Arizona basketball notes: non-conference schedule released, Jerrett's stock rising
The Arizona men’s basketball team released its non-conference schedule Thursday, featuring a trip to Michigan, the national championship runner-up, and two games at the McKale Center for the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The Wildcats are projected to be a top-five team entering next season and the non-conference schedule for the 2013-14 season reflects that. The UA will play two top teams from the Mountain West Conference (San Diego State and at UNLV) as well as at Michigan on December 14.
Arizona will also play in the NIT Season Tip-Off for the first time since 2004 and will host two games in Tucson. Duke, Alabama and Rutgers are also slated to host games during the tournament before the semifinal and finals take place at Madison Square Garden in New York.
While anything could happen in the tournament, the Wildcats have the chance to take on another projected top-five team in the Blue Devils in Madison Square Garden during the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Basketball lost last night to Cal University, 77-69.
“We are excited about our 2013-14 non-conference schedule,” head coach Sean Miller said in a press release. “It provides our team with numerous opportunities at McKale Center, away from home, and in the NIT Season Tip-Off that will prepare us for conference play. Additionally, this type of schedule is built to provide us the quality needed in the month of March for our postseason aspirations to be realized.”
Six of Arizona’s 13 opponents played in the NCAA Tournament last March — not including any future opponents in the NIT Season Tip-Off. The non-conference foes combined to go 185-119 (.609) in the 2012-13 season.
Complete schedule at the end of the article
Jerrett showing draft potential
As shocking as former Wildcat Grant Jerrett’s announcement to go to the NBA Draft was, the 6-foot-10 power forward is looking like a future draft pick, according to several mock drafts.
Both Jeff Goodman (No. 44) and Matt Moore (No. 49) of CBS Sports have Jerrett going in the middle of the second round. Chad Ford of ESPN.com has Jerrett at No. 43 in his top-100 list and the young power forward just slipped into the draft at No. 59, according to Draft Express.
NBA.com, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation don’t project second round picks and NBADraft.net doesn’t have Jerrett on its big board.
During last week’s press conference, head coach Sean Miller said he wasn’t sure about what Jerrett’s near future holds. Still, he thinks Jerrett will eventually find a home in the league.
“One thing that Grant has to his advantage is that he has a true position in the NBA,” Miller said. “He can play the four, he’s very skilled … He’s long, he’s not a small guy at all. His best basketball is ahead of him, for sure.”
Miller said he didn’t except for Jerrett to leave after his freshman year, though he knows that’s the risk in recruiting highly talented players. Miller added that he tried to keep Jerrett in Tucson, but after he saw what strong family support his young freshman had, he decided to move forward.
“My goal now is to help him become the highest pick he possibly can become in the NBA Draft,” Miller said.
At least at the moment, it looks like that goal will become reality.
Three Wildcats invited to USA Basketball’s U-19 camp
The USA Basketball’s 2013 Men’s U19 World Championship Team announced the 24 invitees to its June training camp Wednesday, and three current Wildcats were named to the list.
Sophomore Brandon Ashley will be joined by incoming freshmen Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the basketball camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Arizona boasts the largest number of attendees with three while Georgia Tech is the only other school to have multiple players at the camp. Three Pac-12 foes will join the Wildcat trio — UCLA’ Bryce Alford, Oregon’s Damyean Dotson and Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss.
The camp begins on June 14 and continues through the 19th as the players battle to try and earn a spot on the 12-man roster. Florida’s Billy Donovan is the head coach with VCU’s Shaka Smart and Virginia’s Tony Bennett as assistants.
The 2013 FIBA U19 World Championships take place in Prague, Czech Republic, and start on June 27.
Arizona’s 2013-14 non-conference schedule
Nov. 8 — Cal Poly
Nov. 11 — Long Beach State
Nov. 14 — San Diego State
Nov. 18/19 — NIT Season Tip-Off
Nov. 19/20 — NIT Season Tip-Off
Nov. 27 — ^NIT Season Tip-Off
Nov. 29 — ^NIT Season Tip-Off
Dec. 3 — Texas Tech
Dec. 7 — UNLV
Dec. 11 — New Mexico State
Dec. 14 — Michigan
Dec. 19 — Southern
Dec. 23 — Northern Arizona
Home games in BOLD
^ NIT Season Tip-Off finals in New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden