In the one-and-done era, college basketball fans have grown accustomed to having to get to know a slew of new, highly-touted names and faces each season, many of whom will spend just one year on campus before moving on to the NBA. In 2019, six of the top 10 NBA draft picks were one-and-done, and eight of the 14 lottery picks overall. Not all elite freshmen will pan out, but history dictates that many of them will help headline the sport for the next year—and, for some, maybe even beyond. Just look at last year’s group of rookies we profiled: Tre Jones, Ashton Hagans, Jalen Smith and Devon Dotson lead a whopping 12 former 2018 five-stars back for a sophomore season.
With all of that in mind, SI.com will be introducing you to the top incoming freshmen in college basketball for 2019–20 and breaking down the impact those players could have. The rankings are according to RSCI Hoops, a composite that averages from 25 different expert top-100 lists. Next up is the No. 13 overall recruit, Arizona's Josh Green. You can view all of the profiles to date here.
What He Means for Arizona’s Recruiting Class
Sydney, Australia native Josh Green is one of two five-star recruits coming to Tucson in Sean Miller’s 2019 class. The 6’6”, 210-pound wing joins Arizona native Nico Mannion (No. 6), who is the country’s top-ranked point guard, four-star power forward Zeke Nnaji (No. 38) and three-star center Christian Koloko. Four-star recruit Terry Armstrong, another wing, was also committed to the Wildcats’ incoming class but opted instead to play overseas in Australia’s National Basketball League. Especially in light of Armstrong’s decommitment, Green brings plenty of potential to the two/three slot and should serve as a nice complement to Mannion in the backcourt. Two five-star additions is a big boost to the program, and their continued commitment despite additional allegations of possible recruiting violations against Arizona bodes well for the program's future.
How He Fits
The IMG Academy wing should have an impact early into his career in Tucson, even in light of his spring shoulder surgery. Green underwent the procedure to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which dislocated at the Nike Hoop Summit in April. He is expected to be fully recovered by the time the season tips off. At 6’6” with a 6’10” wingspan, Green has the size, length and athleticism to play the two, three and four on both ends of the court. He’s strongest in transition and is an elite finisher at the basket. His scoring abilities might be a bit overhyped as of now—he’s an improving shooter and ball-handler in the halfcourt who shot 34.0% from the perimeter as part of his 20.3 points per game this summer on the Under Armour Circuit. But he’s currently a much more consistent shooter off the catch than pulling up and needs to add to his arsenal. His jump shot is hit or miss, but he brings tremendous athleticism, a high basketball IQ and underrated passing abilities to the team along with plenty of defensive potential, which is why he will likely step in immediately at the two or three. Green should be a high-level perimeter defender for Miller, bringing a unique combination of physical tools, instincts and willingness to work that sets him up for success. He can get to the rim, guard, help on the boards and has a jumper that, when it’s falling, makes him hard to stop offensively. He’s a well-rounded asset for Arizona at the wing.
Junior Brandon Randolph, the team’s leading scorer, and sophomore Devonaire Doutrive slotted at the three most of last season, with Brandon Williams at the two to round out the wing. Williams also relieved Justin Coleman (now graduated) at point as needed and was expected to help the backcourt at both slots, but was ruled out for the season earlier this summer due to a knee injury, meaning that Mannion may be running the floor on his own. Shooting guard Dylan Smith could slide into the two slot and sit well alongside Mannion, while Randolph would have likely started at the three had he not left early to pursue professional opportunities. Randolph's departure means Green should see plenty of time on the floor helping on the wing between both slots, but Miller has a lot of depth to deal with there while he figures out his starting five. Green has a case for a starting spot at either position, but it’s definitely not a given. Considering that the team’s top two perimeter shooters, Coleman and Ryan Luther, graduated and Williams is no longer available, Smith, Green and Mannion will all have to step up their scoring from three. If Green can cement himself as a more potent threat on the perimeter than his competitors, he could make a case for more minutes. UC Irvine graduate transfer guard Max Hazzard should also play a big role in the backcourt, but still expect more immediate pressure to be put on the team’s highly touted newcomers.
Cornell grad transfer Stone Gettings is also available after arriving at Arizona in January. The 6’9” forward adds scoring and can distribute. He’s an experienced addition to the frontcourt and can help Green at the wing. Junior Ira Lee and Doutrive should fill the void at the four and have four-star freshman Zeke Nnaji to help. Lee also saw time at the five, albeit limited, but Chase Jeter returns for his senior season to anchor the frontcourt and has three-star big man Christian Koloko to back him up and provide some comparable size at center. Miller has a pretty fluid group of forwards at his disposal—as well as guys like Green who can help in both the back- and frontcourts and on both sides of the floor—and some flexible lineups should be expected, as was seen last season.
Importance to Arizona's Success/Team Outlook
Sean Miller is sticking around and brings in a stacked recruiting class that sets the Wildcats up for a bounce-back season in a wide-open Pac-12. Mannion is one of the best incoming recruits in the country and has a well-rounded weapon at his disposal in Green. Hazzard and Gettings give Arizona additional scoring, which they need, and Green should as well if he can adapt to the college level quickly. With four incoming freshmen, two available grad transfers and a decent amount of returning talent, there are a lot of new pieces for Miller to incorporate, but Arizona should have enough talent to bring it back to prominence.