State of the Roster: Small forward

Arizona's competition at small forward is a bit open next year. Read on for a closer look at the contenders and more.

One of the most stable positions for the Arizona Wildcats during the 2012-13 campaign was at small forward. With two seniors in Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom occupying the vast majority of the minutes available at the position, UA had a pair of reliable and experienced contributors to turn to.

With both players out of eligibility, however, the position becomes the biggest question mark on the roster next season.

There is talent and potential along the wings, but experience is severely lacking. With the roster littered with experienced talent in virtually every other area, small forward will remain a position in question until the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

Many eyes will be on incoming freshman Rondae Jefferson once practice starts. A five-star prospect and one of the top high school wing players in the nation, many expect Jefferson to factor in heavily on the defensive end of the floor.

His wingspan allows him to cover more ground and gives him an advantage over opposing ball-handlers and shooters. On the offensive end of the floor, Jefferson can create for himself and while he is not known to be a dominant scorer, he has the tools to be a reliable and efficient one in college.

Jefferson won't likely shoot the lights out from long range, but his talent and stature make him an intriguing prospect with a lot of offensive potential.

He probably won't be asked to score much early in his college career, as there are plenty of other more capable options on the roster, but Jefferson's presence on the floor shouldn't hinder the scoring attack either.

He will serve as more of an all-around contributor that will make his impact as a defender and a rebounder with the potential to improve as a shooter as well.

Another freshman, Elliot Pitts, looks to crack the rotation early and he possesses a nice shooting stroke from long range that could be beneficial.

Defense at the Pac-12 level may be more of a challenge for Pitts, but his offensive tools make him a strong candidate to make an impact off the bench.

Given the athletic tools of a couple of the post players, the Wildcats also hold the option of going big. Aaron Gordon, another incoming freshman, is likely to see a bulk of his minutes in the paint, but he also has the talent to play along the wing. Gordon's ball-handling is superior for a player of his size and his outside shot has continuously improved as he has progressed.

Those tools, combined with his athleticism, make Gordon someone Arizona can turn to in order to utilize a taller lineup.

That lineup would also allow Sean Miller to distribute more minutes to the other talented big men on the roster.

Perhaps someone like Brandon Ashley can do the same thing. Ashley isn't quick enough to play the position full time, but if he refines his game a little, he can pick up spot duty at the three.

While there isn't much small forward experience on the roster, there is certainly plenty of talent and potential.

If Miller can develop the youth and get solid productivity from his freshman wing players, Arizona's concern about the position vanishes.

Luckily for UA, there is plenty of talent present to help ease some of the pressure off of the young forwards, so the Wildcats should be in good shape at the three come October.

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