Sports Perspective: Wildcats hold bright future - The Explorer: Columns

Sports Perspective: Wildcats hold bright future

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Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 4:00 am

After a thrilling run to the Sweet 16, the Arizona Wildcats were forced to pack their bags and start all over again. Despite all of the controversy currently surrounding the Wildcats-- regarding the Ed Rush scandal and the famous double-dribble and technical-foul call, Arizona is more focused on their future.

Unfortunately, the Cats will be missing five of their seniors next year including Mark Lyons, Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill. Of that group of seniors, Hill is the only one projected to be drafted in this upcoming NBA draft. The experts currently have Hill being selected somewhere between early and mid second round. 

As for next season of Arizona Wildcat basketball, there are three outstanding freshman already committed to the university along with a transfer from Duquesne University who has been practicing with the Cats all season.

T.J. McConnell, a point guard from Duquesne was not allowed to play in any games this season due to the rules set by the NCAA prohibiting transfer players from playing in their first season at their new school. McConnell will be a junior next year and will have two years of eligibility under Coach Miller.

There was a very similar scenario last year with Mark Lyons transferring from Xavier to play his final year of college basketball. However, Lyons never had to sit out for a season. The reason being the Lyons had already graduated from Xavier, but was ineligible his freshman year meaning he was allowed to play one final season. 

The Lyons/McConnell situation may actually be the best thing that could have happened for Arizona basketball. Having Lyons take over with his leadership on the court, while developing McConnell and getting him accustomed to their system may lead to the most success. Now, McConnell essentially holds the starting point guard position for the next two seasons and should be prepared to hit the ground running.

Then there are the big name incoming freshmen: Aaron Gordon (4th overall), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16th overall), and Elliott Pitts (100th overall). The freshman power forward, small forward and shooting guard respectively, bring tremendous excitement to Tucson and continue the trend of making Arizona a championship contender. The Wildcats currently possess the fifth strongest recruiting class in the nation.

Although Arizona will be without its two leading scorers and their sixth man (first player off the bench), there is a lot of young talent and promise for the future. In fact, the Cats will have one of the youngest teams in the country and will likely not start either of their two seniors next season. 

Wildcat fans everywhere should be ecstatic because Arizona basketball will be a powerhouse for years to come.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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