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2015-16 Review

March 18th, 2016 News 1 Comment

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Jason Thai

Arizona’s season came to an end on Thursday night in Providence, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament to an experienced Wichita State team that lived up to their billing as the best defensive team in the country. Wichita State held Arizona to a season low 55 points and forced 19 turnovers which led to 22 fast break points. A solid offensive team this year, Arizona was unable to deal with Wichita State’s aggressive defense. Wichita State was destructive on ball, played the passing lanes and trapped on the perimeter and in the post.

Even though Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York and Ryan Anderson did their best to lead this year’s team, Arizona was missing a point guard leader. When the game starts slipping away and the momentum balloons negatively, the team needed an extension of Coach Miller on the floor. Someone with a calming influence who can handle the pressure, inspire and direct the team in crisis–a Jason Gardner or TJ McConnell.

While most fans are disappointed with the ending of the season, when looking at it as a whole and not through an emotional lens, the team did not underachieve but fared well considering injuries and distractions. Ray Smith tore his ACL in October and was the long, athletic, versatile wing Arizona needed all season. Kaleb Tarczewski missed most of the non-conference with a stress reaction and strained muscle in his left foot. Allonzo Trier missed seven games with a broken right hand. Elliott Pitts missed the final 26 games with an undisclosed personal issue. There’s not very many teams in college basketball that could deal with those setbacks.

Coach Miller did a remarkable job keeping the team together amidst the adversity and in contention for the Pac-12 regular season title. This was always a stop gap year for Arizona, losing four starters and replenishing with freshmen and transfers. Next year Arizona will have the talent, length and athleticism to win the Pac-12 and advance deep in the post season.

Future
Arizona has seven underclassmen set to return for the 2016-2017 season:

Parker Jackson-Cartwright (Junior)
Kadeem Allen (Senior)
Justin Simon (Sophomore)
Allonzo Trier (Sophomore)
Ray Smith (Red Shirt Freshmen)
Chance Comanche (Sophomore)
Dusan Ristic (Junior)

Signed Commitment
Lauri Markannen

Verbal Commitments
Kobi Simmons
Rawle Alkins

Actively Recruiting
Josh Jackson
Terrance Ferguson

Outlook
Arizona will look to add two, possibly three more recruits before next season. In his post-game press conference, Coach Miller noted “when you watch us play next year, you know we are going to have some of the guys who were a part of this year’s team, improved and better and it’s an important recruiting class and I think for us to hit it out of the park the next month is big, and hopefully we can do that.” One thing Coach Miller has shown in his seven years in Tucson is the ability to recruit top notch talent and be able to reload the roster. The future remains bright in Tucson.

Below is a list of the shoes Allonzo Trier wore this season:

Red Blue Scrimmage
LeBron VIII v2 Low Solar Red

Chico State
LeBron XIII Opening Night (first half)
Kobe VI 3D (second half)

Pacific
LeBron XIII Horror Flick

Bradley
Kobe 2 Prelude

Boise State
LeBron XI What The

Northwestern State
LeBron VIII v2 Low Sprite

Santa Clara
Kobe V Photo Blue (with white laces)

Providence
KD VI DC Preheat

Boise State
Kobe 8 Christmas

Gonzaga
LeBron 11 NBA 2k14

Fresno State
Kyrie 1 Double Nickel

Missouri
LeBron VII Red Carpet (with red laces)

NAU
LeBron VIII v2 Low Wolf Grey

UNLV
KD IV USA

Long Beach State
Kyrie 2 Effect

ASU
LeBron XII What The

UCLA
KD 8 Christmas
USC
Kobe VI Chaos

Washington
Kobe VI Prelude

UCLA
Kobe XI BHM

USC
K8 BHM

ASU
Kobe 8 Christmas

Colorado
HyperLive Arizona PE

Utah
HyperLive Arizona PE

Cal
Kyrie 1 Double Nickel

Stanford
Kobe VI LA

Colorado
Kobe II USA
Kobe X Elite Low Christmas (final 8 mins)

Oregon
Kobe X Elite Low Christmas

Wichita State
Kobe XI Elite Low 4KB

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One Response to “2015-16 Review”

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  1. titan4wildcats

    March 22, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks for another good write up Jason!

    What really caught my eye was this statement from Coach Miller;

    “and it’s an important recruiting class and I think for us to hit it out of the park the next month is big,”

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