Written by: Ben Brown – Staff Writing Intern (@TheBigShalom)
November 10th marks the first day of the college basketball season. Last season ended on a buzzer beater to give Villanova its second national championship in school history. It has left college basketball fans itching for the 2016-2017 season. Finally, the first tipoff is around the corner. To get you ready, I’m going to give an overview of the preseason top-ten teams. Today we start with number 10, Arizona.
The Wildcats ended last season with a record of 25-9 and a first round loss to Wichita State in the tournament. Arizona lost three starters, but they brought in three talented freshmen in Kobi Simmons, Lauri Markkanen and Rawle Alkins. Simmons is the fifth ranked point gaurd and Alkins is the fifth ranked small forward. The Wildcats are expecting a lot out of the freshmen, but a huge focus is on sophomore Allonzo Trier. There is a possible full season suspension looming for Trier. Head coach Sean Miller had no comment about it yesterday in his press conference. Trier averaged almost 15 points a game last season and showed how important he was when he suffered an injury last season.
Arizona opens with a tough matchup against Michigan State in Hawaii. This will be a good test for the cats. If Allonzo Trier isn’t able to play, it will really show where the freshmen are in their development. Being such a young team, it will not be the best indicator of where the team will be in March, but top-15 matchups are exciting and I am personally excited to see Rawle Alkins play in college. I don’t think Arizona has a chance at winning it all this year, but they do pose a threat to make a deep run into the tournament. My prediction on the year is that they come in second in Pac-12 behind Oregon and if Trier can play, he will be Pac-12 player of the year. I am predicitng 27 wins this season for the Wildcats.