Justin Spears / Arizona Daily Star
The No. 3 ranked Arizona Wildcats begin their official schedule on Friday against NAU at McKale Center and with arguably the best team Sean Miller has ever put together, the program is buzzing.
After cruising past Eastern New Mexico and Division II power Chico State in a pair of exhibition games, the Wildcats have already dealt with adversity on the depth chart let alone the FBI investigation.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright missed the first exhibition game with an ankle injury, but returned against Chico State while freshman wing Brandon Randolph didn't play Sunday with concussion symptoms. Plus, Rawle Alkins remains out with a broken foot and Dylan Smith won't return from his three-game suspension until the Wildcats face Maryland Baltimore County on Sunday, Nov. 12.
Sean Miller is already shuffling players around including freshmen Emmanuel Akot and Ira Lee. Akot started at small forward against Chico State, replacing the injured Alkins and Randolph while Lee came off the bench and showed his versatility on the perimeter as well as on the low block guarding multiple positions.
Miller, Lee and Akot held a news conference Tuesday, here's what they had to say:
First game impressions
Emmanuel Akot and Ira Lee on playing their first official college game on Friday: pic.twitter.com/CoJmvdAEJC— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) November 7, 2017
Ira Lee guards every forward in practice, including Deandre Ayton
Ira Lee on competitive defensive matchups and playing against Deandre Ayton in practice: pic.twitter.com/gsCjyflVV0— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) November 7, 2017
Sean Miller says Ira Lee can play multiple positions from both wing (SF) to the low post (PF/C). pic.twitter.com/LYKaz5xVyN— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) November 7, 2017
Hungry, hungry freshmen
Sean Miller on the freshmen being hungry and there isn’t one more competitive than the other: pic.twitter.com/rcw2HIKZOY— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) November 7, 2017
Randolph's concussion update
Sean Miller gives an update on Brandon Randolph (concussion): pic.twitter.com/ji2QPwAxXY— The Wildcaster (@TheWildcaster) November 7, 2017