Arizona has landed in the top spot in two of three major preseason basketball annuals that have hit the stands this month.
Both Athlon and Street & Smith’s rank the Wildcats No. 1 while Lindy’s has them No. 2 behind Michigan State. (Blue Ribbon Yearbook has yet to announce its picks.)
Athlon also noted that “Sean Miller’s Loaded Arizona Wildcats” were the No. 1 “thing to watch” this season while putting Allonzo Trier and DeAndre Ayton on its second all-American team.
Street & Smith’s, a longtime annual publication that went under the Sporting News banner in recent years, had Trier as a second-team all-American but Ayton didn’t make second or third team.
Lindy’s doesn’t pick traditional all-American teams but instead ranks the 25 top players at each position. It had Rawle Alkins as the No. 4 shooting guard, Trier as the No. 4 small forward, Ayton as a "freshman of note" power forward – but did not list Dusan Ristic under the Top 25 centers nor Parker Jackson-Cartwright among the Top 25 point guards.
All three publications picked the same top five in the Pac-12: 1. Arizona, 2. USC, 3. UCLA, 4. Oregon and 5. Stanford.
(Disclosure: I did Pac-12 previews and picks for Street & Smith's but did not rank teams or players nationally.)
Here’s how the Top 10 looked in each publication:
2. Michigan State
9. Wichita State
10. West Virginia
(No other Pac-12 teams)
1. Michigan State
3. Wichita State
10. Texas A&M
Other Pac-12 teams: USC (11), UCLA (24)
STREET & SMITH'S
3. Michigan State
7. Wichita State
9. North Carolina
Other Pac-12 teams: USC (11) and UCLA (16)
ESPN ranked Arizona's offense the best in college basketball, noting that the Wildcats' two-point accuracy is bound to rise with Ayton.
Sean Miller made an in-home visit with Orlando forward Nassir Little, one of UA's top remaining 2018 targets. Little is scheduled to take an official campus visit to Arizona for the Red-Blue Game on Oct. 20.
Bol Bol has scheduled an official visit to Arizona for the weekend of Oct. 27.