In recent years, Arizona has fielded some of the tallest and longest rosters in the country, with a bevy of talented forwards and big men occupying the front court. It resulted in some very successful teams, as the Wildcats are tied with Kentucky for the most wins in college basketball over the last two years.
But this year, Arizona will have a different look with a roster that features less size and a more guard oriented attack. Sean Miller could deploy three guard lineups, creating a speed and quickness advantage, a stark contrast to the makeup of recent squads.
With sophomore Parker Jackson-Cartwright leading the way at point guard, there are a number of different players that could see time at the shooting guard and small forward positions. Kadeem Allen, a redshirt junior, could provide scoring punch and toughness as the off guard. At 6-3 and 200 pounds, Allen also has the strength to attack the basket and finish.
Senior Gabe York is obviously a potent three point threat, and has the most experience out of the guard unit. With an expanded role this season, York could become a breakout player and one of Arizona’s most dangerous weapons.
There’s also star freshman Allonzo Trier, who figures to be an immediate factor on offense from day one. Trier is an elite scorer who has the confidence to step into a large role as a freshman.
Freshman Justin Simon is another guard who can play multiple positions, including the point guard position. Simon is an athletic and rangy player who has great defensive potential at 6-4.
With all that talent on the perimeter, Arizona’s offense might look a little bit different than last year. Of course, senior Kaleb Tarczewski returns at center and will be the Wildcats’ anchor in the paint. And between forwards Ryan Anderson and Mark Tollefsen, who are both 6-9, Arizona still has size and talent in the front court.
Arizona can still feature a taller front line with Tollefsen and Anderson in the game, but the potential for a three guard lineup gives Miller the option to play smaller depending on matchups.
It remains to be seen how the minutes will shake out among the guard corps, but with so many talented guards on the roster Arizona will be able to give opponents a variety of looks out of the backcourt.