Rodgers knows that nothing comes easy

The road through Arizona, for many prized recruits, is not always easy. Players like Will Bynum and Dennis Lattimore are a testament to how hard it can be to deal with the trimming of minutes and position battles, both of which are problems that these highly touted players have never had to deal with before. However, for every transfer player from Arizona there is a player like Chris Rodgers who is able to turn negatives into positives and use the adversity as motivation.

"I knew that this season was going to be up and down because we have so much talent on the team," Rodgers said. "Right away I knew that minutes were going to be cut in half pretty much. My whole mentality was to just come in and give the team anything that it needed."

For the most part, players who are able to handle the adversity at Arizona are eventually able to find the minutes. After not seeing much floor for his first few years, Jason Terry was able to be an integral part of the team and eventually ended up in the NBA. Ricky Anderson is another example of a player who had to sacrifice minutes, yet eventually ended up being a major contributor. The reason why such highly prized recruits are able to adjust their games and their attitudes at Arizona is because of the strong coaching staff.

"Josh Pastner has been very supportive," Rodgers said. "He understands my situation, and he's always trying to help me out, regardless of favorites with other players. He keeps things entirely business-like, which it should be."

Because of Arizona's depth and strong coaches, players are able to compete against the best players at the highest level of their ability. Because of this, players who don't flourish during their first few seasons are able to build their talents over the years that they are here, regardless of whether they are getting minutes during the game. Rodgers will have improved from this season simply because he had to compete against Jason Gardner in practice everyday. Players who transfer are unable to get the experience of playing against the best collegiate players in the country every single day in practice.

"I think that the competition level is definitely at the highest," Rodgers said. "Arizona has a tradition of producing quality players and the NBA knows that and knows what type of players comes from Arizona. They can see potential and the other things that you bring to the table aside from individual numbers."

With Arizona constantly reloading every year with new talents at all positions, no player knows what their status will be for the next season. However, Rodgers does not seem too worried about the upcoming battles with Mustafa Shakur for time at the point guard. If Shakur is as good as he is being hyped to be, it is likely that Rodgers' biggest improvements in his game could come from having to match-up with Shakur in practices.

"I'm going to do summer school here and keep working out every single day. Spend time in the gym, lift weights and run. I'm just trying to get the edge."

Talk about this on the Cat's Lair MESSAGE BOARDS

Wildcat Authority Top Stories