Normally every spring once Sean Miller’s roster appears set, sometime around early May, Arizona will live-stream a news conference in which the UA coach discusses his new team.
He hasn’t had one yet. And, judging by recent activity, he probably won’t anytime soon.
So far this week alone, there was Monday’s “trade” of the departing Alex Barcello for the suddenly returning Devonaire Doutrive and, on Tuesday, there was a 247Sports.com report that Arizona extended a scholarship offer to prolific Eastern Kentucky shooter Dujuanta Weaver.
Even though the Wildcats, again, have no scholarships to offer on paper.
There’s continued uncertainty about the health of rising sophomore guard Brandon Williams, who has been working on his ongoing knee issue at UA this summer, while the Wildcats are also keeping a close eye on Pittsburgh-area recruit Donovan “Puff” Johnson, who lost an appeal to play a fifth year of high school ball and could reclassify to 2019.
So a press conference at this point could be both premature and, perhaps, unnecessary.
Plenty of actions, after all, are doing the speaking during what is UA’s most eventful offseason yet of the Miller era.
Since their season ended on March 13 in the Pac-12 Tournament, the Wildcats have had one player leave early for pro ball, lost a conventional (“sit-out”) transfer, gained another sit-out transfer, regained a would-be transfer, added two grad transfers, and had one of their fall signees take off for pro ball.
On the staffing side, UA had one assistant coach sentenced to three months in prison, kept another suspended while his contract ran out, hired somebody else’s head coach as an assistant and posted an ad for a new analytics/recruiting person.
Here’s a recap of UA’s wild offseason so far:
March 13: Arguably the worst season in the Sean Miller era season ends in a 78-65 loss to USC in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.
March 26: While five-star UA recruits Nico Mannion and Josh Green were preparing for the McDonald’s All-American Game in Atlanta, attorney Michael Avenatti posted evidence he says proved Nike paid the mother of former UA star Deandre Ayton through his club coach. Both Mannion and Green said they were sticking with the Wildcats. “You know, one of the main reasons that I committed to Arizona was I trust coach Miller,” Green says.
April 5: Graduate transfer guard Justin Coleman says he’ll take a graduate assistant position on the UA staff for the 2019-20 season while finishing his master’s in educational leadership over the summer and pursuing a Ph.D. in the fall.
April 12: Between breaks of an Arizona Board of Regents meeting, UA president Robert Robbins says it’s his understanding that the school is letting the contract of suspended assistant coach Mark Phelps run out on June 30. UA initially moved to fire Phelps in February for a second NCAA rules violation.
April 12: UA sophomore Brandon Randolph posts on Instagram that he will test the NBA Draft. He later opts to stay in the draft but is not invited to the NBA Combine or G League Elite Camp.
April 19: U.S. District Court judge Edgardo Ramos rules that Miller will not have to testify in the upcoming college basketball bribery trial, agreeing with prosecutors that his actions are irrelevant to the charges at hand.
April 23: After helping UC Irvine win its first NCAA Tournament game ever, Anteaters guard Max Hazzard says he’ll play for UA as a graduate transfer in 2019-20. The move puts UA’s roster at the 13-player maximum, with the assumption that Randolph stays in the draft.
April 29: Jurors hear a recorded phone conversation in which former UA assistant coach Book Richardson said Miller “fronted” a deal for Ayton, as well a recorded claims that Richardson paid the family of UA recruit Jahvon Quinerly $10,000 and was paying the cousin of former UA guard Rawle Alkins about $2,000 per month.
May 2: Richardson says on a wiretap that Miller “bought” Ayton, agreeing to pay him $10,000 per month.
May 3: In response to a public-records request filed by the Star in October 2017 for notices of inquiry or investigation from the NCAA, to which UA said in February 2019 that it had no records, Arizona confirms an NCAA investigation into the men’s basketball program is underway.
May 8: After being found guilty on two of six charges, aspiring agent Christian Dawkins said he never had discussions with Miller about delivering Ayton to Arizona. He also said he wouldn’t have answered questions in court about whether Miller knew Arizona players were being paid. “I’m not going to put (Miller) in a position that could hurt him,” Dawkins said. “I don’t care that much. I don’t want him to lose his job.”
May 14: Kentucky grad transfer Jemarl Baker announced he will transfer to Arizona. Baker, who played in 28 of 37 games for UK, is expected to bring shooting and defense in 2019-20. The move puts UA one over the scholarship limit.
May 27: Freshman guard Devonaire Doutrive plans to leave the Wildcats, his mentor says. The move puts UA at the 13-player scholarship limit.
May 29: UA posts the job opening to replace Phelps.
June 2: UA announces that NAU head coach Jack Murphy, a former Lute Olson aide, will take the job Phelps vacated. “There isn’t another school in the country my wife and I would leave NAU for,” Murphy said in a statement.
June 7: Richardson is sentenced to three months in federal prison after reaching a plea agreement in January. Asked afterward if Miller knew UA players were being paid, Richardson said “you gotta ask him that,” then later issued a statement saying “I have no knowledge of Sean Miller paying players or attempting to pay them.”
June 7: Nevada forward Jordan Brown says he’ll transfer to Arizona, a year after the Wildcats lost out on him as a 2018 McDonald’s All-American. The move puts UA one over the scholarship limit.
June 14: Arizona posted an opening for a third, new non-coaching role to its staff called “Director, on-campus recruiting and basketball analytics.”
June 19: Would-be incoming freshman wing Terry Armstrong opts to pursue professional options instead of enrolling at Arizona. UA is back to having 13 scholarship players.
June 20: Randolph is not taken in the NBA Draft, but reportedly agrees to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ summer-league team.
June 24, 8:19 a.m.: Rising junior Alex Barcello says on Twitter that he will “move in a direction that’s best for myself and my family.” The move puts UA one under the scholarship limit.
June 24, 12:50 p.m.: Doutrive says he will return to Arizona after all. “Sorry for the confusion,” he tweeted. Arizona’s roster is back to 13.
June 25: 247Sports.com reports that Arizona offered a scholarship to Eastern Kentucky guard Dujuanta Weaver, a grad transfer who will be able to play immediately next season.