Here we go again! WSR tests your knowledge and prognostication skills with our third annual prediction thread in a season which promises to be one of the most entertaining seasons in a decade.
Sean Miller has assembled a team that is loaded at every position. But that isn't why I'm going to predict an outstanding season for Arizona basketball. Most of you have been following Arizona basketball for years, so you know what makes for a good team and what doesn't. Sometimes talent doesn't come together because of various factors; the team chemistry may not be the best; lack of leadership ability.
We've seen those teams come and go, and sometimes in Arizona uniforms. So, I'll say this from everything we have seen so far; this team looks like some of the best from the Lute era -- they are teachable, they are humble, they have leadership, they have good chemistry, and well, they are good, really good.
I think it bears repeating from last year. What Sean Miller achieved with an undersized squad was remarkable. Getting to the conference finals with the tallest player at 6'7", no true point guard and a season worth of drama should have merited some coach of the year citations. With the returnees and the addition of the top recruiting class in the nation, along with transfer Mark Lyons, not to mention the redshirt additions who provide depth in practice, this season will be totally different. Miller can go 10 deep if he chooses to, and outside of Lyons and Hill, getting substantial minutes on this team will be an accomplishment.
The depth gives Miller greater leverage, of course. He is finally at the place Lute was with his best teams -- he can keep everyone motivated and attentive. Although I haven't seen any practices, I'll bet they are uber competitive. Along with size issues last year, another detriment from last season was the lack of vocal leadership on the court. Enter Mark Lyons. Problem solved.
All this said, I'll resist the urge to pencil Arizona in for a 40-0 season. Here is what we do know: Arizona has 12 OOC games, 18 Conference Games, 4 Potential games in the Pac 12 tourney in Las Vegas (another great idea by Larry Scott to move from LA, no?) and 6 potential games in the NCAA tournament.
Here is what my crystal ball says: Arizona goes 12-0 out of conference, 15-3 in the Pac 12, and win all three games in the Pac 12 tournament to finish 28-5 (remember, the top 4 seeded teams receive a bye in the Pac 12 tourney).
Honestly, I could see them winning all OOC games, but with the youth factor that may be a stretch, but a stretch, but I’m sticking with it..
In the NCAA's I say Arizona wins 4 games. All in all a terrific season, one that will solidify Arizona's rise to prominence in college basketball once again, and highlight Sean Miller as one of the best young coaches in the game.
Find my predictions below, block, copy, agree with me, and simply paste my prediction at the top of your message, and you'll be right. However, some of you will undoubtedly be contrarians. Although this is baffling to me, I guess you have the right to your own individual opinion. (Shaking my head in disbelief as I type)
Alright, go your own way if you must, but please keep your colors in between the lines by putting your predictions at the TOP of the message and then pontificate to your heart's delight. In other words, do the opposite of what I've done. Not too hard, right? But if you can't follow directions, you probably won't be able to figure out how to spend the Grand Prize of $100 Gift Card. Entries close at end of Wildcat football victory in the New Mexico Bowl.
Good luck! (You'll need it if you disagree with me!)
PAC 12 Tournament: 3-0
Tie Breaker 1: Wildcat Scoring Average- 81.5
Tie Breaker 2: Leading Scorer and Average – Solomon Hill, 15 PPG
(Note to overachievers: don't over-complicate this by picking every single game and scores. There are enough tie breakers to identify our champion)