Men’s Hoops: The Argument for Arizona


This is part 2 of a series of posts on the argument for Pac-12 Men’s Hoops regular season champion. You can find the argument for Cal here.

Arizona is easily the safest pick in the conference, while there are a few unknowns, the team is loaded with talent from top to bottom. There isn’t a guy on that team that couldn’t find a starter position at another university in the country. There are plenty of experts or so-called “experts” out there with Arizona as the natural favorite to win the Pac-12 regular season title.

Let’s break down a couple of the major arguments:

"Arizona coach Sean Miller has stockpiled two consecutive recruiting classes to the point that he’s also got Arizona to where the Wildcats will considered an elite team a year from now. This year’s group is led by guards Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson while he’ll add two of the top big men in the nation in 2012: Brandon Ashley and Grant Jarrett. Arizona is also in a battle with Kansas for talented 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski. (Jeff Goodman"

The Wildcats have for the second year (and now third year) in a row hauled in a huge recruiting class. In 2010 they had three top 4-star commitments in Daniel Bejarano (who just transferred to Colorado State), Jesse Perry, and Jordin Mayes. However, the 2012 class had two 5-stars in Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner along with two 4-stars in Angelo Chol and Sidiki Johnson.

All of these players except for Bejarano could find themselves playing a substantial role this season. Out of all of them look for Turner to make the biggest impact as he will be starting out of the gate at the point guard position.

"Who’s gone: F Derrick Williams (early), F Jamelle Horne, G MoMo Jones (transferred to Iona), G Daniel Bejarano (transferred to Colorado State) ("

They lost an amazing player in Derrick Williams and a role-player in MoMo Jones but other than that they have significant talent to step up and carry the load. They have guys that can make that step up in Kyle Fogg and Solomon Hill. They have newcomers that can make an immediate impact in Angelo Chol and Josiah Turner.

The Arizona Wildcats are an easy pick for the favorites in the Pac-12. However, not every expert is giving them the top spot.

"In case Sean Miller ever worries his Wildcat players are becoming overconfident this fall, he might want to pull out a copy of Athlon Sports’ college basketball preview. Of all the preseason annuals out there, Athlon has given Arizona the least amount of hype. Athlon picked the Wildcats to finish third in the Pac-10 [and] Lindy’s picked Arizona to finish fourth in the Pac-12. ("

There are some people that aren’t buying the hype out there and honestly don’t see Arizona as a safe pick.

"The Wildcats have questions up front, with Solomon Hill and Jesse Perry likely to play a lot inside especially if Kyryl Natyazhko doesn’t improve. Oh yeah: They also won’t have Derrick Williams around. ("

However, enough “experts” out there consider Arizona the overall favorite and they will defend their regular season title. What do you think? Is Arizona a legit option to win the regular season title again or does it belong to another team?