Arizona Basketball

With Lee going to Louisville, Arizona’s last likely recruiting effort for 2015 is signing Tollefsen


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Drexel transfer Damion Lee will have one season of eligibility left as a graduate transfer (YouTube video capture)

Drexel transfer Damion Lee announced this morning he is headed to Louisville (YouTube video capture)

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Louisville’s Rick Pitino was able to sway Damion Lee this morning to transfer there from Drexel for his senior season.

What’s next for Arizona?

Stanley Johnson potentially turns pro as a certain lottery pick, although lower than he might like at No. 10 or so.

Kaleb Tarczewski does not declare for the NBA draft and remains at Arizona for his senior season.

Arizona fills one of its last scholarships with San Francisco graduate transfer Mark Tollefsen, who visited Arizona last weekend and has not scheduled other visits.

Sean Miller has 13 scholarships to offer. Based on T.J. McConnell and Matt Korcheck exhausting their eligibility and Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson announcing they will turn pro, here are the 2015-16 players under scholarship (including incoming recruits by position) with their grade classification for next year:

POINT GUARD (2)
Parker Jackson-Cartwright, sophomore
Justin Simon, freshman

SHOOTING GUARD (4)
Gabe York, senior
Elliott Pitts, junior
Kadeem Allen, junior
Allonzo Trier, freshman

SMALL FORWARD (2)
Stanley Johnson, sophomore
Ray Smith, freshman

POWER FORWARD (1)
Ryan Anderson, senior

CENTER (3)
Kaleb Tarczewski, senior
Dusan Ristic, sophomore
Chance Comanche, freshman

If Johnson leaves and Tarczewski stays, that means 11 scholarships will be filled. Miller can fill the last two with Tollefsen and by offering the last to a walk-on (if he is done recruiting for 2015-16). If Johnson and Tarczewski both stay, that leaves only one scholarship available for Tollefsen.

Johnson and Tarczewski have until Sunday night to decide their immediate NBA future.

With Lee going to Louisville and Hollis-Jefferson and Ashley leaving, it appears the forward positions are the biggest question marks for Arizona in 2015-16. Ray Smith, a freshman from Las Vegas High School, should see plenty of playing time and Miller has the luxury of plenty of shooting guards. He can go small often with three-guard lineups.

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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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