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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona basketball never stops

Arizona+head+coach+Sean+Miller+during+a+win+over+Pacific+in+McKale+Center+on+Nov.+13%2C+2015.+Miller+has+developed+a+dominant+defensive+program+during+his+time+in+Arizona.
Rebecca Noble

Arizona head coach Sean Miller during a win over Pacific in McKale Center on Nov. 13, 2015. Miller has developed a dominant defensive program during his time in Arizona.






It hasn’t taken long for the Arizona Wildcats to stir the pot when it comes to news since the college basketball season officially ended Monday.

From potential coaching hires, to a guard signing with one of the most well known labels in the rap game and players setting their sights on the NBA, the Wildcats have pieces moving everywhere.

What does it mean for Arizona? Well, the coaching staff could have more firepower while the depth could take a hit. On the other hand, head coach Sean Miller may have something up his sleeve to form a contending team next season.

Kobi Simmons declares:


The second domino fell for Arizona players considering to declare for the NBA Draft as freshman guard Kobi Simmons announced through Arizona Athletics Wednesday that he would sign an agent and enter the draft.

Related: Kobi Simmons declares for 2017 NBA Draft

At the beginning of the season, 5-star point guard Kobi Simmons was expected to heavily contribute to Arizona with his size and athleticism. The 6-foot-5 freshman has a 45-inch vertical so he’s a different breed on paper, but he was lost in the sauce at the tail end of this season.

Once Simmons played 27 minutes and shot 1-for-9 against Washington in February, his minutes were cut to 14 minutes per game the following weekend.

And once the Wildcats lost to UCLA at home, Simmons averaged six minutes per game and at times, looked distraught on the bench. From afar, Simmons issues were either A) He didn’t get along with the coaching staff, which was unusual to happen late in the season or B) He was focused on the NBA rather than his own team and as punishment, Miller benched him. Maybe reachable judgment calls, but for a highly touted prospect that was in the starting lineup to just disappear at the end of the season was fishy business. 

Should Simmons return for another year? Sure, but top recruit DeAndre Ayton is hoping to convince 5-star 2017 point guard Trevon Duval to be teammates at Arizona. But even if Duval commits to a different school, 4-star backcourt of Alex Barcello and Brandon Randolph seem to fair as a decent two-for-one package deal with Simmons out of the picture.  

Draft Express has Simmons projected to go No. 51 overall to the Denver Nuggets.

Chief in the Association:


Sophomore forward Chance Comanche will test the waters of the NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. 

Comanche averaged 6.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in his second season at Arizona. He can still return to the program as the NCAA allows underclassmen to prepare for the draft and have time from now until May to back out. 

Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey, Chris Boucher and Dillon Brooks tested the waters last season and all of them returned so it’s not a done deal until he hires an agent. 

Comanche became known for his ability to score around the rim especially from alley-oop dunks and put back shots. He led the team in field goal percentage shooting 57 percent this season. Every underclassmen has the right to look for better opportunities, but expect ‘Chief’ to be in an Arizona uniform next season. 

Lorenzo Romar eating steaks with Miller:

Greg Hansen from the Arizona Daily Star tweeted April 5 that former long-time Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar had dinner with Miller at Fleming’s Steakhouse. Romar was fired in March after coaching UW for 15 seasons, but now he can stay in the Pac-12 as Miller’s lead assistant, because Joe Pasternack accepted the UC-Santa Barbara head coaching position. 

Romar will be a home run hire for Miller, because of his ability to recruit, but he’ll also be attractive for prospects, because he has a knack for sending players to the NBA. He’s coached Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Isaiah Thomas, Marquese Chriss, Terrence Ross, Dejounte Murray and more recently Markelle Fultz who is projected to go top-three in the 2017 NBA Draft. And before he was fired, No. 1 overall ESPN 2017 recruit Michael Porter Jr. was committed to Washington. 

Coming to an in-conference rival and taking an assistant job after leading the show for nearly two decades seems like a demotion, but Romar can help Arizona develop the offense while Miller can stick with teaching defense. 

If the steaks were cooked to perfection and Romar loves warm weather in April, then Miller may have added a huge piece to the coaching staff.

Young Money Kadeem:

Rapper Lil Wayne said in the intro of song “I’m Me”, “Cash money records where dreams come true.” 

Well the New Orleans rapper released on Twitter that Kadeem Allen officially signed with Young Money APAA Sports and Entertainment.

Allen joins former Arizona basketball recruit Terrance Ferguson and LSU linebacker Duke Riley as college athletes to sign with Young Money.

Overview:

Arizona is sprinkling news left and right, which was expected, because there were lots of unanswered questions. Allen is a senior so he was already out of the picture, but Markkanen and Simmons were the underclassmen that took the initiative to play in the NBA. 

There still is a plethora of unanswered questions such as Allonzo Trier’s plans or since Comanche is testing the waters, what does that mean for a player like Rawle Alkins who consistently posted better numbers through the season than Comanche?

Where do recruits fit in the mix? Well, Miller has a pair of guards, but could add two more such as Duval or even 5-star small forward Brian Bowen. There are moving pieces everywhere and with that, Miller is prepared whether it’s adding Romar or reloading to arguably Arizona’s best recruiting class of all-time. 

The bell has been rung so can the ‘Cats answer it? Stay tuned.


Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.


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