While heavy spring roster movement is hardly unusual at Arizona and other major college basketball programs, it isn't often guys leave as late as the end of the spring semester or beyond.
The Wildcats had a somewhat surprising late spring move in 2011 when MoMo Jones left in mid-May, despite being the Wildcats' second-leading scorer, and eventually transferred to Iona. His move dropped Arizona back to its self-imposed scholarship limit of 12 for 2011-12, and kept him from competing with then-well-regarded incoming freshman Josiah Turner for the starting point guard job.
Barring some sort of scholarship gymnastics, the Wildcats will soon need another late departure or a subtraction from their 2019 recruiting class. The addition of Kentucky transfer Jemarl Baker puts UA one over the 13-scholarship limit for 2019-20, and that's assuming Jake DesJardins goes back to walk-on status and Brandon Randolph stays in pro basketball.
Most of Arizona's recruits appear to fit a role or long-term need, though the Wildcats are arguably overloaded with guards and wings.
Here's how UA's roster looks as of now, with a brief look at each player:
1. Max Hazzard, G, Sr.: UC Irvine transfer was sought after for combination of shooting, defense and experience.
2. Alex Barcello, G, Jr.: Averaged only 9.6 minutes last season but appears happy with role and personal situation at Arizona.
3. Brandon Williams, G, So.: Wildcats crossing fingers for Williams' knee issues to stay behind him.
4. Jemarl Baker, G, So.: Will sit out next season as a transfer from Kentucky.
5. Nico Mannion, G, Fr.: Likely starting point guard from the first tip.
6. Dylan Smith, G, Sr.: UA coach Sean Miller appears to value his defense and experience, and let him shoot 131 3s (at a 35.1% rate)
7. Terry Armstrong, F, Fr.: Long, athletic wing has upside but will likely have to earn time through defense.
8. Devonaire Doutrive, G, So.: Played in 26 of 32 games, lacking the defense Miller wanted but proving one of team's best offensive rebounders.
9. Josh Green, G, Fr.: Aussie phenom will be a major factor right away.
10. Stone Gettings, F, Sr.: Cornell transfer can shoot and pass well for his size.
11. Chase Jeter, C, Sr.: Has given no indication he'll turn pro or become a grad transfer despite graduating last December.
12. Ira Lee, G, Jr.: One of UA's most experienced players improved steadily last season.
13. Christian Koloko, C, Fr.: Has elite shot-blocking and rebounding potential in the long-term.
14. Zeke Nnaji, F, Fr.: Needs some bulk but he's skilled, athletic and versatile enough to help immediately.
Mike Luke pointed out a curious Twitter exchange involving Allonzo Trier and Kobi Simmons alluding to their roles at Arizona.
UCLA could miss the 2021 NCAA Tournament if multiple guys leave early without being eligible this spring, since it will already have two poor APR years counting into next year's four-year average. Jon Wilner reports that the APR scoring system is calculated differently for quarter schools, and it's in such a way that basketball programs at those schools can be hurt.
Lugentz Dort says he's gone from ASU for sure.
Arizona State’s Luguentz Dort told @Stadium he is “100 percent” gone to the NBA Draft and won’t be returning to college.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 14, 2019
Former Cal big man Connor Vanover says he's excited to be heading to Arkansas.
Excited for the next step in my journey to help me grow and fulfill my dreams. I am grateful and blessed to have the opportunity be an Arkansas Razorback. I'm Coming Home!! WPS!! @RazorbackMBB @EricPMusselman pic.twitter.com/iZT34YRpci— Connor Vanover (@Vanover_Connor) May 15, 2019
Damon Stoudamire isn't a fan of guys leaving early to go to the G League Elite Camp.
Idk what nobody says you don’t leave college for this. I was a 22 yr old rook. Last pro game was at 35. College not that bad. Everybody not built for bus rides. Put ya ego to the side and quit letting ppl tell u a lie. https://t.co/MYJU9VHAF0— Damon Stoudamire (@Iambiggie503) May 12, 2019
The NCAA is considering a rule change allowing athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses.