Added depth brings new dimension

Sean Miller has much more to work with in the front court and it should bring a new look to Arizona. Read on for his thoughts on each newcomer, what will be different, and more.

A year ago, the problem that faced Arizona game in and game out was controlling the paint. The Wildcats started 6-foot-6 Solomon Hill at the power forward position and 6-foot-7 Jesse Perry at center.

It was nowhere near an ideal situation for Sean Miller and company, who still managed to get 23 wins on the season but missed the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years. Size will no longer be an issue for Arizona, though experience may be.

"We have the size and depth that we haven't had," said Miller. "Now it's a matter of us making those guys more comfortable and better and hopefully we can stay healthy. Angelo Chol is bigger and stronger. He has more experience playing a year ago like he did."

Chol is the only returning player with experience in the front court, but he will definitely have help with three young talented freshmen. Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett, and Brandon Ashley all complement each other very well and should make an immediate impact.

"Kaleb Tarczewski is not a player that you often times have," said Miller. "If you look at the history of Arizona, as great as many front court players have been here, you probably can count on one hand the number of really good 7-footers or even 6-foot-11 players.

"He's 7-foot-0, more than 250-pounds, but he is going to have to learn the college game and there is a lot to it. Having someone that size and you look at Angelo [Chol], who is bigger and stronger, now you have two [at the five]."

While the five spot is set, Arizona also has options at power forward.

"Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley, I think, complement each other very well," Miller explained. "Brandon scores very naturally, has a great feel. When you watched Derrick Williams play when he was younger you ask yourself what move did he just make? A lot of times he didn't make a move, he just had this incredible feel and great hands. I see a lot of that with Brandon.

"Jerrett is an incredible shooter. I would say that if you lined our team up throughout the long summer that we have had. he is probably one of our top three shooters from three. You don't think in those terms with someone as tall as he is, but at 6-foot-9, freshman, it is always nice to have one of those front court players that can really shoot the ball."

Having depth in the front court will be beneficial for the backcourt as well. Miller says with the talent in the front court it should open up shots for players like Kevin Parrom, Nick Johnson, Mark Lyons and Jordin Mayes to really get good looks.

"All three guys can really pass the ball," said Miller. "They want to pass it, they can pass it and you don't often put that as part of the equation with young, front court players. They are clever in how they move the ball, they are willing to do it and I think they can. That is a really good characteristic for a young, front court player to have."

From last year's lackluster inside play, an adjustment will have to be made as most of the players on the current Arizona roster have not had to feed the post much. Miller says that they have already been working on how to look for players that will make a difference inside.

"Now we have a team that we have guys in the game that you wanted to throw it to [in the post] and we haven't really done it," explained Miller. It's not natural. It's the one thing you saw numerous times [during the summer], it was like glue on the fingers.

"He's open but you're not throwing it to him and it's because you're not used to making that a part of what you do. It's one of the things we worked hard on."


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