#30 Arizona Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

Arizona Wildcats
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #30
Conference Rank: #4 Pac-12
 Arizona Logo
Arizona needed a change. After a few rough years, Arizona went out and grabbed long time Gonzaga assistant Tommy Lloyd to lead the program. It is his first time being a head coach, but Lloyd has a talented roster and plenty of options. That should result in a fresh look for the Wildcats and a return to the NCAA Tournament.  
2020-21 Record: 17-9, 11-9
2020-21 Postseason: None
Coach: Tommy Lloyd
Coach Record: 0-0 at Arizona, 0-0 overall
Key Departed Players:
James Akinjo, Guard, 15.6 ppg
Jemari Baker, Guard, 12.0 ppg
Jordan Brown, Forward, 9.4 ppg
Terrell Brown Jr, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Ira Lee, Forward, 3.0 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Azuolas Tubelis, Sophomore, Forward, 12.2 ppg
Bennedict Mathurin, Sophomore, Guard, 10.8 ppg
Kerr Kriisa, Sophomore, Guard, 5.5 ppg
Christian Koloko, Junior, Center, 5.3 ppg
Dalen Terry, Sophomore, Guard, 4.6 ppg
Key New Players:
Ben Ackerley, Freshman, Guard
Kim Aiken Jr, Junior, Forward, Transfer from Eastern Washington
Addison Arnold, Freshman, Guard
Adama Bal, Freshman, Guard
Oumar Ballo, Junior, Center, Transfer from Gonzaga
Justin Kier, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Georgia
Pelle Larsson, Sophomore, Guard, Transfer from Utah
Will Menaugh, Freshman, Forward
Shane Nowell, Freshman, Guard
Will Reaves, Freshman, Guard
This is a young team. Four sophomores saw significant playing time last season and will now look to play an even larger role. Azuolas Tubelis ranked second on the team with 12.2 points and led the squad with 7.1 rebounds. The offense can run through the 6-11 forward. Tubelis will team up with 7-1 center Christian Koloko. He started 19 games last season and averaged 5.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Like Tubelis, Bennedict Mathurin was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team a season ago. The 6-6 wing is a great overall shooter and is capable of some huge games. He will get more opportunities this year. Dalen Terry had an up and down freshman campaign, but he has the talent and a year of experience under his belt should help with consistency. Kerr Kriisa only played in eight games as a freshman, but Arizona will need the point guard to develop into a consistent passer. Transfers Justin Kier and Pelle Larsson will help out at the point. Oumar Ballo spent most of his freshman season at Gonzaga on the bench and the seven-footer will be looking to make a larger impact this year. The late addition of 6-7 wing Kim Aiken Jr. will add another dynamic to the Wildcats. Aiken spent three seasons at Eastern Washington and averaged 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.l0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 steals in 2020-2021. Aiken’s versatility and defensive prowess should help turn Arizona into a very good defensive team with more than enough offensive firepower to make some noise in the Pac-12 and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.4 (73rd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.6 (121, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 44.7 (127, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (156, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (232, 10)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (37, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.7 (103, 5)
Rebound Margin: 7.1 (18, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (46, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.9 (78, 6)
Madness 2022 NBA Draft Rankings:
#19 Bennedict Mathurin
Madness 2021 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#76 Shane Nowell