#13 Arizona Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Arizona Wildcats
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #13
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
 Arizona Logo
Arizona had a forgettable 2018-2019 season. They finished 17-15 overall and missed out on the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. That was also the first time they finished below .500 in conference play since 1983-1984, Lute Olson’s first season leading the program. Despite the loss of three starters, this Wildcats team should take a big step forward and easily return to the NCAA Tournament. Coach Sean Miller has some very talented freshmen, but he also has some experienced options who are ready to be leaders.
2018-19 Record: 17-15, 8-10
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Sean Miller
Coach Record: 264-89 at Arizona, 384-136 overall
Key Departed Players:
Brandon Randolph, Guard, 12.4 ppg
Justin Coleman, Guard, 8.9 ppg
Ryan Luther, Forward, 8.4 ppg
Emmanuel Akot, Guard, 3.8 ppg
Alex Barcello, Guard, 3.3 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Brandon Williams, Sophomore, Guard, 11.4 ppg
Chase Jeter, Senior, Center, 10.9 ppg
Dylan Smith, Senior, Guard, 7.2 ppg
Ira Lee, Junior, Forward, 6.6 ppg
Devonaire Doutrive, Sophomore, Guard, 3.3 ppg
Key New Players:
Stone Gettings, Senior, Forward, Grad Transfer from Cornell
Josh Green, Freshman, Guard
Max Hazzard, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from UC-Irvine
Christian Koloko. Freshman, Center
Nico Mannion, Freshman, Guard
Zeke Nnaji, Freshman, Forward
Jemarl Baker Jr, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Kentucky, not eligible
Jordan Brown, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Nevada, not eligible
Brandon Williams is the team’s top returning scorer, but he will miss this season with an injury. That leaves the backcourt in the hands of returning reserves Dylan Smith and Devonaire Doutrive. Smith is known for his defensive prowess, but he averaged 7.2 points per game and hit a team high 46 three-pointers last year. Doutrvie was thrown into the mix on occasion as a freshman and averaged 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in just 11.0 minutes per game. However, the newcomers will likely earn most of the starting jobs. Nico Mannion is the star recruit on a loaded recruiting class. The point guard can do it all and will be asked to do it all from day one. Fellow freshman Josh Green, a 6-6 wing, could also be in line for a starting spot. The addition of UC Irvine graduate transfer Max Hazzard brings a major three-point shooting threat to the roster. Last season he knocked down 93 three-pointers at a 38.8 percent clip. The frontcourt returns starter Chase Jeter fresh off his Arizona debut campaign in which he averaged 10.9 points and a team high 6.6 rebounds. He is an efficient and effective scorer in the paint. Ira Lee is also back and he was playing very well down the stretch of his sophomore season. Once again though, it will be the newcomers who make the biggest difference. Zeke Nnaji will likely start beside Jeter and he is a big guy who can stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability. Cornell transfer Stone Gettings can fill that role as well. Coach Miller has the talent to turn things around, but it may take some time for all of these pieces to come together. By the time the Pac-12 season rolls along though, this should be the most dangerous team in the conference.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.9 (222nd in nation, 9th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.9 (108, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.7 (270, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.8 (235, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (214, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.6 (222, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (133, 6)
Rebound Margin: 0.6 (170, 8)
Assists Per Game: 12.4 (251, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (59, 2)
Madness 2020 NBA Draft Rankings:
#13 Nico Mannion
#14 Josh Green
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#8 Nico Mannion
#11 Josh Green
#37 Zeke Nnaji
#51 Terry Armstrong