Most fans don’t know much about Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson, a 6-9 power forward who was also the 2011 California Mr. Basketball. But he’s going to play an instrumental role in Arizona’s success on the court next season, and could emerge as one of the Wildcats’ most crucial players.
Anderson brings a rebounding force to Arizona’s frontcourt, which is especially important after the departures of excellent rebounding forwards in Brandon Ashley, Stanley Johnson, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
He averaged more than 7 rebounds per game in each of his first three seasons, mostly because of his sound fundamental game. Anderson excels at positioning and using his body to corral missed shots, a skill that will translate immediately at Arizona.
Anderson is also a solid interior scorer who is capable of shooting a high percentage on two point shots. He’s averaged double digit scoring in each of his three seasons at BC, recording better than 14 points per game as a sophomore and junior.
He’s the type of reliable, workman-like player that tends to excel in Sean Miller’s system, and that’s why he’ll likely step into a starting role to kick off the season.
One thing Anderson has in his favor is vast experience. He played over 29 minutes per game as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, logging a total of 2942 minutes so far in his career. He was also the only BC player to start all 32 games last year.
Anderson is clearly a tested player who played against top level competition in the ACC. He has the experience to make an impact right away.
That experience will go far in solidifying Anderson’s role in Arizona’s rotation, but what will prove more valuable is the experience he gained practicing with the team while sitting out last season due to transfer rules.
Anderson will raise the level of practices next year because he knows Miller’s expectations, and he’ll be able to lead by example from day one. On a team with so many new additions, that continuity in practice will make Arizona a better team at the start of the season.
A starting front court of Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski is a big, strong, and fundamentally sound duo that could wreak havoc in the Pac-12. With Arizona redefining their post rotation next season, that’s a role Anderson seems to be a natural fit for.
Of course, the lineup will be determined in practices, and that’s a ways down the road. But Anderson is poised to become one of Arizona’s core players next season because of his experience and reliability.