The college basketball season is quickly approaching and it's an exciting time of the year for Arizona fans. Wednesday marked the first time the team met with the media since the end of last year and for the freshmen, it was their first opportunity to take in the media frenzy that surrounds college athletics.
One freshman who is glad to finally be at UA is Angelo Chol. The product from San Diego Hoover is happy to be on campus and is satisfied with his decision to be a Wildcat.
"It's a great place to be," Chol said. "I am glad I am here. I am glad I chose this school. It's nice."
Chol was the last of the four members from the 2011 class to commit to Arizona. One of his friends from high school was already committed to the Wildcats – Dame Ndiaye, who plays defensive end on the football team – but it was the influence of head coach Sean Miller that played more of a factor in Chol's decision to play basketball at Arizona.
"It's great that he came," Chol said. "He did commit first before I did. In a way he probably did (make an impact on my decision), but he really didn't because I chose Arizona because of Coach Miller. But it was a plus for him to be here."
The 6-foot-8 big man understands what Miller brings to the table as a coach.
"The coach is a great coach," Chol said. "He's the reason I came here."
Big men can have difficulty transitioning to the college game right out of high school, but Chol has a reputation of being one of the best post defenders the high school ranks have ever seen. He expects to contribute right away on the defensive end of the floor and feels he can make an impact on the boards as well.
"I think that defense and rebounding would be my biggest strengths," Chol said. "I need to develop my game on offense, but now I am going to get used to playing defense first."
One of the biggest adjustments from high school to college for many athletes is the physical aspect of collegiate athletics. Chol has been working hard with strength and conditioning coach Chris Rounds, who has helped the big man add muscle since he arrived on campus.
"I was at 208 when I came here," Chol said. "I am like 216 now. So he helped me put on some muscle."
The class Chol enters college with is regarded as one of the highest rated groups UA has ever seen. He believes that all four have the opportunity to contribute on the floor immediately.
"I believe so," Chol said. "We just have to keep working."
Expectations are high for the Wildcats despite the losses of Derrick Williams and Lamont Jones in the offseason. Chol isn't putting too much pressure on himself as an individual player as he has one simple goal for the 2011-12 campaign.
"To help the team win," Chol said. "We're here to win."
Chol excited for season
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