Arizona basketball experienced one of its more successful seasons in recent memory. The Wildcats won 30 games, another Pac-10 title and advanced to the elite eight for the first time since 2005.
The season wasn't without its flaws however and one area that needed a boost was in the post. With Derrick Williams – who is more of a face-up player as opposed to a post-player – being the only reliable weapon in the paint, Arizona was forced to go small and struggled at times; especially on the defensive end of the floor.
UA's starting duties at the four spot last season were split between senior Jamelle Horne and junior Jesse Perry. Horne's game resembled more of a small forward, making Perry the only real threat in the paint at the power forward position.
Perry's game started to come around at the end of last season, but he was far from dominant. At the very least, Perry should be a big part of Arizona's success in 2011-12. His bruiser style of play and the energy he brings will be even more important with Williams going pro and Perry should see more chances to make plays at the offensive end of the floor.
Behind Perry, the only real options are a pair of incoming freshmen from the 2011 class.
That's not necessarily a bad thing with the quality players the Wildcats acquired. Sidiki Johnson missed a significant portion of time due to a foot injury, so there is going to be some concern about how he is physically when the season begins.
Johnson has a big frame with the ability to add muscle. If he learns to stay around the rim more often, he could use his physical traits to his advantage. UA will need him to do just that in order to help offset the loss of Williams.
Also look for Angelo Chol to play the four position at times. Chol's length and shot-blocking ability will allow for Arizona to utilize him at center, but Chol should see the floor at power forward alongside Kyryl Natyazhko in spots. Chol could potentially dominate the defensive end of the floor as a power forward in the Pac-12 considering his size.
The Wildcats could really benefit if Chol continues to work on his offensive game. He has been regarded as a bit raw in terms of where he stands as an offensive player, but he continues to put in plenty time in order to improve enough to be ready for the college game.
With his size and athleticism, Chol could be a great player on both ends of the floor if he keeps working on his game.
Arizona could also use its wing players – such as Kevin Parrom or Solomon Hill – in the four spot in small lineups. The Wildcats are stacked at both guard spots which may cause some players to slide over to another position. That may not happen nearly as much in the 2011-12 season as it has happened in recent seasons, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it in small portions.
Evaluating the Roster: Power Forward
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