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Wednesday, March 21, 2018 – Tuesday, March 27, 2018 • VOLUME 111 • ISSUE 27




SEASON GOES SOUTH IN BOISE Arizona faces a difficult offseason after being upset by Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament


B4 | Season highs and lows

B5 | Offseason storylines

B8 | Position grades

B11 | Uncertain future SIMON ASHER | THE DAILY WILDCAT

B2 • The Daily Wildcat

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Ayton doesn’t fulfill Final Four promise BY ALEC WHITE @AlecWhite_UA

BOISE, Idaho — With 7:11 left in the second half, Deandre Ayton slammed his hand on the court as a Rawle Alkins entry pass down low grazed off the fingertips of the massive 7-1 freshman. Already down by 14 points to Buffalo, Ayton’s outburst of frustration confirmed what many had already begun to suspect: Arizona men’s basketball’s season was over. The player who vowed to get Sean Miller to the Final Four was realizing he couldn’t fulfil his promise. A minute later, Ayton missed a layup and Buffalo raced down the court just like it had all game long and drained a 3-pointer. 17-point deficit. Before the madness ensued and the upset bells were ringing on high, Ayton knew Arizona didn’t have its typical stuff. “I will say at halftime. When we actually looked back and looked at the stats,” Ayton said. “They were killing us on the glass. It was long rebounds we couldn’t really get on the offensive glass, including me.” The Bahamian big drew the tough assignment on Buffalo perimeter shooter Jeremy Harris. Harris consistently blew by the 260 pounder to get easy buckets on the glass and provided a big boost from outside with three 3’s that Ayton wasn’t able to get his hand in front of. Harris, a 6-foot-7 All-MAC SecondTeam selection, notched 23 points total, compared to Ayton’s 14. The Pac-12 Player of the Year only had four shot attempts in the first 16 minutes of the second half and six the entire half as Arizona couldn’t find a way to involve college basketball’s most dominant interior player. That didn’t please the big man. “Just a little bit,” Ayton said of his frustration level. “My guys were telling me that the guards were always behind me or somebody was always under me, so they were hesitant to pass me the ball over the top.” Ayton finished his final game as an Arizona Wildcat with 14 points, 13 rebounds and a 46 percent shooting percentage as Arizona exited the NCAA Tournament in the first round for the second time in three years. “He’s frustrated because his career is ending,” said head coach Sean Miller. “He wanted to keep playing.” But that stat line will fade away

as Ayton moves on to the NBA and historians dissect how dominant he was at the collegiate level. “Deandre superseded any expectation that I could have ever set for him,” Miller said. “But for anybody to not remember Deandre as the greatest freshman that ever walked through Arizona, they weren’t paying attention statistically and just the type of kid he is.” Ayton provided some of the best moments of Arizona basketball in the Sean Miller era, and there won’t be another player like him walking through the doors of McKale for quite some time. But no matter where he goes next, Ayton said that this experience will stay with him. “This is the only team I actually loved,” Ayton said. “I actually bonded with them, especially with the things we went through throughout the year.


TOP: Arizona’s Deandre Ayton (13) lays in the ball uncontested in the Arizona-USC Championship game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, March 10, in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. BOTTOM: Ira lee, left, and Deandre Ayton, right, take a moment of reflection after the 89-68 blowout loss to Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15, in Boise, Idaho.

The Daily Wildcat • B3

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018


The Arizona men’s basketball team finished the 2017-18 season with a 27-8 record, won the Pac-12 Championship but fell flat in the NCAA Tournament. Sandwiched between those two games was drama, big wins and plenty of adversity. It’s time to reflect on the highs and lows of Arizona’s season


FBI Investigation: The FBI investigation surrounding bribery and former assistant coach Book Richardson hung over the Arizona program all season. When Richardson was arrested on September 26, it marked the beginning of what became an arduous journey for the Wildcats. Each road trip was greeted by signs and chants of “F-B-I” which may be expected to continue into next season. Bahamas: The worst three-game stretch of Arizona’s play came during the Thanksgiving holiday as the team traveled to Nassau, Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. In the span of 50 hours, the preseason No. 3 team lost three consecutive games that plunged them right out of the top 25. Losses to NC State and SMU the first two nights came down to the wire, but then an 89-64 drubbing at the hands of Purdue sent Arizona in an early tailspin. The highest Arizona climbed the rest of the season was No. 9, and only held that spot for a week. Trier Ineligible: Allonzo Trier was deemed indefinitely ineligible by the NCAA on Feb. 22 for a positive PED test that revealed “trace amounts” of a banned substance. Trier was first suspended at the start of the 2016 season and missed Arizona’s first 19 games. The junior guard eventually returned after just a two-game absence but his efficiency and production dropped significantly during Arizona’s last six games of the year. Miller doesn’t coach vs Oregon: The controversial Feb. 23 ESPN report claiming that head coach Sean Miller discussed a $100,000 payment to land freshman Deandre Ayton shook Tucson and the entire college hoops landscape. Miller and the university decided it was best that he didn’t coach the game against Oregon which took place the following day. As a result, Arizona gave up 98 points in Eugene and lost to the Ducks in overtime. Miller’s future remained in a very fragile state and it wasn’t until several days later that a resolution came to a head. One-and-done in NCAA Tournament: Arizona had an early exit in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seeded Wildcats were stunned in a 21-point upset loss to No. 13 seed Buffalo. Given the fact that Arizona had one of the best players in college basketball in Ayton, and several other talented players on the roster, a collapse in the round of 64 can be seen as a major disappointment.


Miller and Trier’s return: March 1 will be a day for the Arizona basketball history books. Miller









UA Broadway 22nd Park

Sweeping ASU: The 12-0 start by the Sun Devils had many wondering if Tempe was home to the nation’s best team. Arizona quickly squashed that with an 84-78 win in Tucson on Dec. 30 to begin conference play and the Sun Devils could never quite regain their “Guard U” swagger from there on out. During the rematch in Tempe in mid-February, the ‘Cats used a dominant late-game performance from Ayton to beat ASU in what was one of the Sun Devil’s most anticipated home games in years. The records still show that ASU has yet to beat Arizona under Bobby Hurley.


4th Ave.

10-game win streak: Post-Bahamas, Arizona turned it around slowly, but surely. The ‘Cats rattled off 10 straight wins and climbed back to No. 14 in the AP poll going into the New Year. Wins included a last-minute victory over Texas A&M, road wins at UNLV and New Mexico.


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B4 • The Daily Wildcat

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018


UCLA and USC to capture the crown and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. It was this stretch of games in the tournament that led many to believe Arizona was a legitimate Final Four contender.

denied the ESPN allegations in a press conference and announced that he will continue to coach the team, which UA president Dr. Robert Robbins confirmed a few hours later. Shortly before tip-off against Stanford, the NCAA reinstated Allonzo Trier and he started the game for the ‘Cats. The home game versus Stanford featured a standing ovation for both Miller and Trier.



Pac-12 Championship: Arizona won the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas thanks to an out-of-thisworld performance by Ayton in back-to-back nights. The 7-foot-1 freshman sensation scored 32 points and collected at least 14 rebounds in games versus

Besides the spectacular season from Ayton, the Wildcat’s 2017-18 season may go down as the most disappointing finish in the Miller era. It was widely considered this was the year Arizona got to the Final Four, with the best recruit to ever come to Arizona teaming up with other strong recruits and a group of experienced returning players, two of which are possible NBA draft picks. The perceived level of talent and depth never developed into what many thought it would be, and the 21-point loss to Buffalo goes down as one of the largest losses by a top 4 seed in NCAA Tournament history.


FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Deandre Ayton, Allonzo Trier, and Brandon Randolph celebrate the championship victory over USC in the Championship game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, March 10 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Daily Wildcat • B5

Key questions facing UA basketball this summer BY ALEC WHITE @AlecWhite_UA

With Arizona’s season officially in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to what is shaping up to be one of the most challenging offseasons for the program in recent memory. Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest questions and topics facing Arizona men’s basketball going into next season. Does Miller return as coach? All signs point towards head coach Sean Miller returning to Arizona next season. Despite the ongoing FBI investigation, the university has backed Miller at multiple junctures throughout the year. If UA President Dr. Robert Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke wanted to move on from Miller, it would have made sense to wipe the slate in the wake of the ESPN report back in February. Miller could choose to leave on his own for the Pitt job that is currently open, but it doesn’t seem likely as of now. Recruits and transfers Arizona currently has zero recruits committed for next season, putting the program in a precarious spot. Previously committed players Brandon Williams, Shareef O’Neal and Jahvon Quinerly all decommitted at different points throughout the year in wake of the FBI investigation. Miller now faces the difficult task

of sorting through the rest of the uncommitted recruits, and finding out which ones can fit best at Arizona. He will also likely turn his attention to the transfer market and possibly look for the next TJ McConnell. Interestingly, after their coach got fired, eight players from Pitt have requested their release from the university, so that might be something to keep an eye on as well. Development of returning players Arizona is losing its entire starting lineup this offseason. Deandre Ayton, Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier are all headed to the NBA Draft, while Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Dusan Ristic are graduating. That means the players who came off the bench will be thrust into the starting lineup. For now, this is what Arizona’s projected starting lineup looks like for next year: G - Alex Barcello G - Brandon Randolph or Dylan Smith F - Emmanuel Akot F - Ira Lee C - Chase Jeter How these players develop their game over the summer will show whether or not Arizona has a legitimate chance to compete in the Pac-12 next year. New assistant coach With former assistant coach Book Richardson facing charges from the FBI investigation and

hey FreShmen,


IRA LEE CONFERS WITH Sean Miller after coming dangerously close to fouling out against CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017

Lorenzo Romar leaving Arizona to be the head coach at Pepperdine this week, Miller will be trying to find a new assistant coach. As of now, no obvious candidates have emerged with current assistant coach Mark Phelps has handling recruiting duties with Miller. NBA Draft Ayton will have a chance to make history this summer and become the first Arizona

the only

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Wildcat ever to be selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft. Several media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated and have Ayton projected to go No. 1 overall. Alkins and Trier remain a mystery, however. Underwhelming performances over the last month of the season have hurt their draft stock and both are projected to be mid-late second round picks. Strong performances in the NBA Draft Combine could re-elevate both of their stock, however.


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B6 • The Daily Wildcat

Advertisement • Wednesday, March 21-Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Daily Wildcat • B7

Advertisement • Wednesday, March 21-Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Standings (after 2nd round) Place 1 T2 T2 T2 T2 T6 T6 T6 T6 T6


Total Pts.


Rob Blew 45 35/48 Brett Fera 43 33/48 Patrick Robles 43 34/48 Jacob Fishman 43 34/48 Ashley Stewart 43 35/48 Nicole Burca 42 32/48 Bruce Sisk 42 32/48 Ahmaad Lomax 42 33/48 William Nicolay 42 33/48 Anmol Singh 42 33/48 (Official Winners will be notified 4/6; Current Daily Wildcat paid staff members ineligible for prizes)


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72.92% 68.75% 70.83% 70.83% 72.92% 66.67% 66.67% 68.75% 68.75% 68.75%

1 16 8 9 5 12 4 13 6 11 3 14 7 10 2 15


1 16 8 9 5 12 4 13 6 11 3 14 7 10 2 15


UMBC Creighton Kansas State Kentucky Davidson Arizona Buffalo Miami (Fla.) Loyola Chicago Tennessee Wright State Nevada Texas Cincinnati Georgia State

NCCU/TXSO Missouri Florida State Ohio State S. Dakota State Gonzaga UNC-Greensboro Houston San Diego State Michigan Montana Texas A&M Providence North Carolina Lipscomb

UPDATED STANDINGS: DAILYWILDCAT.COM/BRACKETSHOWDOWN 16 UMBC 9 Kansas State 9 Kansas State 5 Kentucky 5 Kentucky 13 Buffalo



11 Loyola Chicago

7 Nevada 7 Nevada 2 Cincinnati

West Virginia





6 Houston


3 Michigan 3 Michigan 7 Texas A&M 7 Texas A&M 2 North Carolina







Texas Tech








Seton Hall






MIDWEST Syracuse



5 Ohio State Clemson



9 Florida State

4 Gonzaga





Alabama West Virginia

Texas Tech

9 Florida State





11 Loyola Chicago 3 Tennessee









Michigan State



Rhode Island





Villanova LIU/RAD Virginia Tech Alabama West Virginia Murray State Wichita State Marshall Florida St. Bon./UCLA Texas Tech SF Austin Arkansas Butler Purdue CS Fullerton

Kansas Penn Seton Hall NC State Clemson New Mexico State Auburn Charleston TCU ASU/Syracuse Michigan State Bucknell Rhode Island Oklahoma Duke Iona

1 16 8 9 5 12 4 13 6 11 3 14 7 10 2 15

1 16 8 9 5 12 4 13 6 11 3 14 7 10 2 15



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B8 • The Daily Wildcat

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Who passed the test?


The season is over for Arizona men’s basketball after an 89-68 thumping at the hands of Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Now, we will take a look back and grade each position and break down how each player performed.


Parker Jackson-Cartwright PJC was a serviceable point guard for Arizona. Considering his main job was to facilitate plays from Allonzo Trier, Rawle Alkins and star freshman Deandre Ayton, Jackson-Cartwright averaged 4.5 assists per game, which would point to solid production. However, late in the season due to the struggles of Trier and Alkins, PJC was asked to score more — which he did — averaging just under 12 points per game in the Pac-12 Tournament, an increase from his 7.8 ppg during the season. However, PJC’s inability to produce more effectively for his teammates and inconsistency on defense reared its ugly head during the season when Arizona would find itself in the midst of poor play. Nothing showcased that more than the loss to Buffalo. Bulls’ guards routinely beat Arizona guards off the dribble for lay-ups and 3-point shots, which led to the Wildcat’s demise. Allonzo Trier Trier’s three years at Arizona were mixed with ineligibility, inconsistency and chemistry issues. One of the more efficient guards in the country, Trier had a rough stretch in the team’s last five games of the year, scoring in double-figures just twice. This season, when the team needed his point production most, Trier wasn’t nearly the offensive cog that he had been during the regular season. In the final three games of the year, his point production was 9 (UCLA), 9 (USC) and 10 (Buffalo). The first of those two were masked by 32 points in each game by Ayton. The last ended Arizona’s season. Trier struggled with one-on-one matchups against Buffalo. His quickness was not enough to get around Bulls’ defenders. The constant pressure eliminated him, for the most part, from the game and was a contributing factor to the early exit for the Wildcats. His outside shot missed the mark in the past weeks as well and during an inopportune time. Still, Trier was one of the better guards in the country in efficiency and during Pac-12 play averaged percentages of 50 (field goal), 40 (3-point) and 90 (free throw). Rawle Alkins Alkins came back from foot surgery at the tail end of non-conference play and provided a boost. Many thought Alkins’ return would solidify Arizona as a top ranked team, but it wasn’t the case. Alkins definitely had flashes — 26 points at New Mexico, 22 at Utah, 24 at Oregon — and who can forget that thunderous game-changing dunk against USC in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship. However, a closer look at his stats tell you the story of a player that struggled to regain the form he had from the year prior. Though he averaged more points and minutes this season, Alkins was


ARIZONA’S ALLONZO TRIER 35 analyzes the court looking past Colorado’s George King (24) in the second half of the Colorado-Arizona Quarterfinal game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday, March 8 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

statistically worse in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds per game and turnovers per game. Combined with Trier, the two wings struggled not only offensively but defensively. This was a primary reason for the inconsistency on the court for Arizona, especially in the latter part of the season. Alkins is a projected second round draft pick by most scouting services. Arizona head coach Sean Miller has already said Alkins will not be back next season. Brandon Randolph Randolph lit it up in Spain, had 17 points against Purdue in the Bahamas, put up 13 against Texas A&M and Alabama and then seemingly was never heard from again. Alkins’ return had a lot to do with that, but some of the responsibility has to go to Miller for not developing and trusting Randolph during the season. His scoring disappeared post-Alkins, but most of that could be attributed to sporadic minutes during the season. His development heading into next year will be as crucial as any single player moving forward. Emmanuel Akot The same development statement can be said about Akot. Akot struggled with tendinitis for most of the season, but appeared to be the one freshman Miller felt comfortable with playing off the bench toward the latter part of the season. Versatility and length were key factors for Akot getting more minutes in Pac-12 play than any other freshman not named Ayton. Akot falls into a similar category as Alkins, despite minutes, Akot never showed the ability to do any one thing at a high level. However, his ball handling is better than any of the wings Arizona had and will be vital next season in terms of play-making ability. Alex Barcello Barcello had a rough season. The freshman from Corona del Sol High School never found his footing and saw his minutes almost completely vanish once Arizona got to league play. The bright spot for Barcello is that he is without a doubt the leader in the clubhouse for the starting point guard position as of now. His work heading into next season will determine whether he stays there or not. Physically, Barcello is athletic enough to compete with any guard in the country. Confidencewise, Barcello has a lot of ground to cover. Dylan Smith Smith had his moments, both good and bad, on the court this year. Turnovers plagued the UNC Asheville transfer early in the season but he was able to settle down and hit key baskets in moments during the year. For Smith to get substantial playing time next season, he’ll have to continue to get better on defense and become more consistent shooting the ball, mainly inside the 3-point line.



ARIZONA’S RAWLE ALKINS 1 passes the ball past USC’s Jordan McLaughlin (11) in the Arizona-USC Championship game at the 2018 Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday, March 10 in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018


ARIZONA’S DEANDRE AYTON (13) shakes his head after a foul call during the Arizona-Stanford game on Thursday, Mar. 1 at McKale Center.



Deandre Ayton It isn’t often you get a talent the caliber of a Deandre Ayton to walk through the doors of McKale Center. The Pac-12 Player and Freshman of the Year was as dominant a force as there ever was for Arizona. The first player since Al Fleming to post over 20 points and 20 rebounds in one game, Ayton was a virtual double-double machine, smashing the freshman record once held by Jordan Hill. Ayton was also a finalist for the Naismith Award for the nation’s top player and is expected to be named an AP All-American after receiving similar awards from the Sporting News and United States Basketball Writers Association. He is expected to be one of the top picks in this year’s NBA draft. Keanu Pinder Pinder came on late in the season after, apparently, being in the doghouse with Miller. After missing a game due to an NCAA violation, Pinder returned and steadily increased his minutes on the floor with his defensive abilities. Offensively, Pinder did very little to pose as a threat outside of the occasional slam dunk. His prospects at the next level, particularly overseas, should be good due to his size and length. Ira Lee Lee was energetic but inconsistent, as you would expect from a freshman. Never one for backing down to an opponent, Lee struggled to find his way into the lineup consistently. After suffering a concussion late in the year, Lee never saw the floor again in meaningful action. His development in shooting will be as important to his playing time as any other single skill. He will be looked at to provide energy and toughness as a potential starter next season.


Dusan Ristic Nothing more could have been expected from the senior out of Serbia this season. Ristic found his groove this year, highlighted by an epic 3-point barrage against Utah in McKale that will be his calling card for years to come. The reason he was rated ‘B+,’ and not an ‘A,’ was for the simple fact he wasn’t as strong of a defensive factor as you’d like from his position. Depth was also an issue. Outside of Ristic and Ayton moving over, the Wildcats had no other answer at center. Still, this position was an upgrade over years past due to the offensive abilities of Ristic, one of the few undeniable pleasures from the season.


Sean Miller Distractions were aplenty for Arizona this season, and that falls squarely on head coach Sean Miller. Fair or not, the looming cloud of the FBI investigation into the potential corruption and bribery in college basketball weighed upon the entire program —a weight that was too much to bear when the first round of the NCAA tournament came calling. Miller, a hard-nosed defensive coach, is at a crossroads in his career. With limited options, his job has been made more difficult than ever before. Recruits are scared and the fan base is fearful of what may come next. He has struggled to get anywhere close to the Final Four since the 2014-15 season, losing to double-digit seeds in three consecutive years, none of which were from a Power 5 conference. However, despite the turmoil from within, Miller was able to lead Arizona to back-to-back Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles. What happens next may determine the future of the program. Arizona is teetering on the brink of irrelevancy if it can’t sort out its hurtful 2017-18 season.

The Daily Wildcat • B9

B10 • The Daily Wildcat

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2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Daily Wildcat • B11


ARIZONA MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD coach Sean Miller gives a thumbs up before the start of the UA-Stanford game on Thursday, March 1, in McKale Center.

Future uncertain for Miller and Arizona BY SAUL BOOKMAN @Saul_Bookman

After a tumultuous, up-and-down season, the Arizona men’s basketball team has more questions than answers, leaving the future success of the program in doubt. So what is the status of basketball in Tucson? One thing is for certain: After the report by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach about a possible inquiry by Arizona head coach Sean Miller about a $100,000 payment for star freshman Deandre Ayton came about, the subsequent poking holes in the story somewhat galvanized the City of Tucson and Arizona fan base. Nothing was more evident to that cause than the standing ovation Miller received as he came out for the national anthem prior to the Wildcats’ home game versus Stanford on March 1. It was loud, emphatic and it made a point. Arizona fans were all-in on Miller. Despite ESPN’s reporting, fans are treading a shaky line moving forward. There is still the case of former assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson, whose bribery and corruption charges from the FBI still carry heavy weight. Does Miller escape every part of Richardson’s wrongdoing? Or does Miller get implicated by Richardson to avoid a 60-year possible sentence from coming to reality? Only time will tell. The seriousness of those allegations has already scared off potential recruits. Former commits Shareef O’Neal and Brandon Williams, who signed scholarship papers without letters of intent, decided to re-open their commitments. O’Neal signed with UCLA, and Williams is still up in the air, though he has said Arizona remains in the mix. Will other recruits want to come to Arizona? While the projected outcome of the FBI fallout isn’t expected for quite some time, most experts predict two to four years before some real resolution is brought forward. That doesn’t include the possible NCAA punishments that will be handed down thereafter. Will Arizona place itself on probation to avoid a harsh penalty from the NCAA? Or will the administration take a gamble that

Richardson went rogue and that no other infractions will come about? This roll of the dice may be the most important to the legacy of Arizona basketball. Still, despite the legal troubles, one thing remains: the lack of Final Fours since the Lute Olson era. Sean Miller and Co. have been eliminated by double-digit seeds in each of the past three years in the NCAA Tournament. To make matters worse, besides Lauri Markkanen and Deandre Ayton, Arizona hasn’t had the loaded squads pre-season expectations have bestowed upon them. Is it Miller’s lack of ability to develop talent, or are the types of players not in line with his strengths as a coach, specifically defensively? Arizona is running out of time as a blue blood of college basketball. Gonzaga has all but caught up as the dominant power in the west, and the rest of the country just doesn’t watch the Pac-12 Network. Exposure is at a premium and with the bleak short-term progress Arizona has made on the recruiting trail, there is no expectation the program can get significantly better. However, this could all be a blessing in disguise. Miller could find himself grabbing some high-level graduate transfers to plug in and fall more in line with his pack-line defense philosophies. The sell that nothing significant will happen for several years may also work to who is left amongst the nation’s elite 2018 recruits. Then there is the significant need for development from the leftover group of freshman who failed to live up to expectations this season. Emanuel Akot, Brandon Randolph and Alex Barcello appear to be more three- or four-year guys than the one-and-dones of the recent past. This may help develop more consistency in the future. Add in Dylan Smith for one more season and Duke transfer Chase Jeter for the next two years and the Wildcats have a core that could maintain a level of excellence for the forseeable future. Of course, that is all predicated on whether they can accrue a few high-level pieces to help them shine. All-in-all, the future of Arizona is as cloudy as it was during the Lute Olson turnover back from 2007 to 2009. They rebounded nicely from that, only to find themselves in a seemingly similar situation nine years later. Will the ball bounce the same way this time?

B12 • The Daily Wildcat

2017-18 Men’s Basketball Season Wrapup • Wednesday, March 21 - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A look back at Arizona’s 8968 loss to Buffalo in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament in Boise, Idaho


TOP LEFT: Arizona’s Parker Jackson-Cartwright (0) strips the ball away from Buffalo’s Jeremy Harris (2) during the Arizona-Buffalo game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 in Boise, Idaho. MIDDLE LEFT: Buffalo’s Wes Clark (10) and Jeremy Harris (2) celebrate a blowout win against Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 in Boise, Idaho. BOTTOM LEFT: Surrounded by media, Rawle Alkins talks about the 8-68 blowout loss to Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 in Boise, Idaho. TOP MIDDLE: Senior Keanu Pinder takes a moment to himself after the Arizona-Buffalo game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 in Boise, Idaho. BOTTOM MIDDLE: Buffalo’s Nick Perkins (33) shoots over Arizona’s Keanu Pinder (25) during the first half of the Arizona-Buffalo game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 in Boise, Idaho. TOP RIGHT: Arizona’s Rawle Alkins (1) tries to lay in the ball past Buffalo’s CJ Massinburg (5) in the Arizona-Buffalo game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, March 15 in Boise, Idaho.

2017-18 Men's Basketball Season Wrapup  

A Daily Wildcat special edition: Arizona faces a difficult offseason after being upset by Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament....

2017-18 Men's Basketball Season Wrapup  

A Daily Wildcat special edition: Arizona faces a difficult offseason after being upset by Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA Tournament....