Andre is one of the three players, along with Chris Rodgers and Will Bynum, that Arizona is so fortunate to have on its roster. Andre had a binding Letter Of Intent to play at Arkansas this year and looked to have an inside track at playing time there. But when Nolan Richardson decided to take his own direction, Andre felt his best option was his second choice, Arizona. He comes in with a tremendously athletic game, and explosive leaping ability. If Arizona chooses to institute a press this year, Andre will give teams fits with his tall frame and athleticism. Like most freshmane he will have his down games but could really excite in others. He will mostly be a three but with his rebounding potential could get some minutes at the four in blowouts or when the team is in foul trouble. It should have a productive freshman year because he is versatile but will have to work for minutes behind Walton. Season Outlook: Backup Small Forward, spot minutes at Power Forward
Fox began last season well and actually started the season opener against Florida, but due to the emergence of Channing Frye, he was a forgotten man last season. Some games he would sit on the bench a lot and really couldn't get into the flow of the game or season. Lute says the biggest growth for a player is between his freshman and sophomore years, and we can hope that is the case for Fox. He doesn't need to be dominant, just give good productive minutes off the bench for Frye. Fox is a little bigger and should be able to contrubute this year, especially against other wide bodies. He seems to be moving a little better on the court, which should help his cause for minutes behind Channing Frye. Season Outlook: Backup Center
Adams comes into the season as one of Arizona's most prized recruits. Anyone who has seen him in the pick-up games or in the McDonald's All-American game knows he will bring a lot of excitement to McKale this season. He has an unbelievable vertical leap and the mid-range is there as well. As with every freshman, it is tough to tell how he will adjust to the college level. He should be the most prepared to play on the college level and I think he will evolve into the 6th man, or perhaps a starter, by the end of the Pac-10 season. Look for Hassan to make the biggest contribution of the freshmen, which is impressive judging by this year's class. Season Outlook: 6th Man - Backup Shooting Guard/Small Forward
Rodgers is another of the players that Arizona is lucky to have this year. It looked, for awhile like he would show up on campus this year due to the fact he wouldn't be eligible to play. In mid-September, when Rodgers was declared eligible, Arizona's backcourt 2002 was complete. While not as athletic as Andre or Hassan, Chris seems to have a complete game. He can shoot, play tough defense, and is tough off the dribble. He has great one-on-one moves in the open court. He will be in a big fight for minutes this year, which will certainly drive him to perform. While Rodgers' stats won't be flashy this year, the players he will be facing when he enters a game will be much less talented. He is also a spell for Gardner at the point. Don't look for big stats this season but definitely a solid year. Season Outlook: Backup Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Bynum is a truly gifted player physically, with unbelievable sheer talent. He can easily dunk a basketball despite being around 5'9', and has tremendous ball-handling abilities. Sometimes last year he went invisible on the court but this year he should provide a more consistent effort. His only setback, similar to all the other guards except Jason Gardner, is playing time. If Bynum plays consistently he will have a huge year off the bench, but another year of frustration like the last season could eventually lead to a transfer. Bynum almost transferred last year, but after a change of heart he decided to stay in Tucson this fall. Hopefully he gets into the games consistently so he can show off his talent, which could take off this year. Expect an up and down season primarily due to the crowded backcourt situation. Season Outlook: Backup Point Guard/Shooting Guard
Latimore comes into this season as one big question mark. Unlike the guards, playing time for him is there. The question is, can he take advantage of it and provide a tough post presence? Latimore has come back this year much stronger and much more comfortable away from the basket. If Latimore can provide a presence off the bench, he takes Arizona to a different level, a national title level. If he plays well Frye should go off due to constant single man coverage and the opposing defenses not being able to cheat off anyone. Latimore is a big key this season and look for him to have a consistent workmanlike year. Season Outlook: Backup Power Forward
Dunn comes into this year with a big hill to climb, assuming he doesn't redshirt and take the year off entirely. He told me that redshirting was a "50-50" possibility. Dunn is tall and athletic but with his slender frame he may have trouble getting significant minutes , which could make it in his best interest to redshirt. Dunn is just too skinny right now to play the college game and would likely get pushed around. Lute and his staff, however, see Chris as an eventual power forward. Dunn should make an impact in 2003 but his best contribution this year should be pushing everyone in practice. Season Outlook: Back-up power forward, possible redshirt candidate.
The possibilities are endless this season for Arizona basketball. This team comes in as perhaps the most talented Arizona team in history and one of the best nationally in many years. What separates Arizona from other great teams, past and present, is their incredible bench. Many teams have had the same hype, only to struggle once the season starts. Just look back two years ago when Arizona came in as the top-ranked team only to struggle through the regular season. That team's starting five was not as talented but the benches don't even compare. This year's bench would blow 2000's bench out of the water. Like any team, though, there are still questions:
- What kind of production will the four sports give?
- Will Isaiah Fox be able to backup Frye?
- Will all the guards stay happy with the playing time?
While the third issue is a problem a coach would like to have, it is a problem, none the less. Overall, there is not much to complain about when it comes to this team. It will be a full court pressing team, which should make the games even more exciting. It is a great year to be in Tucson and to follow this team. Tom Arnold made the understatement of the night, during Midnight Madness, when he said, "This (Tucson) is going to be a great place to watch basketball this year".