[ {"id":"af0b71a7-6a67-5b49-9b99-280ef98b4e36","type":"article","starttime":"1498437900","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-25T17:45:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1498443182","sections":[{"sports":"sports"},{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Catalina Foothills grad Luis Gonzalez makes quick impact in pro debut","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/article_af0b71a7-6a67-5b49-9b99-280ef98b4e36.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/catalina-foothills-grad-luis-gonzalez-makes-quick-impact-in-pro/article_af0b71a7-6a67-5b49-9b99-280ef98b4e36.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/catalina-foothills-grad-luis-gonzalez-makes-quick-impact-in-pro/article_af0b71a7-6a67-5b49-9b99-280ef98b4e36.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Tyler Hansen\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"How players with Tucson ties are faring in the minor leagues.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#top5sports","#latest","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"77975","label":"home team"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"3942ed9f-a12a-5d3c-844a-8b3fa62bc2e3","description":"Buena first baseman Aaron Ronquillo just misses tagging Catalina Foothills' Luis Gonzalez during their game. The photo was taken on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz. Photo by A.E. Araiza/ Arizona Daily Star","byline":"A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1974,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/94/3942ed9f-a12a-5d3c-844a-8b3fa62bc2e3/59503ed065b77.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1156","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/94/3942ed9f-a12a-5d3c-844a-8b3fa62bc2e3/59503ed00ea5e.image.jpg?resize=1156%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/94/3942ed9f-a12a-5d3c-844a-8b3fa62bc2e3/59503ed00ea5e.image.jpg?crop=1775%2C998%2C0%2C0&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/94/3942ed9f-a12a-5d3c-844a-8b3fa62bc2e3/59503ed00ea5e.image.jpg?crop=1775%2C998%2C0%2C0&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/94/3942ed9f-a12a-5d3c-844a-8b3fa62bc2e3/59503ed00ea5e.image.jpg?crop=1775%2C998%2C0%2C0&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"af0b71a7-6a67-5b49-9b99-280ef98b4e36","body":"

Nine players from Southern Arizona were selected in the Major League Baseball draft earlier this month, joining a list of 40 other local products who are active in the minor leagues.

Some of the recent draftees have yet to begin their professional careers, but a few of the others have wasted little time in taking the first step in what they all hope is a journey toward the big leagues.

Here\u2019s a glance at what some of the pro-ball newcomers have done in the early going.

Batter of the week

Luis Gonzalez, CF, Kannapolis Intimidators (A)

Some White Sox fans wondered why Gonzalez, a 2014 Catalina Foothills High School graduate, wasn\u2019t immediately assigned to Single-A after being drafted in the third round. But in just four games in rookie ball, the big-time prospect did enough to sway management in Chicago.\u00a0

In his pro debut Monday, Gonzalez broke open a close game in the 11th inning with a three-run double for the Great Falls Voyagers in a 5-1 win. The Sonora, Mexico, native was promoted a few days later, and he went 1 for 5 Saturday batting leadoff in his first game with Kannapolis.\u00a0

Pitcher of the week\u00a0

J.C. Cloney, LHP, Burlington Royals (Rookie)

Considering it was his first appearance out of the bullpen in years, Cloney fared well in his initial minor-league outing Friday. And compared to his Burlington teammates that night, Cloney was downright unhittable.

The most recent ace of the UA pitching staff, Cloney \u2013 a ninth-round pick by Kansas City \u2013 flashed his standard high level of command with three strikeouts and zero walks while allowing two hits and one run in a 16-1 loss to Kingsport. Three different Burlington pitchers gave up five runs in the blowout.

Better luck next week

Jared Oliva, OF, West Virginia Black Bears (A)\u00a0

Things are already looking up for Oliva, who went 0 for 4 Saturday in his debut with the short-season Black Bears. He was hitless in his first three at-bats Sunday against Batavia to put him at 0 for 7 as a pro, but then he belted a double \u2013 something he did 25 times for Arizona this season.

Oliva was a seventh-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On the move

J.J. Matijevic, IF/OF, Tri-City ValleyCats (A)

The Houston Astros didn\u2019t officially announce until Saturday where it would assign its prized second-round pick, J.J. Matijevic. Now the left-handed slugger is doing his thing 2,500 miles from Tucson in Troy, New York.

Matijevic, a consensus All-American and Pac-12 batting champion this season for the Wildcats, made his debut for Tri-City on Sunday\u00a0and\u00a0went 3 for 5 with three singles and a run scored.

The big number

4

Days that Louis Boyd worked as an intern at Nike in Beaverton, Oregon, before being drafted by Seattle in the 24th round on June 14. The ex-Wildcat shortstop singled, walked and stole a base Saturday in his debut for the Mariners\u2019 Arizona Rookie League squad.

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Editor\u2019s note: The Star\u2019s Zack Rosenblatt is counting down the 50 best athletes on the UA campus right now, with help from athletes, coaches and those close to the program.

No. 42: PARKER
JACKSON-CARTWRIGHT

The details: Jackson-Cartwright is a 5-foot-10 senior who will enter his final season as Arizona\u2019s full-time point guard. The last two seasons, he split time at the position with Kadeem Allen \u2014 who was picked by the Celtics in the NBA draft last week \u2014 and before that was a backup to T.J. McConnell as a true freshman. Jackson-Cartwright came to Arizona a four-star recruit and the No. 1 point guard in the West, according to Scout.com, and picked the Wildcats over UCLA, Washington, USC and others. Jackson-Cartwright missed his senior season of high school due to academic issues, but still joined the Wildcats as a key part of their 2014 recruiting class, alongside Stanley Johnson, Dusan Ristic and Craig Victor. Ristic, a senior, is the only other player remaining from the class.

The numbers: Jackson-Cartwright has never been one to put up gaudy numbers, but he\u2019s often been efficient \u2014 especially from 3-point range \u2014 and doesn\u2019t turn the ball over. In 9.6 minutes per game as a freshman, he averaged 2.9 points, 1.8 assists and 0.7 turnovers per game while shooting 39.1 percent on 3s. As a sophomore, his playing time bumped up to 21.2 minutes per game, and his averages increased slightly across the board, to 5.2 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 turnovers, with a 37.5 percent 3-point shooting clip. Last year, Jackson-Cartwright missed some time due to injury but still finished with career-bests across the board at 5.9 points, 4.1 assists and 1.3 turnovers per game, shooting 42.3 percent from three.

The value: Allen is off to the NBA, and Kobi Simmons left after one season, leaving the Wildcats without much depth at point guard. After Jackson-Cartwright, the Wildcats have true freshman Alex Barcello, a talented shooter who can also play the two. UA coach Sean Miller mentioned it was likely the Wildcats would also play Allonzo Trier, a two, and Emmanuel Akot, a 6-foot-8 freshman, at the point. Jackson-Cartwright has, at times, struggled to stay healthy \u2014 he missed six games last year with an ankle injury, and wasn\u2019t 100 percent for a while \u2014 but the Wildcats will need him to avoid missing any time this season. Arizona is loaded everywhere else on its roster, and the Wildcats will need a career-season from Jackson-Cartwright if the UA intends to return to its first Final Four since 2001.

Why Jackson-Cartwright? Jackson-Cartwright spent a year learning behind McConnell and Arizona\u2019s offense in the last two years has often flowed best when Jackson-Cartwright was running the show. With Arizona loaded on the wing with Trier, Rawle Alkins and freshman Brandon Randolph, and in the low post with Ristic and freshman DeAndre Ayton, the Wildcats will need Jackson-Cartwright to run a smooth ship. \u201cWhen he\u2019s in the game, our ball movement is great,\u201d Ristic said of PJC in March. \u201cHe\u2019s a pass-first player who cares about other players more than himself.\u201d

Proof he\u2019s good: Jackson-Cartwright had five or more assists on 13 occasions last season and he was particularly impressive in games against Northern Colorado (11 assists, one turnover), Utah (9 assists, 0 turnovers) and Colorado (7 assists, 0 turnovers). From Feb. 16 to March 11, a stretch of eight games, Jackson-Cartwright made 17 of 25 three pointers \u2014 68 percent \u2014 and Arizona went 7-1 in those games.

What Jackson-Cartwright can accomplish: With an increased minutes workload, provided Jackson-Cartwright stays healthy he\u2019s primed for a drastic increase in numbers, particularly in the assists category, and would be a candidate for All-Conference honors and potentially the conference\u2019s Most Improved Player award.

They said it: \u201cHe\u2019s really mature for his age, and he doesn\u2019t really get that emotional. He stays even-keeled, which you need from your point guard, and something I should probably learn from him, really.\u201d \u2014 T.J. McConnell in 2015

He said it: \u201cIt\u2019s big shoes to fill (playing point guard at Arizona). I\u2019m not trying to be anybody else but myself. I can\u2019t be Mike Bibby, I can\u2019t be Jason Gardner, I just try to be myself. I\u2019m unique in different ways than them, and I try to bring that every day.\u201d \u2014 Jackson-Cartwright

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The Bulls will formally introduce Lauri Markkanen at a Tuesday news conference, so maybe by then the former Arizona forward will become a trending figure in Chicago.

As of now, that\u2019s hardly the case.

Since Thursday, the Bulls\u2019 buzz has been dominated by the trade of its best player, all-star forward Jimmy Butler, to get Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Markkanen from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

\u201cOnly thing missing from the Jimmy Butler trade was a handful of magic beans,\u201d was the Chicago Tribune headline on a column by Steve Rosenbloom, who wrote of the Bulls management team of Gar Forman and John Paxson that \u201cGarPaxalypse is upon us.\u201d

Rosenbloom also assessed the Bulls\u2019 acquisition of Markkanen this way:

\u201cA 7-footer with perimeter shooting skills, but he has never played in the league and will need help and guidance in his development, and good luck with that in GarPax\u2019s organization.\u201d

Meanwhile, a Chicago Sun-Times opinion headline said: \u201cBulls\u2019 rebuild is headed for a fail unless Gar/Pax can look in a mirror.\u201d

A Sun-Times news story quoted Butler saying he didn\u2019t like \u201cthe way some things were handled,\u201d while Butler\u2019s trainer tweeted that he had met \u201cdrug dealers with better morals\u201d than Forman. The remark was deleted later.

All this, and very little commentary about Markkanen, though there were a few positive vibes on Twitter.

\u201cI know people are mad,\u201d tweeted David Kaplan, an ESPN Radio host and Comcast SportsNet Chicago TV host. \u201c(B)ut trust me, Lauri Markkanen will be a damn good player.\u201d

Scout\u2019s Evan Daniels tweeted on draft night that the Bulls were getting \u201cthe best shooter in the NBA Draft (with) ridiculous shot mechanics, touch and footwork for a stretch post player.\u201d

Certainly, the Bulls see something like that.

\u201cWe\u2019re really excited about his potential; as good a big man shooter, maybe as good a shooter that was in the draft this year,\u201d Paxson said on draft night, according to Bulls.com. \u201cAnd the way our game is going, those big mobile guys that can space the floor give your guards opportunity to create and find gaps. It\u2019s an important piece. It\u2019s all about building the type of team that you want.\u201d

Markkanen\u2019s agent, Michael Lelchitski, said he knew before the draft that the Bulls had interest but were initially out of range to take him. When they threw in their No. 16 pick along with Butler to get No. 7 plus LaVine and Dunn, Lelchitski knew Chicago was serious.

\u201cClearly, after tonight, they are starting to build around a core group of very young and talented players,\u201d Lelchitski said. \u201cI think (Markkanen) fits very well into that. I\u2019m sure they have big plans for him and their franchise.\u201d

Markkanen embraced those potential plans, too, even if he will be forever linked to what is \u2014 at least initially \u2014 an unpopular trade.

\u201cI\u2019m definitely ready to play right away,\u201d he said. \u201cWhatever coach asks me to do, I\u2019m going to do. \u2026 It\u2019s just a great honor to be here, so I\u2019m blessed to be a part of a historic organization. I\u2019m just going to do everything I can to help the team win.\u201d

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After being one of the top undrafted players left Thursday, Kobi Simmons may get a shot with the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Vertical\u2019s Adrian Wojnarowski reported via Twitter on Friday that Simmons will sign a free-agent deal with the Grizzlies, though it is unknown if it might include a partial guarantee, be exclusively for a shot at the Grizzlies or lead to a two-way contract between the team and its G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle.

Draft Express had Simmons ranked No. 76 among draft prospects this year, having also called the athletic guard a \u201cmicrowave scorer\u201d who could be a draft sleeper.

But Simmons fell out of UA\u2019s playing rotation late last season and Draft Express noted that \u201cSimmons is a long way from being able to help an NBA team, and he may need to bottom out first before his talent resurfaces.\u201d

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said during ESPN\u2019s draft night coverage that Simmons made a mistake by coming out, though UA coach Sean Miller said last month that Simmons\u2019 family has made it clear he wanted to get his pro career started early.

UA center Chance Comanche, rated the No. 88 prospect by Draft Express, also went undrafted and his future remains unknown. Comanche\u2019s mother, Melissa McGee, told the Star that his agent is sorting out a few possibilities.

Celtics seek
fit in Allen

Boston\u2019s draft of Kadeem Allen appeared to be part of a movement to stack the roster with athletic, two-way wing players. The team also added top pick Jayson Tatum of Duke, SMU forward Semi Ojeleye and Cal\u2019s Jabari Bird.

\u201cThey all sort of fit that category,\u201d Boston GM Danny Ainge said during his draft night press conference. \u201cThree of them are wing players and Semi can play some of the four, and Jayson can play some four in time. That\u2019s the way the game\u2019s headed.\u201d

Greg Cassoli of SB Nation\u2019s Celtics Blog wrote that the Celtics\u2019 aim for versatility was foremost.

\u201cThere is no guarantee that any of the players Boston drafted will cash in on all the potential the Celtics see,\u201d he wrote. \u201cBeing a versatile two-way player that can credibly defend multiple positions is extremely hard. In drafting a number of players of a similar ilk, Boston has placed a handful of relatively low-cost bets. If they hit on one or two, they\u2019ll be excited. If they miss, it didn\u2019t cost them much.\u201d

Draft Express\u2019 Mike Schmitz applauded the Celtics\u2019 strategy.

\u201cCeltics killing the second round,\u201d Schmitz tweeted. \u201cKadeem Allen will be a ten year pro. One of the best perimeter defenders in this draft. Great story.\u201d

Allen was unavailable for comment Thursday and Friday.

Roming Romar

Sitting in the NBA draft green room with Markelle Fultz, his former star at Washington, was just another stop in Lorenzo Romar\u2019s busy summer.

The new UA associate head coach has been recruiting, coaching Wildcats players in small group offseason drills, working Miller\u2019s camps and trying to move to Tucson.

He\u2019s been enjoying it.

\u201cThat\u2019s what you want,\u201d Romar said. \u201cI love it. I absolutely love it. I\u2019ve been able to get involved with the workouts of the guys and continue to learn how we do things, so it\u2019s been great. It\u2019s just a joy to work with the staff and what a great job Arizona has done in recruiting. The kids are really good kids. They\u2019re fun to work with.\u201d

Romar said he has finally made the move, though he kept his home in Seattle and didn\u2019t buy one in Tucson \u2014 at least not yet.

\u201cIt was too quick a move\u201d to buy a house, Romar said. \u201cWhenever we move we\u2019ve never bought right away except for Seattle.\u201d

Pac-14

If you count former UCLA forward Jonah Bolden, who left the Bruins last summer to play professionally in Serbia, the Pac-12 actually set a record with 14 players taken in the draft Thursday and tied the ACC as the conferences with the most players taken in the draft.

No other conference had more than six, the number the Big Ten sent into the draft.

The Pac-12\u2019s first-round draft haul included Fultz (1 to Philadelphia), UCLA\u2019s Lonzo Ball (2 to Lakers), UA\u2019s Lauri Markkanen (7 to Bulls), UCLA\u2019s T.J. Leaf (18 to Indiana), Utah\u2019s Kyle Kuzma (27 to Utah), Colorado\u2019s Derrick White (29 to San Antonio).

In the second round, the Pac-12 produced Cal\u2019s Ivan Rabb (35 to Memphis), Bolden (36 to Philadelphia), Oregon\u2019s Jordan Bell (38 to Golden State), Oregon\u2019s Tyler Dorsey (41 to Atlanta), Oregon\u2019s Dillon Brooks (45 to Memphis), UCLA\u2019s Ike Anigbogu (47 to Indiana), Allen and Bird.

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While Arizona women\u2019s basketball coach Adia Barnes was busy adding players, recruits and transfers to her 2018-19 roster, the Wildcats\u2019 freshman class quietly arrived on campus.

Freshmen Sam Fatkin, Sam Thomas, Kiana Chew and Marlee Kyles started summer school Wednesday and are still getting used to the campus, the new routine, and the heat.

\u201cIt\u2019s really hot,\u201d said Kyles, a 5-foot-8-inch point guard from Elgin, Illinois. \u201cIt takes some adjusting, and I\u2019m getting used to it every day.\u201d

The freshmen joined senior teammate Kat Wright, a transfer from Florida Atlantic, who has already been on campus for three weeks. Wright has already been showing her leadership off the court.

\u201cWe\u2019re like Kat\u2019s little ducklings following her around,\u201d said Chew, a 6-3 forward who boasts a 7-foot wingspan. \u201cShe knows everything and knows the flow. She also has a car and has been driving us to class if we are running late.\u201d

Added Wright: \u201cI remember my first day here. I\u2019ll do anything I can to make it easier for them.\u201d

While they\u2019ve only been together for less than a week and haven\u2019t practiced or scrimmaged against one another, the bonding has already started.

\u201cWe\u2019ve clicked,\u201d Wright said. \u201cWe have the same passion for the game. We shot around at McKale (Center) last night and from watching them I am starting to figure out how we fit together. Marlee has amazing handles. Sammy (Fatkin) and Sam (Thomas) both shoot well. We played H-O-R-S-E and I was getting them to shoot long 3\u2019s. We\u2019re getting to know each other personally, and once everyone else gets here we\u2019ll get a lot of time together on the court.\u201d

Wright also added this tidbit about Chew: \u201cShe brings a lot of height. She did a layup and tapped the backboard.\u201d

Chew can already dunk a tennis ball; she\u2019s working on getting there with a basketball.

\u201cI can grab the rim right now,\u201d she said.

The freshmen said college has been an adjustment.

\u201cIt\u2019s crazy different from high school,\u201d Kyles said. \u201cHere, you work hard or you go home. In high school it wasn\u2019t like this. The coaches are motivating us and pushing us to get better. It\u2019s exciting.\u201d

They have all been wowed by McKale Center and the Wildcats\u2019 sprawling accommodations.

\u201cWe are eating dinner together in the locker room,\u201d said Thomas, a 6-foot forward from Las Vegas. \u201cIt\u2019s beautiful and it has a TV. We don\u2019t have a TV in our dorm room.\u201d

Tip-ins

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He later put on a Bulls hat for a NBA photo shoot.","byline":"Frank Franklin II / The Associated Press","hireswidth":3154,"hiresheight":2161,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/85/885a227d-8ca7-5b38-a3ba-8d939f3352b4/594ca1bace59a.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1110","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/85/885a227d-8ca7-5b38-a3ba-8d939f3352b4/594ca1ba7952c.image.jpg?resize=1110%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/85/885a227d-8ca7-5b38-a3ba-8d939f3352b4/594ca1ba7952c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"205","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/85/885a227d-8ca7-5b38-a3ba-8d939f3352b4/594ca1ba7952c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C205"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"701","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/85/885a227d-8ca7-5b38-a3ba-8d939f3352b4/594ca1ba7952c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C701"}}}],"revision":13,"commentID":"245b3163-72aa-56b0-8ce4-5c4fc88c6a17","body":"

NEW YORK \u2013 In an NBA Draft that went largely as expected Thursday, the Arizona Wildcats managed to throw in a few subtle surprises.

The first was the Finnish flag that UA\u2019s Lauri Markkanen flashed on the inside of his suit jacket as he took the Barclays Center podium as the No. 7 pick, making him officially Finland\u2019s third NBA player and highest draftee ever.

Then there was the late news that guard Kadeem Allen, universally projected not to be drafted, went No. 53 to the Boston Celtics after a strong predraft showing. And the knowledge that, as the No. 60 and final pick passed, that neither UA\u2019s Kobi Simmons nor Chance Comanche were taken.

Simmons, who had been projected as a late second-round pick, will join Comanche and Brandon Ashley (2015) as the only Wildcats to go undrafted after leaving UA early to declare for the draft.

For Markkanen himself, though, the night maybe wasn\u2019t really about surprise as much as awkwardness. And it actually started about a half-hour before he took the stage.

At that point early in the draft, just before Washington\u2019s Markelle Fultz went No. 1 to Philadelphia, the Timberwolves were reportedly working to trade their No. 7 pick to Chicago. Minnesota wound up trading the No. 7 pick, plus Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn, for Jimmy Butler.

Markkanen\u2019s agent, Michaelk Lelchitski, said he found out about it just before the evening started.

\u201cWe had an idea the Bulls could be interested,\u201d Lelchitski said. \u201cThey just had to get into position to take him.\u201d

But even though news of the trade had spread before the No. 7 pick was announced, Markkanen was given a Timberwolves hat to wear on stage and was even asked during his in-arena interview to cry out the Timberwolves\u2019 \u201chowl.\u201d

Markkanen, who isn\u2019t the sort to howl in just about any situation, offered a meek version of it.

He knew he wasn\u2019t heading for Minnesota, even if the announcers didn\u2019t.

Asked about the moment afterward, Markkanen didn\u2019t speak of it directly.

\u201cMost of the questions were about Chicago,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cBut I\u2019m just happy to be here and just glad to be involved in it. I\u2019m just honored if some team, organization, includes me in trades.\u201d

After his on-stage interview, though, Markkanen was ushered away from sight. He did not appear on ESPN and was skipped over by about 15 players in the NBA\u2019s interview room, making a gathering of five Finnish journalists quite nervous that they might never get a chance to speak with him \u2013 as daybreak neared in their home country.

\u201cThis is the only reason we came here,\u201d said Saska Saarikoski, of Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

After about an hour, the Bulls announced the trade was official and Markkanen was brought back into the post-draft washing machine. He finally donned a Bulls hat, dribbled a basketball during an NBA photo shoot, then walked into the interview room and talked about his new team.

Even though the Timberwolves were the team Markkanen followed as a fan growing up in Finland, Markkanen was quite aware the Bulls have some pretty appealing history.

\u201cI\u2019m really honored to be part of this organization, and can\u2019t wait to go there and do what I can,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cIt\u2019s just a blessing to be (a Bull). And of course with Michael Jordan, greatest player ever to play, it\u2019s huge to be a part of it.\u201d

By going No. 7, Markkanen ties Damon Stoudamire (1995) as the fifth-highest draft pick taken out of Arizona. Derrick Williams (2011) and Mike Bibby (1998) were No. 2 picks, while Sean Elliott went No. 3 in 1989 and Aaron Gordon was No. 4 in 2014.

In addition, Markkanen was the third Pac-12 player picked in the draft, after the conference posted its first-ever 1-2 selections when Fultz went first to Philadelphia and UCLA\u2019s Lonzo Ball went second to the Lakers.

The Pac-12 broke its 2008 record of picks in the two-round draft era with 13, but it did so in a surprising manner. That\u2019s because Allen and Cal\u2019s Jabari Bird (56) were among the final seven picks taken in the 60-player draft.

Allen\u2019s draft selection was a public surprise, though it was known that he attracted considerable interest during the spring predraft process. He played well at the NBA\u2019s seniors-only Portsmouth Invitational, and then was invited to the NBA Combine and also participated in 15 workouts for NBA teams.

The selection of Allen, who was unavailable for comment, was also no surprise to somebody else: His former backcourt mate at Arizona, senior Parker Jackson-Cartwright.

\u201cNo one deserves this moment and opportunity more than my brother Kadeem Allen,\u201d Jackson-Cartwright tweeted. \u201cBeen proving people wrong all his life and will continue!\u201d

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Arizona landed a second player in the NBA Draft, and it was a surprise: Kadeem Allen was taken No. 53 by the Boston Celtics after a strong predraft showing.

Allen played well in the seniors-only Portsmouth Invitational, and was invited to the Chicago NBA Combine as a result. He then worked out for 15 NBA teams while trying to show off his defensive potential.

UA's Lauri Markkanen was drafted high as expected, going to Chicago as the No. 7 pick, but it was freshman Kobi Simmons who was expected to be a late second-round pick or to go undrafted.

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NEW YORK -- Former Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen appears headed to Chicago as the No. 7 pick in the NBA Draft.

While Markkanen was technically taken by Minnesota with the seventh selection, it was reported earlier that the Bulls\u00a0traded for the No. 7 pick -- plus Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn -- by sending Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.

Markkanen flashed a Finnish flag attached to the inside of his blue blazer as he walked to the Barclays Center stage to shake hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

By going at No. 7, Markkanen became \u00a0the fifth-highest draft pick taken out of Arizona. Derrick Williams (2011) and Mike Bibby (1998) were No. 2 picks, while Sean Ellliott went No. 3 in 1989 and Aaron Gordon was No. 4 in 2014.

Markkanen also became the highest draft pick out of Finland, and will be only the third player ever to represent his country in the NBA.

In addition, Markkanen was the third Pac-12 player picked in the draft, after the conference posted its first-ever 1-2 selections when Washington's Markelle Fultz went first to Philadelphia and UCLA's Lonzo Ball went second to the Lakers.

Kansas' Josh Jackson, a heavy recruiting target of Arizona out of high school, wound up getting pulled to the state anyway when the Suns made him the No. 4 pick.

Duke's Jayson Tatum went No. 3 to the Boston Celtics, and Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox went to Sacramento at No. 5.\u00a0

"}, {"id":"68e8e1d3-5a4f-51bd-aabd-d8e12a8d14cd","type":"article","starttime":"1498168800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-22T15:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1498261588","priority":42,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"flags":{"editors_pick":"true","featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Arizona Wildcats add 'total-package kid,' Washington transfer Aarion McDonald","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/article_68e8e1d3-5a4f-51bd-aabd-d8e12a8d14cd.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/arizona-wildcats-add-total-package-kid-washington-transfer-aarion-mcdonald/article_68e8e1d3-5a4f-51bd-aabd-d8e12a8d14cd.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/arizona-wildcats-add-total-package-kid-washington-transfer-aarion-mcdonald/article_68e8e1d3-5a4f-51bd-aabd-d8e12a8d14cd.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Pj Brown Special to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"McDonald the third transfer player to join coach Adia Barnes' team.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#top5sports","#editorspick","#topstory"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"77901"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"1c39ac27-7c9c-578d-af1e-dc103a870016","description":"Aarion McDonald","byline":"Washington athletics","hireswidth":800,"hiresheight":1100,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c3/1c39ac27-7c9c-578d-af1e-dc103a870016/594c3cb8db70a.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"553","height":"760","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c3/1c39ac27-7c9c-578d-af1e-dc103a870016/594c3cb8b0aaa.image.jpg?resize=553%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"138","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c3/1c39ac27-7c9c-578d-af1e-dc103a870016/594c3cb8b0aaa.image.jpg?resize=100%2C138"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"413","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c3/1c39ac27-7c9c-578d-af1e-dc103a870016/594c3cb8b0aaa.image.jpg?resize=300%2C413"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1408","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/c3/1c39ac27-7c9c-578d-af1e-dc103a870016/594c3cb8b0aaa.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":12,"commentID":"68e8e1d3-5a4f-51bd-aabd-d8e12a8d14cd","body":"

Adia Barnes has been adding players to the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 roster, seemingly by the day.

Thursday, she did it again.

Washington guard Aarion McDonald is transferring to the UA, the school announced. McDonald put up some big numbers as a freshman last season, even after sitting out the first seven games due to a back injury. She averaged 9.8 points per game, and scored in double-figures 12 times. Had she stayed, McDonald would have been the Huskies\u2019 leading returning scorer.

McDonald said she was looking at schools close to her Fresno, California hometown. She chose the UA for a number of reasons, the biggest being her relationships with Barnes and UA assistant Morgan Valley. Both previously coached at Washington.

McDonald will sit out this season and have three years of eligibility left starting with the 2018-19 season. Washington athletic director Jen Cohen granted McDonald\u2019s release.

\u201cRelationships are very important to me,\u201d McDonald said. \u201cMy relationship with coach Adia and Coach Valley are strong. I\u2019ve been following Arizona and they are building something great. I want to be a part of that. I also have family in Arizona and they have my major, early childhood development.\u201d

McDonald joins three other transfers on the UA roster. Kat Wright and Tee Tee Starks joined the UA this spring from Florida Atlantic and Iowa State, respectively. Dominque McBryde announced earlier this week that she will transfer to Arizona from Purdue.

Arizona has also received verbal commitments from a pair of five-star players: Cate Reese and Valeria Trucco.

Barnes said Thursday that McDonald\u2019s addition is a game-changer. The 5-foot-7-inch guard has played in the Pac-12 and has postseason experience. She played alongside Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor on a UW team that made a run to the Sweet Sixteen last season.

McDonald averaged 13.7 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, and her defensive skills were often overlooked, Barnes said. McDonald was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week twice last season, and was a member of the Pac-12\u2019s all-freshman team. This spring, McDonald was one of 32 players invited to try out for the USA Basketball Women\u2019s U19 World Cup Team.

\u201cThe addition of Aari to our program is huge,\u201d Barnes said. \u201cShe is one of the top guards in the country, (has) proven she is one of the top guards in the Pac-12 and played with two of the greats in the game last year. What I love about her is she is a great player and a great person.

McDonald spent part of Thursday driving to Tucson. She described herself as \u201cso excited\u201d to get started.

\u201cI can\u2019t wait to meet the girls,\u201d she said. \u201cI am ready to have fun with the new team and new coaches.\u201d

McDonald is familiar with McKale Center. She was the second-leading scorer when Washington beat the UA on Jan. 13 in Tucson. That night, Plum became the first woman in Pac-12 history, men\u2019s or women\u2019s, to score 3,000 career points. Plum finished with 36 points. McDonald added 16 points on four 3-pointers.

\u201cI do remember that game,\u201d said McDonald. \u201cI was watching that film the other night. I played OK. \u2026 It was a quiet night and not one of my best. I definitely have more.

\u201cI want the fans to know that I will do my best to bring championships to UA. I am a hard worker and I am humble. I am ready to turn the program around when I can play.\u201d

Coming out of high school, McDonald rated a four-star player and the No. 55 player in the country by ESPN, while prospectsnation.com named her the seventh-best guard prospect available. MaxPreps named her the California Division IV Player of the Year following her senior season. As a junior, McDonald she posted six triple-doubles and one quadruple-double.

\u201cShe is the total-package kid,\u201d said Barnes. \u201cShe works hard and has so many parts of her game that are not discovered yet. She will flourish here. She will directly impact our team on and off the court. She was mentored by Kelsey Plum who took her under her wing. And she will bring along our young players.

\u201cI have known Aari for a long time. She is the type of player you want to build a championship culture around. I am so happy she will be part of what we are building here.\u201d

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NEW YORK \u2014 After ice hockey and soccer, basketball sits among a group of other popular sports in Finland, along with volleyball, auto racing, skiing and harness racing.

That could change starting Thursday. Because Lauri Markkanen will walk across the Barclays Center stage and into the NBA.

The former Arizona Wildcats forward will become the third player with Finnish blood to have played in the NBA and the only current Finn. He\u2019ll also likely become Finland\u2019s first lottery pick.

\u201cIt\u2019s a great feeling (being) the only player from Finland in the NBA,\u201d Markkanen said Wednesday. \u201cI take a lot of pride in that and hopefully I can make them proud.\u201d

The two Finnish journalists on hand for NBA predraft interviews Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt were all but certain he will.

While YLE Finland\u2019s Antti-Jussi Sipila says the NHL Draft typically attracts 30-40 journalists \u2013 reflecting locals\u2019 much-higher passion for that cold-weather sport \u2013 Saska Saarikoski of the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat said Markkanen\u2019s status as a probable lottery pick is beginning to hit home.

\u201cWe\u2019ve had a couple of No. 2 picks in the NHL Draft, but if he\u2019s No. 10 or whatever (in the NBA), it\u2019s a much bigger deal,\u201d Saarikoski said. \u201cPeople are kind of slowly getting that in Finland. This will raise the interest in the NBA to another level, totally.\u201d

Markkanen could go even higher than that. Oddsmakers have been setting Markkanen\u2019s over/under draft spot at 7.5 while Draft Express and ESPN say he\u2019ll go No. 7 to Minnesota.

Coincidentally, the Timberwolves are the same team that Markkanen grew up watching and rooting for. He even had the Timberwolves logo on his Twitter page as he entered his freshman season at Arizona.

\u201cWhen I was growing up, I was watching their games but now wherever I go, that\u2019s the spot,\u201d Markkanen said.

Dressed in a conservative blue suit and answering questions in his typically understated fashion during predraft interviews Wednesday, Markkanen said it would be a \u201cprivilege\u201d to play for any NBA team and spoke respectfully but generically regarding all teams he was asked about.

Markkanen also carefully used humor to answer questions about a dinner meeting with Knicks president Phil Jackson, saying the two mostly talked about off-court issues and, well, ate.

\u201cGreat dinner,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cNew York strip steak. Sixteen ounces.\u201d

In addition to talking with the Knicks, after finishing up his spring semester classes early last April, Markkanen said he based himself in Washington, D.C., and worked out for four NBA teams: Dallas (which has pick No. 9), Orlando (6), Minnesota (7) and Boston (3).

Already known for a shooting touch that sank 50.5 percent of his 3-pointers through January \u2013 a late-season slump had him finish at 42.3 percent \u2013 Markkanen said teams tested him on how well he could defend and otherwise survive on the perimeter.

\u201cI\u2019m really versatile and can do a lot of different things,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cI\u2019ve been working on everything. Teams have been putting me out of position so I been doing a lot of guard stuff. I\u2019ve had very successful preparation.\u201d

Markkanen said it helped that the tests teams had for him are things he prepared for while working out in Washington, D.C. this spring. He also credited his year of experience at Arizona for helping round out his game.

\u201cJust in general, being at Arizona helped me a lot,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cComing from Europe, it\u2019s a different game there. Getting out of my comfort zone and doing things (differently) definitely helped me. \u2026 I got a lot better defensively. I think I got smarter, too, playing under coach (Sean) Miller.\u201d

At the same time, Markkanen\u2019s season at Arizona also helped trigger additional interest in basketball back home in Finland.

Sipila, of the Finnish broadcast network, said his network obtained the rights to show UA games starting in January and carried them until the Wildcats lost to Xavier in the NCAA Tournament.

\u201cIt was amazing on every level,\u201d Sipila said of Markkanen\u2019s freshman season. \u201cBeing a freshman, third team All-American and all that \u2013 that\u2019s one of the things that people don\u2019t understand how big of a deal that really is.\u201d

Maybe they will be starting Thursday, when their 7-foot native makes a high-profile jump into one of the world\u2019s most popular sports.

Maybe he\u2019ll even wear some Finnish colors or rep his country in another way, though of course Markkanen wasn\u2019t detailing that, either.

\u201cStay tuned, that\u2019s what I can tell you,\u201d Markkanen said of his draft-night outfit. \u201cTune in on Thursday night.\u201d

"}, {"id":"6238ddfc-f09e-52f3-8195-92e19c0904b3","type":"article","starttime":"1498077000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-06-21T13:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1498168505","priority":25,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"'I felt a presence here that was missing all my life,' says Arizona Wildcats' newest basketball player","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/article_6238ddfc-f09e-52f3-8195-92e19c0904b3.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/i-felt-a-presence-here-that-was-missing-all-my/article_6238ddfc-f09e-52f3-8195-92e19c0904b3.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/i-felt-a-presence-here-that-was-missing-all-my/article_6238ddfc-f09e-52f3-8195-92e19c0904b3.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By PJ Brown\nSpecial to the Arizona Daily Star","prologue":"Dominique McBryde chose the UA over a handful of major programs.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest"],"customProperties":{"arm_id":"77856"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"c5d2dc87-ec02-57f5-bbd1-833129a2544f","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"640","height":"360","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/5d/c5d2dc87-ec02-57f5-bbd1-833129a2544f/58795d9b8fe77.image.jpg?resize=640%2C360"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/5d/c5d2dc87-ec02-57f5-bbd1-833129a2544f/58795d9b8fe77.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/5d/c5d2dc87-ec02-57f5-bbd1-833129a2544f/58795d9b8fe77.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/5d/c5d2dc87-ec02-57f5-bbd1-833129a2544f/58795d9b8fe77.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"6238ddfc-f09e-52f3-8195-92e19c0904b3","body":"

Adia Barnes and the UA women\u2019s basketball team keeps winning, even though they haven\u2019t taken the court since March.

Purdue forward Dominique McBryde is transferring to the Wildcats, the UA announced this week. The Bedford, Indiana, native played two seasons at Purdue. She will sit out this upcoming season and have two years of eligibility left.

McBryde joins four incoming freshmen who are expected to reshape the Wildcats\u2019 roster. The UA went 14-16 overall and 5-13 in Pac-12 play last season, Barnes\u2019 first as the Wildcats\u2019 coach.

\u201cI am so excited with the addition of Dominique to our family,\u201d Barnes said. \u201cShe is a proven winner and has won at a high level. She has great ability to attack the basket and finishes well around the rim.\u201d

McBryde was named All-Big Ten honorable mention last season. The 6-foot-2-inch forward started 25 games last season, and led the Boilermakers with 6.3 rebounds per game. In two years at Purdue, she grabbed 357 rebounds.

McBryde shot 54 percent from the field in conference play, the seventh-best field goal percentage in the Big Ten.

\u201cI knew right away she was a perfect fit for our program,\u201d Barnes said. \u201cHer goals and ambitions match with what we are building here. Her style of play fits the Pac-12. She is a great person from a great family and that\u2019s important to me. She has to sit out a year, yet I know that her work ethic and her maturity will help mold our younger players.\u201d

McBryde said she doesn\u2019t mind sitting out.

\u201cSome may see it as a negative, but I see it as a positive,\u201d she said. \u201cIt gives me a whole extra year to develop my game, get comfortable at Arizona and get used to the routine. I will have extra reps in practice and be there for my teammates.\u201d

McBryde received interest from Washington, Kentucky, Virginia and Alabama, and said she seriously considered Louisville, Charlotte and Kansas State before choosing Arizona.

\u201cI felt a presence here that was missing all my life,\u201d she said. \u201cI connected with coach right off the bat and I only met four of the players, yet we had an immediate connection. I could tell that Coach is taking the program in the right direction. When I was taking my other visits Arizona was always on my mind.\u201d

McBryde found herself thinking of the Wildcats, and Barnes, often.

\u201cWhen I was on my visit, we went to Coach\u2019s house and she showed me all the giant (pool) floats she had, including a giant swan,\u201d she said. \u201cI didn\u2019t ride it, but it stayed with me \u2014 that and the stories of coach trying to jump on it in the pool. A couple of weeks later I was visiting a friend and she had to go to a store to get something for her pool. In the window was a giant swan. I said, \u2018Hey, my coach has the same swan.\u2019 Even though I knew it, I went on the other visits as I wanted to do the process right this time. And I did convince my friend to buy the giant swan.\u201d

Wildcats land 5-star

Valeria Trucco, a five-star forward from Turin, Italy, has committed to the UA for 2018. She is the No. 1 post player in Italy; scouts praise her 3-point shot and passing skills. The 6-foot-3-inch Trucco has been a member of the Italian national teams since 2015. She was a key player in last summer\u2019s FIBA U17 Women\u2019s World Championship, where Italy took the silver medal. Trucco averaged 7 points and 4.9 rebounds during the tournament. She will be playing in the Worlds again in August.

Trucco chose the UA over Cal and Georgia Tech. She was recruited by UA assistant coach Salvo Coppa, a native of Italy who has a history of coaching and developing talent overseas.

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NEW YORK \u2014 The stage is looking bigger than ever, but Lauri Markkanen was very much his usual self during NBA predraft interviews Wednesday in Manhattan.

Dressed in a blue suit, Markkanen said he believes he\u2019s a versatile player who can do more than shoot, would find it a \u201cprivilege\u201d to play for any NBA team and credited his short Arizona career for helping him develop.

\u201cI got a lot better defensively,\u201d Markkanen said. \u201cI think I got smarter, too, playing under coach (Sean) Miller. We did a lot of new things. (It was also) getting used to the style of play.\u201d

Markkanen said he\u2019s been based in Washington, D.C., during the spring, having left Arizona in early April after finishing up his spring semester classes early. He said he\u2019s done four workouts for NBA teams so far: Dallas (which has pick No. 9), Orlando (6), Minnesota (7) and Boston (3). He also had dinner with Knicks (8) president Phil Jackson.

\u201cGreat dinner,\u201d Markkanen said, noting that they mostly talked about off-court topics. \u201cNew York strip steak. Sixteen ounces.\u201d

Markkanen also spend time touring the Finnish embassy \u2013 going to hang out as a celebrity instead of just getting a visa, as he did previously \u2013 and did about 10-15 percent of his half-hour interview in Finnish, with two representatives of Finland media outlets on hand.


Twenty top draft prospects showed up for interviews Wednesday, and predictably the biggest crowds surrounded potential 1-2 duo Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball.

Ball appeared typically unfazed by it all, having spent the spring surrounded by attention over his game, his father and whether or not the Lakers will pick him.

\u201cI\u2019ve just been working out and hanging with my friends,\u201d Ball said of the hoopla. \u201cI don\u2019t really care.\u201d

Ball also said he didn\u2019t mind if the Lakers don\u2019t keep him home by picking him No. 2.

\u201cThat\u2019s fine,\u201d he said. \u201cWherever I go is fine.\u201d


Fultz was asked how he\u2019s responding to the question that everybody talks about with him: Why didn\u2019t Washington win last season?

\u201cIf you ask anyone on my team, they\u2019d say I\u2019m the greatest teammate and that the work ethic that we put in,\u201d Fultz said. \u201cWe stayed together and we learned a lot through that season. If you look at my resume through high school, USA Basketball (you\u2019d know differently). It just happened that college didn\u2019t go as planned.\u201d


We'll have more predraft coverage posted later Wednesday and in Thursday's print edition.

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