A look ahead: Power forward

Arizona is expecting a healthy Brandon Ashley and some increased depth at power forward next season. Read on for a closer look at the position next season.

Basketball season may have ended only a few months ago, but it is never too early to look ahead. In this series of articles, we will be breaking down every position and taking a look at what the future holds.

Power forward is another position that seems to be relatively easy in putting together what Arizona has. Figuring he is healthy, Brandon Ashley is going to step right back into his starting role. It's no secret that Ashley went down with a foot injury against California last season and his recovery seems to be right on schedule.

We have not heard anything that would lead us to believe that the starting power forward position will go to anybody else, especially if Ashley is indeed able to fully recover as expected.

It's when discussing the players that get the minutes behind him that things get interesting. We have been consistent in saying that the majority of Stanley Johnson's minutes will come at the two and three, which means that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will see his playing time at the three and four.

When Ashley went down with the injury, Hollis-Jefferson stepped right in at the four and Arizona did not miss a beat. The real difficulty in Ashley's injury mostly had to do with depth and a lack of options, but the production of the starting lineup did not have much of a drop off.

Hollis-Jefferson should be able to give solid minutes at the four when Ashley is out or even when Sean Miller decides to play Ashley at the five, thus moving Hollis-Jefferson to the four and Johnson to the three.

Simply put, a player like Hollis-Jefferson gives Arizona a ton of flexibility that Sean Miller is going to use.

The real wildcard here is probably Craig Victor. We don't expect him to come in and provide major minutes right away, but crazier things have happened. It's not necessarily that Victor is not good enough, but there are so many options ahead of him, that we just have difficulty seeing where those minutes come from.

If Victor can come in and give 5-10 minutes per game, Arizona would be much better for it. As it is, that is probably going to be more difficult to do than people realize.

Even if Victor is unable to give up to ten minutes per game, Arizona's depth and overall strength at power forward is going to be back after disappearing with Ashley's injury last season.


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