Wildcat basketball - Miller continues to reload, set Arizona up for success - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Wildcat basketball - Miller continues to reload, set Arizona up for success

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Posted: Friday, May 31, 2013 9:37 am

Movement in college basketball can be a lot like the lottery - wild and unpredictable.

Coaches can guard themselves against defections all they want, but you never know when a Grant Jerrett is ready to head to the NBA draft or a Katin Reinhardt decides to transfer.

The rumblings during the season - remember all the Gabe York transfer talk? - sometimes never pan out. But a head coach has to be weary about those possibilities, too.

Throw in the fifth-year graduate transfers and that is what you have dominating most of the offseason college hoops headlines.

"That's all part of it when you recruit a very talented, young player," Arizona head coach Sean Miller said.

He was talking about Jerrett, but, really, that could fit the bill for any number of the players who have moved on this offseason.

There will be faces made when the playing time is cut into. There will always be the temptation of jumping to the next level. There will always be another program that will benefit from a young man's decision to transfer, promising many of the same things that the initial school offered in his recruitment.

More and more players leave school after just one season, and getting three years out of a talented recruit seems like a stretch these days. April has become the start of a "volatile" stretch in the offseason, Miller said.

"I would like to keep all of our players here for four years, that's the goal," Miller said, knowing that reality does not work out that way.

Instead, the "countless hours" in the summer and years spent recruiting against other schools for one specific player, as Miller put it, sometimes translate into a brief stay. And then the cycle starts all over again for the next prospect.

But looking closer at two of Arizona's incoming and future prospects, the fourth-year head coach has started to plan ahead to ensure that his roster does not get gutted after a few years.

While Aaron Gordon will have one-and-done written all over him, Elliott Pitts is a savvy three-star guard that could blossom into an important "glue guy" that all successful teams need. The addition of Kansas transfer Zach Peters was a small risk that could prove to have more of a long-term reward if the 6-11 big man finds a way to stay healthy.

Even a walk-on like Trey Mason, a sharpshooting guard from Southern California, has the ability to be a sneaky addition in the future.

In 2014, there will be the steady presence of four-star point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who will likely have a year to learn behind T.J. McConnell, and he is in the mold of a four-year college player because of his 5-9 stature.

So instead of complain about today's college landscape, Miller goes on about his business and plugs in the holes.

"We're trying to find the solution to it," Miller said. "The quest of recruiting good people who want a college degree, who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves - that will not change.

"For us, I think we have our arms around our future, in terms of how we're going to approach it, and I'm excited about that."

(Tracy MacDannald is the senior editor for GOAZCATS.com. Get all your Wildcats' news at www.goazcats.com.)

© 2015 Tucson Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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