The Arizona Wildcats had a decent 2015-16 season, but did not perform to expectations. Since Sean Miller has arrived in 2009 he has turned the U of A Basketball program into one of the most elite in the nation. His recruiting is astonishing, bringing in top classes yearly, but the upcoming season for the Wildcats has the potential to be the best ever.
Sean Miller has already locked down five-star Finnish center/power forward Lauri Markkanen. He also has strong commitments from five-star point guard Kobi Simmons and small forward/shooting guard Rawle Alkins. According to 247sports that class alone would be 7th in the nation, and 2nd in the PAC 12. That backcourt alone would be a force to be reckoned with.
But the recruiting process this year is not over for Sean Miller. The two top unsigned recruits are both heavily considering Arizona. Small forward/shooting guard Josh Jackson #3 on ESPN player rankings and shooting guard Terrance Ferguson #13. Both of the players are highly accomplished recruits.
If Arizona were to land both of these players, that would give U of A a top 5 class, and most likely enough talent to be a championship caliber squad. The potential for this team is unimaginable.
That will definitely be Sean Miller’s main priority for now. But let’s talk about the two seniors leaving, Gabe York and Kaleb Tarczewski. Those two were the heart and soul of the Arizona Wildcats basketball team. With them and the possibility of Alonzo Trier leaving, Arizona will have to find a new identity for the team. I think that identity will come from Kobi Simmons. He is already becoming a fan favorite, and he is highly valuable to Arizona not only for his skills but for his recruitment of other recruits on social media.
Lauri Markkanen seems to have the build like Kaleb Tarczewski and can be an immediate impact starter like Tarczewski was for Arizona. Markkanen can develop into the fierce rim attacker that Zeus was.
With Gabe York leaving, Rawle Alkins will be his replacement. Rawle stated that in a conversation with Sean Miller they talked about winning and how it was the only option and that’s why he chose Arizona. He stated that Sean Miller said he would be the next leader and impact starter on the team.
Potential Starting players next season:
Center/Power Forward: Lauri Markkanen
Point Guard: Kobi Simmons
Small Forward: Rawle Alkins/ Josh Jackson
Shooting Guard: Terrance Ferguson/ Rawle Alkins/Josh Jackson
(Sean Miller can figure out how to set the lineup with them)
With all this in mind the Arizona Wildcats are going to cause mayhem next season, that’s something U of A fans should be thrilled about. #BearDown