11/7: Arizona 73, Valparaiso 64
11/9: Arizona 67, Duquesne 59
1. Jesse Perry (Last Week: N/A)
He's not flashy, and it might not always be pretty, but Jesse Perry has been the most consistent Wildcat thus far, and that should continue for the rest of the season. In two games the rugged power forward is averaging 12.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 67% from the field.
He has been the driving force behind the Wildcats' first two wins. Don't expect him to average a double-double all season, but Perry should be a stabilizing force down low throughout the season.
2. Jordin Mayes (Last Week: N/A)
Overshadowed by highly touted freshman Josiah Turner entering the season, Mayes is showing signs that Sean Miller needs to get him on the floor. While maybe not a traditional point guard, he brings an undeniable scoring prowess to the table that this team will need in a season where there is no go-to scorer, at least just yet.
He is ranked this high primarily because of his standout performance against Duquesne where he scored 19 points on 6 of 10 shooting (4 of 7 from beyond the arc). If Turner continues to struggle (and show up late for the pre-game shootaround), Mayes might find himself running the point more often then originally anticipated.
3. Nick Johnson (Last Week: N/A)
The high-flying freshman has been solid thus far, coming off the bench for 25 minutes in both games. Against Valparaiso he scored 14 points, dished out six assists, grabbed three rebounds and made two three-pointers.
He got into foul trouble a little bit in the second game, but he still ended up with eight points thanks to his six free throws made. He has been solid all-around thus far, contributing on both offense and defense and any day now he should break out for twenty-plus points. Out of everyone on this roster, he has the greatest potential to become that go-to scorer this team needs.
4. Kyle Fogg (Last Week: N/A)
Arizona's senior leader led the team in scoring against Valpo when he got 16 points on 5 of 7 shooting. That performance alone nearly gave him a spot higher on the rankings, but he followed up that solid game with one of his worst against Duquesne.
In 25 minutes of play he had only seven points and struggled to the tune of four fouls, six turnovers and 2 of 9 shooting. If the Wildcats are going to succeed this season, they can't afford to have Fogg getting into foul trouble.
5. Angelo Chol (Last Week: N/A)
When Chol came to Tucson, Sean Miller had every intention of developing him as a power forward. Now, after witnessing the wrath of Kyryl Natyazhko (along with Sidiki Johnson), Miller found out that Chol is best suited to play the center position. He hasn't been flashy, and his numbers haven't been too crazy, but he has been exactly the presence the Wildcats need in the low post, especially on the defensive end.
Against Valpo he had six rebounds and four steals and followed that up with seven rebounds against Duquesne. He hasn't really shown much of an offensive game (he scored a total of 12 points in the two games), but the Wildcats may have found their new starting center.
For the time being, Miller will probably continue to use Kyryl at center because of his height, but expect Chol to get more minutes from here on out. He will especially be an important factor come Sunday when the Wildcats take on Ball State.
6. Solomon Hill (Last Week: N/A)
Outside of Turner, Hill has been the biggest disappointment thus far, and that is something that Miller has not been afraid to point out in recent press conferences. After his pal Derrick Williams left, it was expected that Hill would step up and pick up some of the scoring slack.
Thus far, Hill has fallen victim to poor decision making and shooting, scoring just 9 points combined thus far (including just one point against Duquesne). Luckily, the season is still very, very young. But, if Hill is ever going to live up to his potential, now is the time.
7. Josiah Turner (Last Week: N/A)
Phrases like "it's still early" are being thrown around a lot in relation to Turner thus far. And it's true, the season has just begun, and that's probably why Turner has yet to adapt to the college game. With his style of play, being a pass-first point guard, he needs to get used to playing with his teammates before his true talent comes to the forefront.
Still, considering all the hype thrown his way, his performance so far has been disappointing to say the least. Miller was forced to bench him against Duquesne because he was late to shoot around, and off the bench he struggled with zero points, three turnovers and three assists. He also only had one assist against Valpo. That needs to improve, or Mayes will continue to cut into his playing time.
8. Brendon Lavender (Last Week: N/A)
Lavender had a solid night against Duquesne after barely seeing the ball against Valpo. Not much is expected of Lavender outside of some three-point shooting and defense off the bench, but if he can put in more performances like the seven points and four rebounds he got against Duquesne, then Sean Miller will certainly be happy.
9. Kyryl Natyazhko (Last Week: N/A)
Expectations coming into the season were extremely low for Kyryl following his struggles last year, and thus far he has lived up to those poor expectations. Kyryl really only needs to rebound the basketball, body up against opposing big men and avoid making mistakes.
His inability to do any of those things effectively thus far, plus the emergence of Angelo Chol at center, has significantly cut into his playing time and he only played 8 minutes (despite starting) against Duquesne.
10. Sidiki Johnson (Last Week: N/A)
All eyes were on the other three freshmen (Chol, Johnson and Turner) coming in, so Sidiki kind of flew on the radar. Based on the way things are going, Johnson might be permanently stuck below the radar. In the first game against Valpo, Johnson came into the game and immediately took an ill-advised three-pointer, which he air- balled.
Miller instantly removed him and he hasn't played a minute since then. If things stay the same going forward, Johnson will be lucky to get even the one minute of playing he got versus Valpo.