News & Events

15 Bold and Not So Bold Predictions for the 2014-15 Season

September 6th, 2014 News 7 Comments

Martin Hayvush

Though most people are gearing up for NFL Sunday tomorrow, diehard Arizona hoops fans are also psyched about the basketball season being right around the corner.

With the annual Red-Blue Game just over a month away, PGU is ready to look ahead to the 2014-15 season. Here are 15 bold predictions for what’s in store for the Cats this time around.

But before we begin, it’s time to pat myself on the back. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but this is toot-worthy.

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote this same column looking ahead to the 2013-14 season. My first bold prediction was eerily prophetic:

“1. Junior point guard TJ McConnell, who establishes himself as the Wildcats’ floor general and engine of the offense, surpasses Arizona legends Mike Bibby and Russell Brown for the 6th best single season assist total in school history. McConnell falls just short of 5th place, held by assistant coach Damon Stoudamire’s 1993-94 season.”

McConnell finished last season with 202 assists, just enough to edge out Brown’s 200 and Bibby’s 199. Bullseye. The clairvoyance goes further, as McConnell also fell just short of Stoudamire’s 5th best single season of 208 assists.

If you’d like me to suggest your Powerball numbers, I’d be happy to oblige. But in the meantime, here are those predictions I was talking about.

1. A senior McConnell will surpass assistant coach Stoudamire’s single season assist record — twice. McConnell will log the 3rd best single season assist total in school history, besting Stoudamire’s 1993-94 mark as well as his 1994-95 season total, which is currently third to only Reggie Geary’s 231 assists in 1995-96 and Brown’s 247 in 1978-79.

2. Incoming freshman Stanley Johnson will lead the team in scoring, AND rebounding. The Wildcats lost their top two scorers last year, but welcoming the Stanimal will help take the sting out. Johnson is a capable scorer and a constant mismatch problem, but he will make a surprising impact on the defensive glass in leading the Cats with over 7.5 rebounds per game.

3. Arizona will steam-roll their non-conference opponents for a perfect record, bringing Sean Miller teams to 38-0 in non-conference play over the last three years.

4. Brandon Ashley, who has hit 14 three pointers in his college career, will bury 52 treys in the 2014-15 season. His 1.3 triples per game will be second best on the team.

5. The player who will lead Arizona in three pointers made will be Gabe York, but he will dramatically improve his shooting percentages as a junior. York will connect on over 41% of his long distance attempts, and raise his field goal percentage from 37% to 44%, making him one of the top shooters in the country.

6. The Wildcats will push the tempo on offense this year, scoring 80 points or more in ten games. Arizona eclipsed the 80 point mark six times last season.

7. After a stellar season with all around statistical contributions, McConnell will be the first Arizona player to win National Player of the Year honors since Jason Gardner in 2002-03.

8. Johnson will break the McKale Center record for free throw attempts, set by Jerryd Bayless’ 16 against Stanford in the 2007-08 season.

9. Despite #1 seed Arizona being the conference’s only top 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Pac-12 will advance three teams to the Elite 8.

10. Junior college transfer Kadeem Allen will be Arizona’s most reliable reserve scorer, and his solid practice play will even earn him multiple starts throughout the season.

11. In the Wildcats’ two games against Oregon State, their margin of victory will be over 50 points. In their two games against Oregon, their margin of victory will be less than 10.

12. After getting just two double-doubles last season, Kaleb Tarczewski will go for eight in 2014-15.

13. After a National Championship victory, all five of Arizona’s starting lineup are selected in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft.

14. Freshman Craig Victor surprises in practice and becomes Ashley’s direct backup at power forward by the end of conference play. He comes on strong down the stretch, and the added depth is critical in keep Arizona’s starters fresh for their title run.

15. Arizona will end up with the #1 2015 recruiting class, securing multiple top flight post players to compliment the already impressive group of wings.

Article Sponsors

Add a Facebook Comment

7 Responses to “15 Bold and Not So Bold Predictions for the 2014-15 Season”

Leave a comment  ↓
  1. Doug Brodess

    September 6, 2014

    Love this list! Here’s hoping that you are 15/15!!!! Bear Down!

  2. Jeff

    September 6, 2014

    Nice article. I would love to see Craig Victor play well enough to produce straightaway and backup Ashley, but Rondae has PF backup minutes on lockdown.

  3. titan4wildcats

    September 6, 2014

    Not to be a naysayer, but the odds of getting all 15 of these correct is really high. Having said that every single one of these predictions is possible to become fact. This team is loaded. The returning players have all put in their work to improve their games…..which were all very good last season. The freshmen coming in are all capable of becoming very good players by the end of the conference schedule. With all the returning players already into Coach Miller’s system, the freshmen will be able to pick it up quicker than most freshmen do. The one prediction you didn’t make was team chemistry. I’ll make that one for you. I’d bet this team has team chemistry that ranks no less than #3 in the country…but in all probability will be the best in the country.

    This is the year of the Wildcats, and although there are many teams with the name of Wildcats, this will be the year of the Arizona Wildcats!

  4. Daniel riesgo

    September 6, 2014

    I enjoy reading these thanks! These seem way bolder Than last year lol but cheers to us! Btfd!

  5. DoubleJ

    September 7, 2014

    It’s all deadly! Here’s to more prophecy.

  6. nightwave

    September 8, 2014

    With Stanimal’s post up ability our paint presence will be our best ever. How are teams going to guard the front court we have now with Stanimal backing in or just driving in for power jams? TJ will score more than he did last year. I predict he will score 12 points per contest with 8 assists. He will have a half dozen double doubles. He will be drafted in the first round because he will be the best point guard in college ball. The best point guard will be drafted in the first round, and that will be him. He’ll have the most assists because he is assisting the best offensive players in CBB. Kadeem is going to explode on the scene with his quickness, and his style so contrasts Stanimal at the two that defenders will be bewildered at how to defend them both during the same game.

  7. David

    September 9, 2014

    I think that you have a good chance of hitting on 14 out of 15 prediction and that is only because two of your predictions are contradictory and they will be an “either, or” situation. Prediction 5 and 10 seem somewhat contradictory.
    If York percentages approach what you are predicting, then he will spend a lot of time on the court and he will be the most reliable scorer off the bench, and not Kadeem Allen.
    The rest of your predictions got me all excited about the season. Let’s go!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *