Just two months ago, Arizona basketball was on the cusp of a resurgence. The Sean Miller days were put behind them, and Tommy Lloyd - arguably the most promising of the Mark Few coaching trees - was ushered in.
But after the Wildcats had an excellent year which led them to the #2 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, they find themselves in discussions of rebuilding.
Arizona sophomore Dalen Terry announced his intentions to stay in the 2022 NBA Draft, sources told Jeff Goodman at Stadium. Terry was seen as a wing-forward-type weapon for the Cats, grabbing 8 points, nearly 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game on the year.
This presents a dilemma for Arizona, who now is confirmed to be without some of its top talent next year. Benedict Mathurin is expected to be a high pick in the NBA Draft after averaging 17.7 points per game in his sophomore campaign. Big man Christian Kokolo is a borderline first round pick. And now without Terry, the Cats have about half their offensive production to make up in 2022-23.
So what will Arionza look like next hear? For starters, Kerr Kriisa will be the go-to guy for offense. He averaged nearly 10 points per game, but had only 16 points in his 3 NCAA tournament games this season. Relying on Kriisa would be dangerous; he took a massive step forward from freshman-to-sophomore year, and many are skeptical that he's able to replicate his 2022 performance in future seasons.
Tommy Lloyd has hit international recruitment quite hard, reeling in Filip Borovicanin - the wing forward from Serbia - and Estonian forward Henri Veesaar. Borovicanin seems to be the "on-paper" replacement for Terry, but it's unclear if he's able to immediately plug the hole left by Terry.
Here's the probable starting lineup as it stands now:
PG: Kerr Kriisa
SG: Adama Bal
SF: Pelle Larsson
PF: Azuolas Tubelis
C: Oumar Ballo
Can this team have as high of a ceiling as they did last year? My gut tells me no, but it all hinges on Kerr Kriisa to carry this team to the promised land.
It'll be an interesting rest of the offseason in Tuscon.