With the entire starting five from a team that won 27 games and the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles having moved on, Arizona entered the offseason in need of players who can be immediate contributors. Friday afternoon Sean Miller’s program added a graduate transfer to the ranks, as former Samford point guard Justin Coleman announced that he will complete his collegiate eligibility at Arizona.
Coleman, who played his first two college seasons at Alabama, averaged 13.5 points, 6.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game at Samford this past season. Starting 27 of the 32 games he played in last season, the 5-foot-10 Coleman averaged 32.5 minutes per game and shot 43.5 percent from the field, 37.0 percent from three and 80.6 percent from the foul line.
Prior to joining the Samford program Coleman played in 67 games over the course of two seasons at Alabama, averaging 6.1 points and 2.4 assists in 22.1 minutes per game. With Parker Jackson-Cartwright out of eligibility, Coleman figures prominently in Arizona’s plans at the point guard position in 2018-19. Rising sophomore Alex Barcello will also compete for minutes at that spot.
The spring has been a busy time for Arizona recruiting-wise, as the team’s efforts during the fall were impacted by the FBI investigation in which former assistant Emanuel Richardson was one of ten individuals indicted. But after losing a talented class led by point guard Jahvon Quinerly, Arizona managed to add a total of four newcomers during the spring.
Coleman is the second grad transfer to join the program, with the first being former Pitt forward Ryan Luther. Arizona has also received commitments from guard Devonaire Doutrive and wing Omar Thielemans, and Duke transfer Chase Jeter will be eligible to compete after sitting out the 2017-18 campaign.