99 in 99: #36 Arizona Wildcats


Arizona Wildcats cheerleaders

Outside of Marquette and Wisconsin, there is no team I saw play more last season than Arizona.  While their streak of 25 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament was snapped, I have no doubt that Sean Miller will have the Wildcats starting a new streak this March.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” runs down the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  Click here if you missed teams #37-#99.

By: David Kay

Arizona Wildcats (4th, 10-8 in Pac-10, 16-15 overall)

Projected Depth Chart

F/C: Derrick Williams (So)/Kyryl Natyazhko (So)/Alex Jacobson (Jr)
F: Jamelle Horne (Sr)/Solomon Hill (So)/Jesse Perry (Jr)
G/F: Kevin Parrom (So)/Brendon Lavender (Jr)
SG: Kyle Fogg (Jr)/Daniel Bejarano (Fr)
PG: Lamont Jones (So)/Jordin Mayes (Fr)

Gone: PG-Nic Wise, SF-D.J. Shumpert (transfer), PG-Garland Judkins (UT-San Antonio)

2010-2011 Outlook:

First year head coach Sean Miller knew he was going to take his bumps last season as seven players in Arizona’s regular rotation were underclassmen.  One year older, the Wildcats should show signs of growth and maturity as they compete for the Pac-10 title.

Leading the charge will be reining Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and future NBA Draft lottery pick, Derrick Williams.  He possesses a great combination of explosiveness, athleticism, and strength.  If he can stay out of foul trouble which was a major issue last season, Williams could compete for conference Player of the Year.

Joining Williams in the starting frontcourt will be the only senior on the roster, Jamelle Horne.  Horne is versatile enough to play either forward position and was the Wildcats top three-point shooter last season.

Sophomore Kyryl Natyazhko struggled in adapting to the college game last season but should be improved this season.  He will provide depth behind Williams with the possibility of them playing at the same time which would allow Williams to slide over to his more natural position at the four.

Solomon Hill began the season in the starting line-up but moved to the bench once the athletic Kevin Parrom became healthy.  Hill and JUCO transfer Jesse Perry will provide depth and versatility at the forward position.

With Nic Wise graduating, Lamont “Mo-Mo” Jones will take over the point guard responsibilities.  He will be joined in the starting backcourt by junior Kyle Fogg who continues to make tremendous strides from the first day he arrived on campus.  Fogg is an effective outside shooter who also gets after it on the defensive end.

Freshmen Jordin Meyers and Daniel Bejarano should see time off the bench while Ludacris look-alike Brandon Lavender gives ‘Zona another shooter though a very streaky one who has yet to find consistency with the ‘Cats.

With the Pac-10 down for another year, the young Wildcats should be in the thick of the race.  Miller will soon have the program back to the level they were used to be at under Lute Olson and this season will a step in that direction.

Mo Mo Jones

Player to Watch: “MoMo” Jones
Jones really impressed me as last season progressed.  He is very similar to Nic Wise with his short, but strong stature as he is not afraid to get to the basket despite his shortcomings (Arizona’s web-site has him listed at 6-0.  No way.)  MoMo should step in at the point replacing Wise without the team missing much of a beat.  If he falters as the starter, ‘Zona could be in jeopardy of missing out on the tourney for a second straight year.

Key Non-Conference Games:

11/18 vs. New Mexico State
11/27 vs. Kansas (Las Vegas Invitational)
12/5 vs. Oklahoma
12/11 at BYU
12/19 at N.C. State

Other 99 in 99’s:
#37 Murray State
#38 Dayton
#39 Notre Dame
#40 Mississippi State
#41 Utah State
#42 Maryland
#43 Richmond
#44 UNLV
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#50 Minnesota
#51 New Mexico
#52 UConn
#53 Northwestern
#54 UCLA
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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