Arizona preview capsule
Last season: 27-8, lost to Buffalo in NCAA Tournament first round
Coach: Sean Miller
Who’s gone: C Deandre Ayton (NBA), G Allonzo Trier (NBA), G Rawle Alkins, C Dusan Ristic, G Parker Jackson-Cartwright.
Who’s back: Guards Dylan Smith and Brandon Rudolph, F Ira Lee. Smith is Arizona’s leading returning scorer at 4.3 points per game and will have to step into a bigger role with the other returnees. Lee, G Alex Barcello and Emmanuel Akot also will have to take on more responsibilities after playing limited minutes last season.
Who’s new: F Chase Jeter (Duke), G Justin Coleman (Samford) and F Ryan Luther (Pittsburgh) are all transfers and will be relied on heavily with such a young and inexperienced roster. Jeter saw limited playing time at Duke, but is an athletic big man who should be Arizona’s primary inside player.
The Skinny: Arizona is undergoing a massive roster overhaul and is unranked in the AP preseason poll for the first time since 2010-11. The Wildcats still have talent, but it could take time for it all to jell. The dark cloud of a federal investigation into shady recruiting practices also will hang over the program for the second straight season.
Expectations: Arizona was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 and not given much of a chance by Las Vegas oddsmakers, coming in at a 120-1 shot to win the national title.