Arizona is a basketball program that lives by the 5-star recruit and dies by that type of hyped talent.
Most of those highly-rated players, such as Nico Mannion and Josh Green, are here today and gone at year's end. No continuity. Little or no team building or bonding from one year to the next at Arizona. It is a constant restructuring job for Sean Miller, who is all about "trusting the process" even though the "process" is staggered from one year to the next.
The Wildcats under Miller have experienced mostly a lack of continuity in his 11-year tenure at Arizona. How much that has to do with Arizona losing nearly 40 games in the last four seasons is debatable, but there is no arguing the Wildcats' inability to go deep into the NCAA tournament since going to the Elite Eight in 2014-15.
To some degree, the fans' eagerness for Miller to draw 5-star, one-and-done type players has fueled the beast Miller has created. Like our colleague Steve Rivera, longtime sportswriter and radio talk show host of KVOI 1030-AM, says: "Sean Miller made the beast. Now, he must feed the beast."
Judging from fan polls on both Twitter and Facebook that I posted yesterday, a majority of fans are in favor of allowing recruits to go to the NBA out of high school, and if they do not take that route, they should have to stay in college at least two years (43.8 percent of the vote).
Only 3.8 percent of the voters indicated they want the one-and-done policy to continue.
At the end of the Lute Olson era before the 2008-09 season, when Jerryd Bayless left to the NBA after one season, the Hall of Fame coach told the Los Angeles Times he would not pursue one-and-done players. He was a proponent of players staying at least two years in the program, such as Mike Bibby, Gilbert Arenas and Andre Iguodala.
"Jerryd said all along he wanted to stay here two years," Olson told the Times. "But then you get the agents working on the kids and parents all year. You might have the kid in your controlled environment for some time, but when [outsiders are] on the parents, you have no idea what's going on."
Olson, on a leave-of-absence in 2007-08 for health-related issues, ended up retiring before the 2008-09 season and Russ Pennell coached on an interim basis. Miller took over the following season.
Miller did not recruit a one-and-done player until 2012-13 when Grant Jerrett surprised many by trying to jump to the NBA after a freshman season in which he started only twice and averaged 17.8 minutes per game. Jerrett played a total of only eight games with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz in 2014-15. He has played professionally at China, Japan, Bosnia and Germany since.
Jerrett is the first of nine one-and-done players to sign with Arizona under Miller, including Mannion, Green and Zeke Nnaji from this season.
The recruiting class of 2020 includes four-star recruits Dalen Terry, a 6-foot-6 guard from Tempe, and Ben Mathurin, a 6-5 wing from Montreal, Canada. Both of them project to be in the program more than one season.
Five-star forward Ziaire Williams of Los Angeles will announce his choice tomorrow among Arizona, USC, Stanford and North Carolina. Williams is the No. 6-rated prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. He is a likely one-and-done player.
Purdue 7-foot-3 graduate transfer Matt Haarms has Arizona among his top 10 choices, according to ESPN college basketball analyst Jeff Borzello.