The 13-player scholarship maximum hardly matters anymore in high-major college basketball recruiting, where players come and go all the time, and the inflow tends to stop once guys sense their potential playing time is spoken for.
(Like how new Oregon commit Miles Norris told the Oregonian that Arizona, which had just received a commitment from Shareef O'Neal, had "too many people the same position as me." Or how Brian Bowen appears to be only considering UA if Rawle Alkins leaves.)
But looking at future rosters can serve as a reminder of what kind of room is left at the moment and what kind of needs the Wildcats have.
So in case anyone was wondering, here’s how the latest head count looks now that Arizona's 2017-18 roster is getting close to final:
1. Dusan Ristic, center
2. Parker Jackson-Cartwright, guard
3. Talbott Denny, forward
4. Keanu Pinder, forward
5. Allonzo Trier, guard
6. Chase Jeter, forward (ineligible until 2018-19)
7. Rawle Alkins, guard/forward (tentative, has until May 24 to decide)
8. Dylan Smith, guard
9. DeAndre Ayton, center/forward
10. Alex Barcello, guard
11. Ira Lee, forward
12. Brandon Randolph, guard
That’s one open scholarship if Alkins returns to UA and two if he doesn’t. And obviously a need for a small forward if he doesn’t return, which makes the recruitments of Cam Johnson and Brian Bowen critical. (There's also a chance 2018 wing forward Emmanuel Akot could reclassify and play in 2017-18 if needed, since he's ahead academically at Utah's Wasatch Academy).
Now for a really silly exercise – yet one that highlights the importance of UA’s 2018 recruiting class -- here’s the 2018-19 roster and scholarship count as of now:
1. Allonzo Trier, wing
2. Chase Jeter, forward
3. Rawle Alkins, guard/forward
4. Dylan Smith, guard
5. Alex Barcello, guard
6. Ira Lee, forward
7. Brandon Randolph, guard
8. Emmanuel Akot, forward
9. Shareef O’Neal, forward
Obviously, Alkins and Trier aren’t likely to be around by then (Ayton has already said he won’t be), which makes it even more clear that the Wildcats need bodies for 2018-19 even after getting commitments from Akot, O’Neal and Jeter. But getting Jeter was a big step for UA since he’s almost certain to be around by then after sitting out next season as a redshirting transfer.
North Carolina has entered the Cam Johnson sweepstakes.
For anyone seeking a Bill Walton fix this time of year, UA basketball publicist Matt Ensor put together a list of Walton's Grateful Dead references from UA games last season, actually having taken notes on them while watching each game video replay.
Drew Eubanks is withdrawing from the NBA Draft to return to Oregon State, so the Beavers will return their top trio of Eubanks, Stephen Thompson Jr and Tres Tinkle.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says the one-and-done rule has created a "travesty" in college basketball.
In a Bleacher Report Q-and-A, Shareef O'Neal says he puts "my recruiting hat on" to talk to Bol Bol about coming to Arizona.
A school in Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's hometown of Chester, Pa., named a gym after him.