Hoops Update: Transfers and turning pro
Arizona basketball continues to move forward despite the premature end of the season, the specter of HBO’s Christian Dawkins Documentary and the status of the three freshmen who are looking at the NBA.
Arizona is very active in the transfer market. We previously reported about a trio of transfers the Wildcats were looking at in Mike Smith (Columbia) and Jamarius Burton and Erik Stevenson of Wichita State.
Arizona did not seem to be in the mix of Stevenson and that played out at he committed to Washington earlier this week.
A number of new names have surfaced including:
Ryan Betley – a 6-5 grad transfer from Penn.
Amauri Hardy - 6-2 grad transfer combo guard from UNLV.
Nate Johnson - 6-3 grad transfer shooting guard from Gardner-Webb.
Landers Nolly – 6-7 forward from Virginia Tech.
Trey Wertz – 6-5 guard from Santa Clara.
Isaiah White - 6-7 grad transfer guard/wing from Utah Valley.
Joshua Morgan – 6-11 post from Long Beach State.
It is a mix of grad transfers and traditional transfers, which is a strategy that Sean Miller has been employing of late. Wertz is an interesting player as he was successful at Santa Clara, but seems to have some upside. He also has ties to the Arizona program as he was recruited by Arizona assistant Justin Gainey when he was on the Bronco staff.
While all indications are that the three Wildcat freshmen are likely to declare for the draft. All three seem to have their stock dropping just a bit. Several mock drafts now have the trio being drafted in the 20’s, with a few even having Zeke Nnaji going in the second round.
Nico Mannion sent out a tweet of Arizona highlights that some took to mean he was considering coming back, especially in light of one Arizona assistant replying with “bear down” emojis and the official Arizona Athletics account retweeting it. Despite that, most close to the program feel he is gone.
Some have speculated that Sean Miller may be in trouble after the airing of the HBO Documentary on March 31. From what we have been told there is nothing new in the documentary that the University did not know. Although many will find his coarse language jarring and will be uncomfortable with his relationship with the now convicted Dawkins, there is no concrete evidence of wrongdoing.