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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


To leave or not to leave, that is the question

Simon Asher

Rawle Alkins and Chance Comanche are on the verge of a very precarious situation. While both players are testing the waters of the NBA, they could also use a little more time. The question is whether that time should be at Arizona or in another professional atmosphere outside the NBA.

There can be no doubt that both players have weaknesses in their game. Comanche lacks strength and an offensive skill set that would make him draft-worthy, thus the reason he didn’t get an invite to the NBA combine.

Alkins is a whole different animal. His ball handling needs tweaking, as well as his shooting and defense. While he needs improvement, none of those are so much of a glaring weakness that it couldn’t be developed, thus the reason he got an invite to the combine.

But the real question remains: What is Arizona basketball to do in the meantime? I mean, time waits for no man, right?

The fact that the combine is so far away and the signing period is fast approaching will force the program’s hand. The former could come after weekend visits from former Duke player Chase Jeter and former Pittsburgh guard Cam Johnson. Johnson is eligible to play now, and considering the problems with the zone, should be an obvious replacement should  Alkins be NBA-bound. 

Jeter would have to sit out a year, so realistically he would replace Dusan Ristic once Ristic graduates.

The complexity is not who wants to stay or who wants to go but who will get a scholarship.

If you think Sean Miller will sit around, you’re crazy. Miller will get what he wants, and that may mean telling either Alkins or Comanche or both that they have no spot on the team, thus forcing them into the professional ranks. This is the juggling act that players must weigh when choosing to leave to test the waters.

We haven’t even mentioned the possibility of five-star recruits Brian Bowen and Trevon Duval coming to the Wildcats. In such a scenario, the Wildcats would have to persuade either Alkins or Comanche or both to leave,  depending on who commits. It is a big mess, and it isn’t getting any prettier as we move toward the summer.

One final thought: Some kids don’t like school. I know, it is a shocker, but put yourself in their shoes for a moment: If you had the opportunity to do your dream job, even if it meant you had to suffer on the beaches of Portugal in a waterside villa, barely making 90K a year, would you? 

Add in the fact that you are not even 21 and are living a life that many people would crave, it is not a bad alternative. Beachfront villa or taking a final in chemistry your second semester as a freshman … you choose.

Either way, the Wildcats will be just fine, standing out as the Pac-12’s best team,  like they always do.

Their title aspirations never change, and neither does the fact they still have a top-three recruiting class coming in. Wildcat fans might want to start adjusting their way of thinking slightly. These kids aren’t here to be Wildcats for the most part; they’re here to improve their resume, build their skill set and become highly successful professionals. When they decide to take that last step is up to them.

Follow Saul Bookman on Twitter.

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