ARIZONA BASKETBALL

CBS Sports: Arizona men’s basketball ‘overrated’ in preseason coaches poll

Oct 30, 2022, 6:05 AM
FILE - Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) puts up a shot next to TCU center Eddie Lampkin, left, ...

FILE - Arizona forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) puts up a shot next to TCU center Eddie Lampkin, left, during the first half of a second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in San Diego. Arizona is a bit of an unknown entity, a key returning core surrounded by talented newcomers who hope to make up for the loss of NBA talent. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

(AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

Following a Sweet 16 appearance as the nation’s No. 2 team, Arizona men’s basketball ranks No. 17 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25.

However, the coaches poll ranks them 13th, with aligns with FanDuel Sportsbook’s higher outlook, as it has the Wildcats with the 10th-best odds to win the national championship.

Kyle Boone of CBS Sports lists Arizona as one of two overrated teams in the preseason coaches poll, along with No. 19 Alabama.

Arizona is 17th in the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 and 17th also in the AP poll. That’s about where I’d rank them, too. No beef with having the Wildcats ahead of every other Pac-12 team, but some beef with having them ahead of TCU, Virginia and Auburn. No. 13 feels just a tad too generous for a team that lost two first round picks and an early second round pick, even if it recovered quite well overall with a solid transfer class and freshmen haul.

Boone mentioned the Wildcats’ losses to the NBA draft: Bennedict Mathurin (sixth overall), Dalen Terry (18th) and Christian Koloko (33rd).

Mathurin led the team in scoring and three-point efficiency with a minimum of 25 attempts. Terry was second in assists per game, as well as making an impact defensively and in the locker room.

Koloko also was a defensive stalwart, particularly as a rim protector. He led the team in blocks per game, where he ranked 14th nationally.

Three Wildcats were voted to preseason All-Pac-12 teams in the media poll — F Azuolas Tubelis, G Kerr Kriisa and G Pelle Larsson — while C Oumar Ballo was recognized as an honorable mention.

They’ll all need to take a leap to keep Arizona at the top of the college basketball pecking order.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

Arizona guard Kerr Kriisa (25) passes the ball away from Utah guard Gabe Madsen (55) during the sec...
Arizona Sports

Arizona basketball falls in AP Poll after loss, ASU sniffs top 25

The Arizona Wildcats remain in the top 10, while the Arizona State Sun Devils are closer to being ranked in the AP Poll for men's basketball.
3 days ago
Head coach Tommy Lloyd of talks with Kerr Kriisa #25 of the Arizona Wildcats during the first half ...
Kellan Olson

No. 4 Arizona rebounds from first loss, beats winless Cal

Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo combined for 42 points and 19 rebounds and No. 4 Arizona bounced back from its first loss.
4 days ago
Utah center Keba Keita (13) defends against Arizona guard Pelle Larsson (3) during the second half ...
Associated Press

Utah jumps over No. 4 Arizona early in win over Wildcats

Utah handed No. 4 Arizona its first loss of the season, 81-66 on Thursday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
7 days ago
La Jolla Country Day high school basketball player Jada Williams poses for a portrait Monday, Sept....
Associated Press

Arizona WBB commit turns basketball and social media skills into endorsement deals

Arizona Wildcats commit Jada Williams is a social media star and talented point guard and parlayed her online prowess into endorsement deals.
8 days ago
Oumar Ballo #11 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the ball in the second half of the game against the C...
Kellan Olson

Oumar Ballo earns Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for Arizona Wildcats

Arizona Wildcats junior center Oumar Ballo was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday in men's basketball.
10 days ago
Arizona guard Cedric Henderson Jr. (45) tries for a three pointer over Creighton forward Arthur Kal...
Associated Press

Arizona men’s basketball leaps to No. 4, ASU gets votes in AP Poll

Both the Arizona and ASU men's basketball teams are receiving recognition for their high level of play from the latest AP Top 25 poll.
10 days ago
CBS Sports: Arizona men’s basketball ‘overrated’ in preseason coaches poll