One of the most intriguing story lines for the Arizona basketball squad heading into the 2012-13 season is the play in the post. UA was hampered by a lack of size in its most recent campaign and it ultimately hindered its postseason chances. There will be an added challenge with the departure of power forward Jesse Perry, but there are several incoming freshmen that will look to fill that void.
Aside from that, Angelo Chol will be a year older and wiser. The transition to the college level presented challenges to Chol but, with a season under his belt, he should be more ready physically and mentally for his sophomore season.
The 6-foot-9 Chol possesses a long wingspan and superior athleticism. He has the ability to score both inside and from mid-range, but was a bit inconsistent offensively. His defense was already above average, so another year of seasoning should move him among the elite post defenders in the Pac-12.
Incoming freshman Kaleb Tarczewski should provide help just with his presence alone. He is not an elite shot-blocker for his size, but having a legit 7-footer on the roster should do wonders for defense and rebounding.
Tarczewski can help in a variety of ways on the offensive end of the floor. He can post his defender up and, while his range is limited, he can score facing the basket. He is a bit rough around the edges on both ends of the floor, but he isn't a developmental project by any stretch of the imagination. He has decent all-around skills and his size alone is going to make life a lot easier in the paint for UA.
Grant Jerrett is an athletic big man who can provide excellent post play on offense and his wingspan gives him the potential to be a superior shot blocker. Jerrett has the tools to make an impact right away on both ends of the floor. His post game has developed nicely and his fundamental strengths should provide the Wildcats with a strong finisher on offense.
If he can pick up the level of play in the Pac-12 quickly, Jerrett's defense could be an asset. His frame and athleticism make him a candidate to develop into an elite shot-blocker.
Power forward Brandon Ashley is another player to watch in the paint. He has added muscle since committing to Arizona and he has a decent mid-range game. Ashley's natural ability should allow him to develop in a strong offensive player, but his defense is probably a bit behind. Ashley is a strong rebounder though and he should be an important cog on the offensive end of the floor.
While there may be a lot of pressure on the freshmen big men to come in and produce, the overall picture for Arizona in the paint is much more appealing than it was in 2011-12. The Wildcats will present size, athleticism and an increased level of talent in the paint next season regardless of how prepared the newcomers are. Their presence alone should prove to be a huge difference for the team during the 2012-13 campaign.
Post play should be strength
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