After losing Grant Jerrett to the professional ranks a couple weeks ago Arizona will be losing another front court player, as it was reported by multiple outlets Wednesday evening that rising junior forward Angelo Chol will transfer.
Chol, who played his high school basketball at Hoover HS in San Diego, didn’t see a great amount of playing time during his two seasons in Tucson (10.6 mpg) and leaves the school with averages of 2.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
With the loss of Jerrett (and Solomon Hill) the Wildcats were down to three front court players with Division I experience. But even with the departures it would have been tough to see Chol’s minutes making a major jump with Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarcewski being joined by McDonald’s All-American Aaron Gordon.
“After much consideration and several conversations with both Coach Miller and my family, I have decided to transfer to another university,” said Chol in a release from the school. “I believe this change will put me in a better situation to earn more playing time and a starting role elsewhere.
“I have enjoyed my time in Tucson and want to thank my teammates, coaching staff and the fans for their support.”
As a result of Chol’s decision head coach Sean Miller will essentially have a three-man rotation (and just two players with Division I experience) in the front court, with redshirt junior Matt Korcheck looking to earn a few minutes where possible.
As for where Chol may be headed, multiple reports surfaced shortly after the announcement of his decision that San Diego State and Gonzaga are two possible destinations for the 6-9 power forward.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Not only is Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams the lone returning starter from a team that won the Mountain West tournament last season, but he’s also one of college basketball’s best dunkers. And if anyone may have forgotten about his jumping ability, Adams put it on display Saturday during the Cowboys’ win over Montana State.
After splitting two Montana State players at the top of the key Adams attacked the basket, dunking with two hands over a late-arriving help-side defender. If you’re going to rotate over, have to do it quicker than that.
Video credit: Wyoming Athletics
Even with the coaching change from Fred Hoiberg to Steve Prohm, No. 4 Iowa State remains one of the nation’s best offensive teams. Given their skills on that end of the floor many teams find it tough to go score for score with the Cyclones, and that’s what happened to Illinois in Iowa State’s 84-73 win in the Emerald Coast Classic title game.
Georges Niang scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds, with Monté Morris adding 20, nine rebounds and six assists and Abdel Nader 18 points as the Cyclones moved to 5-0 on the season. The three-pointers weren’t falling in the second half, as Iowa State shot 0-f0r-12, but they shot 19-for-24 inside of the arc to pull away from a team that lost big man Mike Thorne Jr. late in the first half to a left knee injury.
Illinois’ loss of size in the paint opened things up offensively for Iowa State, and the Cyclones took advantage. But where this group grabbed control of the game was on the defensive end of the floor, and that will be the key for a team with Big 12 and national title aspirations.
Nader took on the responsibility of defending Illinois’ Malcolm Hill (20 points) in the second half and did a solid job of keeping the junior wing in check, with that serving as the spark to a 12-2 run that put the game away. There’s no denying that the Cyclones can put points on the board; most of the talent from last season is back and the productivity on that end of the floor hasn’t changed as a result. Niang’s one of the nation’s best forwards, and both Morris (who now ranks among the country’s best point guards) and Nader have taken significant strides in their respective games.
Iowa State will add Deonte Burton in December, giving them another option to call upon. Front court depth is a bit of a concern, as Iowa State can ill afford to lose a Niang or Jameel McKay, but there’s enough on the roster to compensate for that and force mismatches in other areas.
But the biggest question for this group is how effective they can become at stringing together stops. Illinois certainly had its moments in both halves Saturday night, but Iowa State also showed during the game’s decisive stretch that they can step up defensively. The key now is to do so consistently, and if that occurs the Cyclones can be a threat both within the Big 12 and nationally.