Arizona Wildcat Basketball Prediction '09-10 Season

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent INovember 16, 2009

BOISE, ID - MARCH 22: Head Coach Sean Miller of the Xavier Musketeers adjusts his team during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers in the second round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Taco Bell Arena on March 22, 2009 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

After three years of instability at the head coaching position, it is safe to assume that Wildcat fans can expect to see Sean Miller on the bench beyond this season.

The search to find the new head coach was a whirlwind of emotion for Arizona fans that included the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

In the end, though, Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood found his man—the man who may end up being the right guy for the job.

Arizona will start one senior, one junior, and one sophomore and will have five freshmen in their rotation. So this will be a learn on the job and not by watching kind of group.

Nic Wise will obviously lead the team. The senior has had the privilege of going through the roughest stretch of an Arizona player in recent history. He has had four coaches in four years, been relegated to the bench, and is now being asked to carry the load for a team that lost its two star players to the NBA.

Junior Jamelle Horne and sophomore Kyle Fogg are going to be counted on for experience, but both are in new systems. Horne has played out of position his first two years at Arizona, but it seems like he finally has found a niche in Miller's offense.

Fogg was the surprise of last year's team. He showed poise and was the team's best defender, most of the time drawing the assignment of guarding the opponent's best player. The sophomore also improved offensively as the season progressed.

The freshmen are where it gets interesting. All of them bring something different to the table for Arizona.

Lamont "Momo" Jones is a scoring point guard. He will likely play alongside Wise and handle the ball while Wise takes a breather.

Derrick Williams is the high flyer of the group. He will split time at small forward and power forward with Horne. Williams has already showed his athleticism in exhibition games so far this season, and there is a lot of excitement around the freshman.

Solomon Hill is a do everything kind of player. Hill has the skill to handle the ball, shoot from the outside, and drive the lane.

Kevin Parrom is a wingman who has athleticism and can shoot. Parrom will be out for the first month of the season with a stress fracture in his foot. We will have to wait and see how much the injury limits him during the season.

Kyryl Natyazhko is the only true big man of the freshmen. He will be counted on to be a low post threat and bang the boards for the Cats.

The biggest question now still remains, will Arizona continue the streak to 26?

The Pac-10 is having a down year talent-wise, meaning that it is a wide-open race and anyone is in it.

Arizona has a top five team in the Pac-10 this year. In the old days it might be top seven, but the Cats have a legitimate chance of making the tournament.

As long as Wise stays healthy, the Cats will make the NCAA tournament for a 26th straight season, continuing the streak started by Lute Olson.

They will bow out in the first round, but the streak will stay alive for another season.