Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats basketball social media reactions: Draft decisions, signings, potential transfer

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Arizona fans will miss Nick Johnson’s flair for the spectacular.

With Johnson and teammate Aaron Gordon expected to announce their decision to leave school early today and enter the NBA draft, analyst Jonathon Givony of NBADraftExpress.com offers his analysis of Johnson. One bit of it: “Though Johnson took a big step forward in terms of productivity and emerged as a leader for one of the nation’s best teams, his primary weakness as a prospect remains unchanged. Standing just 6’2.5 with a 6’5.5 wingspan, he is undersized for the shooting guard position. Not a natural playmaker, Johnson will face legitimate questions as to where he fits in at the NBA level throughout the draft process, but has done some nice things in other areas to give himself a fighting chance at carving out a niche.”

I agree with the Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller, who covers Pac-12 hoops as well as anyone in this region. Arizona followers got a glimpse in only one year how much Gordon improved throughout the season. He became a dominant force midway through the Pac-12 season. He’ll only get better at only 19 years old.


Serbian center Dusan Ristic is expected to sign with Arizona, perhaps today with the start of the spring signing period. Ristic started playing at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita (Kan.) starting midway through this season after moving from Serbia at the behest of Arizona’s coaching staff. Three other members of the Class of 2014 signed in the Fall: Guards Stanley Johnson and Parker Jackson-Cartwright of the Los Angeles area, junior college guard Kadeem Allen of Wilmington, N.C., and forward Craig Victor, a New Orleans product who played at Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep this season.

Arizona is the only program of these three that recruited Ryan Anderson out of high school out of Lakewood, Calif. The Boston College transfer, who averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds as a junior last season, is expected to sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules and be eligible for the 2015-16 season. The Wildcats are at their scholarship limit of 13. If they bring in Anderson, a roster spot must free up. Anderson visits McKale Center on May 8. He would be an ideal replacement for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson on the wing if Hollis-Jefferson leaves for the NBA after his sophomore season next year.

Anderson evolved into one of the ACC’s finest players this season with a versatile inside-outside game.

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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