Player departures have their benefits

Player departures are not usually good things, but they aren't all bad. Read on to see why they may make Sean Miller's job easier, what it means for the other players, and more.

Much of the talk surrounding Arizona basketball, whether from fans of the Wildcats or their opponents, has been about transfers and rightfully so.

However, the context of that discussion just does not make sense. Movement is a part of college basketball right now, whether people like it or not.

It is easy to understand that there is disappointment behind losing Grant Jerrett and Angelo Chol, but a closer look reveals the fact that Arizona may actually be better off, at least this season.

It's not every day that a head coach's job becomes easier with player movement, but that is exactly what happened with the departure of Jerrett and Chol.

Just take a look at the front court rotation had both of those players stayed. Even if Chol had decided to redshirt and Jerrett stayed, you still have a front court that has to split minutes between Aaron Gordon, Brandon Ashley, Rondae Jefferson, Kaleb Tarczewski, Jerrett, and Matt Korcheck as well.

Once Jerrett left, Arizona still did not necessarily need Chol to come out of the possibility of redshirting because of the depth that it has. What the departure of Jerrett did do, however, is make positions a bit more clear.

Chol leaving has almost zero effect on Arizona next year. Yes, he would have been nice to have in practice and certainly would have helped two years from now. There is a reason why Sean Miller wanted Chol to stay and that is because he sees a bright future for him.

However, you have to wonder if the current players are a bit more comfortable knowing their role. For instance, Brandon Ashley knows that he is going to be able to play the four and a bit at the five as well. Arizona is likely going to be able to be more patient with him instead of having him sub out because of the guys behind him and need to get them minutes.

Some may view that as a negative, but the logical outcome is that Ashley will have more confidence knowing that it is shared by the coaching staff.

Kaleb Tarczewski is another player that is likely to mature this season and a lot of that is going to be due to the fact that he should have an increased role. As we stated, it is possible that Ashley gets some time at center or the coaching staff makes the decision to go small.

At this point though, it is obvious that the coaching staff has put all of its eggs in the Tarczewski basket. He is Arizona's center and unless he fails to be effective, he will get significant minutes at the position throughout the season and most likely improve because of it.

Nobody wants to downplay the loss of Jerrett and Chol and to say that it won't affect Arizona seems silly. However, it is hard to argue against the belief that the Wildcats may be better off with a more set rotation and a players that will have a better feel for what their roles are and will continue to be.


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