Sean Miller

Will Arizona play shorthanded next season?

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There has been a lot of change at Arizona over the past few months, with several players and even a coach leaving the program. Replacing assistant James Whitford, who became head coach at Ball State, was easy: Wildcat legend Damon Stoudamire came back home to round out the staff.

But the personnel situation on the court is still troubling. Counting walk-ons, Arizona has lost seven players from last season’s roster, including Grant Jerrett, who went pro, and once-heralded Angelo Chol, who took his talents to San Diego State in search of more playing time.

There’s been a little in-flux as well, with Zach Peters transferring in from Kansas, and top freshman Aaron Gordon ready to step up. But head coach Sean Miller still has plenty of spots left to fill before he reaches his scholarship allotment of 13 players. Some coaches might be sweating that number. Not Miller, according to the Arizona Star.

“Just because you have the number 13, I don’t know if that’s as important as it once was,” Miller said. “To me it’s more intelligent that anyone you add to your program has to be a contributor and there has to be a reason you do it. You don’t want to just fill in the scholarship void to add depth. That’s not going to work because that person you’re talking about will end up leaving for sure.”

Miller ought to know. He lost Chol to playing time issues, and gained Peters for much the same reason. He may be wiser to bank a scholarship to use a season from now rather than fill a roster spot with someone who will end up being disgruntled.

And yet, injuries happen, and embracing a short bench can backfire. It’s a safe bet that Miller has a few more moves he’ll make this offseason. The addition of a well-known former player like Stoudamire on the recruiting trail should help draw in some talent.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

Duke figuring out approach for this season

Duke University head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks with the media about the Blue Devils' 2013-14 basketball season, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Durham, N.C. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
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Duke is coming off of a national championship but the roster will look almost completely different for the 2015-16 season. That means last season’s approach to things on the offensive and defensive end will have to change and head coach Mike Krzyzewski mentioned to reporters on Friday how the Blue Devils are still figuring some things out.

“We’re putting in a different offensive system, to personalize it for these guys,” Krzyzewski said to reporters. “And a different defensive system so that we can max out on the talents that they have.

“We’re really proud of our team. I think we’re going to be a really good team.”

Without Jahlil Okafor in the middle, Duke’s offense could shift to a mostly perimeter-oriented team, as the wing and guard depth is superior for this year’s group.  Coach K and his staff making adjustments to schemes to fit personnel is a nice move from the Hall of Famer, as he’s done a better job in recent years of making adjustments like this after his stint with USA Basketball.

As the program moves on from Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Quinn Cook, it’ll be intriguing to see who emerges as a potential go-to offensive player early in the season and how Duke’s offense potentially evolves as the season wears on.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.