Where did all the talk of University of Arizona’s demise
go all of the sudden? Is this the same team that was
embroiled in drama fitting a CBS daytime TV show instead
of a made-for-TV drama played only in March?
Suffering through Kevin O’Neill (34 games) and Russ
Pennell (35 games) was a tough and hard process for
Wildcat fans only to get the man who was ready to take the
job and program back to prominence, Sean Miller.
No doubt the growing pains were tough, but this team
weathered an insurmountable storm in a short two years to
become, arguably, a top 10 Program in college basketball
again. For years, under head coach Lute Olson, the
Wildcats of Tucson were a perennial top 10 team with
talent that rivaled any of their peers.
As of late they were not considered a recruiting
juggernaut, that is until Miller took over as the team’s
The class for 2011 proved the team was making
strides after the impressive season of the eventual No. 2
pick in the NBA Draft, Derrick Williams. The success of
Williams translated into the coup of Josiah Turner (Rivals
2011 No. 11), Nick Johnson (18) and Sidiki Johnson (84) to
help the current Wildcats stay afloat.
If those players decide to unpack their bags and stay
awhile the new additions of Brandon Ashley (Rivals 2012
No.13), Gabe York (31) and Grant Jerrett (50) are good
enough together to begin competing for National Titles.
The news Monday of another Top 25 recruit joining this group in 2012
is what tips the scale and puts this team over the top.
It is a big haul, both literally and physically, that the
Wildcats were able to steer 7’0 220 lbs. powerhouse center
Kaleb Tarczewski to Tucson. This solidifies the
Wildcats upfront and makes them one of the most complete
teams in the country, on paper.
Depending on who stays and who goes via the NBA Draft, the
lineup of an experienced Turner and [Nick] Johnson in the
backcourt, Solomon Hill on the wing and (Sidiki) Johnson
and Tarczewski in the paint make a formidable five.
Having a legit 7-0 talent in Tarczewski gives “Point Guard
U” a commodity they are not used to in the paint and makes
them a force in the normally guard heavy PAC12.
Tarczewski is a big body inside that rebounds his
position, blocks shots with regularity and has not yet
tapped the overall potential he has. Overcoming his
tepidness and lack of strength will be a process, but on a
loaded team like the 2012 Wildcats will be, Miller will
have the opportunity to mask flaws and highlight
weaknesses. The added bonus of playing for strength coach
Chris Rounds will strengthen all of those shortcomings
quickly down in Tucson.
Last season was not a flash in the pan for Coach Miller
and the University of Arizona, it was merely the tip of