Saturday morning the first annual Nike Basketball Academy got underway in southern California, with the event hosting some of the top college and high school players in the country. Those in attendance will receive instruction from coaches as well as NBA players such as Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
The college roster doesn’t lack for talented players who should factor into the national Player of the Year conversations next season. Among those invited are Providence point guard Kris Dunn, Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield and Iowa State forward Georges Niang. There are also two players in the group who have yet to play a game at the Division I level in LSU’s Antonio Blakeney and Ben Simmons.
LSU is one of three schools with multiple players in attendance. Arizona has two in guard Kadeem Allen (who redshirted last season and center Kaleb Tarczewski, and Gonzaga forwards Domantas Sabonis and Kyle Wiltjer are representing the Bulldogs. Below is the list of college players in attendance at the camp, which runs through the weekend.
Kadeem Allen (Arizona)
Paris Bass (Detroit)
DeAndre Bembry (Saint Joseph’s)
Antonio Blakeney (LSU)
Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia)
Isaac Copeland (Georgetown)
Tre Demps (Northwestern)
Kris Dunn (Providence)
Daniel Hamilton (Connecticut)
Buddy Hield (Oklahoma)
Justin Jackson (North Carolina)
Damian Jones (Vanderbilt)
Shawn Long (UL Lafayette)
Georges Niang (Iowa State)
Gary Payton Jr. (Oregon State)
Jakob Poeltl (Utah)
Taurean Prince (Baylor)
Domantas Sabonis (Gonzaga)
Ben Simmons (LSU)
Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona)
Isaiah Taylor (Texas)
Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa)
Denzel Valentine (Michigan State)
Tyrone Wallace (California)
James Webb III (Boise State)
Troy Williams (Indiana)
Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga)
What has been expected regarding the status of Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski became official on Friday: he will be back for his senior season. News of Tarczewski’s decision was first reported by ESPN.com, with the school confirming it shortly thereafter.
Tarczweski’s decision makes him Arizona’s lone returning starter from a team that won 34 games and reached the Elite Eight for a second consecutive season. He’ll be the elder statesman for a team that returns just one other contributing senior (guard Gabe York) from last year’s team, and the chance to be a leader of that young but talented group is just one of Tarczewski’s reasons for returning to Tucson.
“I’m also excited for the chance to be a leader next season,” Tarczewski said. “I also don’t feel as though I’ve played my best basketball. I haven’t proven myself, and this is a great opportunity for me to expand my role.”
“I’ve been here for three years. I’m almost considered a dinosaur in college basketball,” he added. “But for me, it’s about the end game. The most important thing for me is the journey and how you get to where you want to be. I’m happy to be in the position I’m in now — and I can’t wait for next year.”
The 2015-16 season could be one of multiple milestones for Tarczewski. On the court he’s 18 wins away from becoming the program’s winningest player, and in the classroom he’s on track to become the men’s basketball program’s first graduate from the business school.
Tarczewski will anchor a front line that includes Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson, rising sophomore Dusan Ristic and incoming freshman Chance Comanche. On the perimeter the Wildcats will be young but they won’t lack for talent, and they’ll once again be expected to win the Pac-12.
Arizona center Kaleb Tarczewski is returning to school for his senior season, according to multiple reports.
He was a projected second round pick.
Tarczewski is coming off of a season where he averaged 9.3 points, 5.2 boards and 0.6 blocks despite being a 7-foot center and former top ten prospect coming out of high school.
READ MORE: All early entry decisions
Tarczewski’s production has plateaued in the last two years. He’s got the prototypical size and strength of an NBA center, but he doesn’t have great back-to-the-basket moves and he’s limited going to his left hand. He’s also struggled to consistently rebound the ball and block shots at the college level, meaning that he is neither an elite offensive player or an elite defensive presence at the college level.
Neither of those things are promising for his NBA career.
His return does add some depth to the Arizona front court, as Tarczewski will likely reclaim his starting spot. Behind him will be Dusan Ristic, with Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson and freshman Chance Comanche sliding in at the four.