Arizona Basketball: 4 Potential Breakout Stars for Wildcats in 2012-13
The 2012 college basketball season was quite a disappointing one for the Arizona Wildcats. Not only did the Wildcats fail to make the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years, but they saw a first round exit from the NIT tournament.
As the saying goes, however, the only place to go from here is up.
The Arizona Wildcats landed an incredible recruiting class, have a handful of returning rotational players and will see the development of soon-to-be stars. As for who it is will rise up and lead the Wildcats to a more successful postseason, the following slides will answer that question and more.
4. Gabe York
Gabe York can tear it up.
Weight: 170 pounds
Gabe York is a near carbon copy of Austin Rivers. He has a confident swagger, killer jump shot and attacks the basket with reckless abandon. He also over-dribbles and has a tendency to push off with his lead hand.
You take the good with the bad, though, eh?
3. Kaleb Tarczewski
Kaleb Tarczewski is going to be big.
Weight: 240 pounds
When you're the third-ranked center in your draft class, it's not hard to see why you may go overlooked. When you're behind both Nerlens Noel and Isaiah Austin, your under-the-radar status is even more understandable.
But how is no one talking about Kaleb Tarczewski when he's the fourth-ranked prospect on the 2012 ESPN 100 rankings?
The seven-footer is an excellent athlete who runs the floor well and always puts himself in the proper position to finish around the basket. He's also a solid back-to-the-basket finisher with a solid over-the-shoulder hook shot. He can finish with both hands and is a very coachable player.
This kid could be a Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate.
2. Mark Lyons
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Weight: 188 pounds
Prior to the news of Mark Lyons' declaration of intent to transfer to Arizona, very few were familiar with the Xavier guard's brilliance. Upon the discovery that Lyons will be joining the Arizona Wildcats, thus joining highly-touted freshmen Brandon Ashley, Gabe York and Kaleb Tarczewski, hype has begun to grow.
In choosing Arizona as his destination, Lyons thus reunites with former head coach Sean Miller. He also has a larger platform to play, which bodes well for Lyons as he averaged 14.3 points per game against major conference teams in 2012.
This is going to be a big year for Lyons, regardless of whether runs the point or plays the 2.
2012 Season Averages: 15.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.3 SPG, 39.2 3PT%
1. Solomon Hill
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Position: Small Forward
Weight: 226 pounds
The arrival of Brandon Ashley at the 4 and Kaleb Tarczewski at the 5 will likely lead to a slight drop in Solomon Hill's rebounding numbers. This will also move Solomon Hill to a full-time role on the wing, although one can't imagine Hill staying out of the paint very often.
This move bodes well for Hill, who is an excellent ball handler and facilitator. He's also a very good three-point shooter. A solid comparison would be to Draymond Green of the Michigan State Spartans.
With the quality class coming to Arizona in 2012, including star guard Mark Lyons of Xavier, it's hard to imagine the Wildcats staying out of the NCAA Tournament. This will put Hill into a position of leadership, as he is the only star senior who has spent all four years at Arizona.
Expect him to shine and become a trendy name come draft day 2013.
2012 Season Averages: 13.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 39.4 3PT%