikki Glaser On Her New Series ‘Not Safe With Nikki Glaser’ And Being A ‘Curious Perv’

From Showman To Shaman: How An Assassination Attempt Changed Bob Marley’s Life And Music

From Zero To Guitar Hero, Meet The Small-Town Musician Who’s Well On His Way

Hannibal Buress On ‘Comedy Camisado,’ Animation, And Doing Stand-Up In Japan

Phil Matarese And Mike Luciano Talk ‘Animals.’ And Creating Television In Their Apartment

‘Black Sheep’ Revisited: The Farley-Spade Classic That Could’ve Been, 20 Years Later

EAT THIS CITY: Chef Callie Speer Shares Her ‘Can’t Miss’ Food Experiences In Austin, Texas

Kimbo Slice Is Down To Fight Kurt Angle And Roy Jones, Jr. As Soon As He Settles His Business At Bellator 149

By:  •  3 Comments

A Top Recruit Michigan Landed On Signing Day Isn’t Who You Think He Is At All

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. On How His Personal Ancestry Obsessions Led To ‘Finding Your Roots’