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According to Lindy’s preseason magazine, Arizona’s Sean Miller will likely not be looking up at the competition in a much-improved Pac-12 in 2015-16.
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Frank Burlison, an esteemed basketball writer on the West coast, is going against the trend of others believing Arizona will take a backseat to upstart Cal in the 2015-16 season.
Burlison provided Lindy’s Sports preview magazine his preseason ranking for the upcoming season and he lists Arizona as the highest ranked Pac-12 team at No. 12, according to Anthony Gimino, a senior editor of the publication’s football annuals.
Arizona Daily Star beat reporter Bruce Pascoe inquired:
@AGWildcatReport so top in pac-12? (who is 11?)
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Gimino informed me that Cal is ranked No. 15 by Burlison, followed by Utah at No. 19, UCLA at No. 28 and Oregon at No. 31. The magazine will hit the newsstands Sept. 8.
The Golden Bears, with a highly-rated recruiting class including former Arizona target Ivan Rabb, are ranked No. 12 by ESPN.com. Utah is No. 13 and Arizona is No. 15. Rabb, a power forward, joined fellow top five freshman wing forward Jaylen Brown in the class that has Cal’s followers excited about second-year coach Cuonzo Martin.
The Golden Bears also return leading scorer and rebounder Tyrone Wallace and standout guards Jordan Mathews and Jabari Bird.
“I would pick Cal,” Miller was quoted as saying by Pascoe. “The reason why I like Cal is they remind me a lot of the last couple years here at Arizona, where they blend some extremely talented new faces … with a collection of veteran players who’ve been all-conference or can certainly be all-conference.”
The Wildcats lose one of their best wing combos with Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson off to the NBA. T.J. McConnell’s leadership will also be missed as well as Brandon Ashley’s stretch-power forward skills.
Arizona is boosted by a solid incoming group that includes wing player Ray Smith and perimeter studs Kadeem Allen (JC transfer who redshirted last year), Allonzo Trier and Justin Simon. The Wildcats are one of the more experienced teams in the nation with seniors Kaleb Tarczewski, Gabe York, Ryan Anderson and Mark Tollefsen.