Freshman Impact: Arizona

How will Wildcats' freshmen and veterans fit together next season?

Updated: May 9, 2013, 10:46 AM ET
By John Gasaway and Paul Biancardi | ESPN Insider
Aaron GordonAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhAaron Gordon is the rare incoming freshman who could improve his team's defense.

For the "Freshman Impact" series, Insider's college basketball and recruiting experts will be teaming up to examine how 15 of the nation's best recruiting classes will fit in with their teams in the 2013-14 season.

Today, John Gasaway and Paul Biancardi look at the Arizona Wildcats. For links to the rest of the articles, click here.

John: Paul, you and I are here to talk about an Arizona team that needs to replace Solomon Hill, Mark Lyons, Kevin Parrom and early-entry departure Grant Jerrett. I trust we'll get to next season's Wildcats roster soon enough, but before we look at the team can we talk about the coach for a moment? I'm very impressed by Sean Miller's recruiting since he arrived in Tucson. Achieving a truly national reach and going up against the Kentuckys and Dukes is no easy task, but it looks to me like Miller's doing it.

Paul: Yes, Miller's definitely been outstanding in terms of recruiting. He does a thorough job in the evaluation process, which is vital. Here's a guy who has East Coast roots -- played at Pitt and did a great job as head coach at Xavier, obviously -- and he's well-positioned there. Now he's established some serious West Coast connections as well. Miller just fits in wherever he goes.

And it's not just the players he gets, John. It's what he does with them once he has them. Some programs truly develop guys, and Arizona is clearly one of those programs.

John: I have to tell you, Paul: On paper, Arizona is lined up beautifully to make a Final Four run this season. The comparison that comes to my mind is Michigan, in terms of a Wolverines team that was already pretty good in 2011-12, and then added a fairly amazing freshman class. Let's take a look at how good the Wildcats can be this season and how the freshmen will blend in with the players already on the roster.


Offense

Paul Biancardi

Basketball Recruiting