Arizona forward projections

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

There will be plenty of high expectations surrounding Arizona's front court for next season. Read on to see how we project it will do.

There are going to be plenty of expectations surrounding Arizona's roster next season. The following is where we feel each forward's expectations should be.

Stanley Johnson: Normally we would say that it has been a while since a freshman came in with the expectations surrounding Johnson, but Aaron Gordon changed that. Still, many expect Johnson to come in and start right away and make a rather large impact. Last season, Gordon averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds while being one of the best defenders in the country.

We definitely don't expect Johnson to have the same kind of defensive impact that Gordon had, but that is not meant to be an insult to what Johnson will bring. His offensive game is probably more ready for the next level and he is aggressive, so our projection is that he comes in and averages around 15 points and 6 rebounds. We could see him averaging a few more rebounds, but decided to go with our conservative estimate here.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: Hollis-Jefferson played very well in Brandon Ashley's absence and we can expect him to make a nice jump since last season. He finished averaging nine points and about six rebounds. We have little reason to believe that he will not be able to put up similar numbers and we actually feel he can do a little better playing what should be his more natural position.

This is likely Hollis-Jefferson's last year at Arizona and we think he improves on his numbers from last year enough to validate that decision. A solid estimate is probably 12 points and 7 rebounds per game and an efficient one as well.

Craig Victor: To be honest, we're not expecting a lot from Victor. Again, this is not a knock on him, but Arizona is loaded at his position. If Victor is able to come in and play 10 minutes per game we would be slightly surprised and it likely means that he is exceeding expectations. Ideally, Victor is able to gives some guys a rest and hit the glass while playing solid defense. If he does that, there really is not anything to complain about.

Matt Korcheck: You can pretty much read the above and substitute Korcheck's name in there. He isn't likely to make much more of an impact than he did last season and it is going to be difficult for him to get in the rotation is Ashley is able to come back healthy. As long as Korcheck can provide the same kind of energy and effort that he did in practice last season, he has done his job.

Brandon Ashley: Ashley was headed for a nice season before his injury and it is somewhat difficult to make projections because nothing is guaranteed and we want to see him on the court first. He was averaging 11 points and about five rebounds before the injury last season and, figuring he is healthy, he should put up similar numbers.

Ashley is somewhat of a wildcard here and you can make the case he is being overlooked because of that injury. Talking to him during the tournament, it was hard not to get the feeling that he is going to come into this season with the feeling that he has something to prove.

Kaleb Tarczewski: In six more minutes per game, Tarczewski put up three more points per game while shooting five percent better from the field. The concern with him is that he is big enough and has enough skill to do better on the glass. With so many frontcourt options, Tarczewski is going to have to be more aggressive rebounding if he wants to keep his minutes around the 28 per game it was last season.

We think Tarczewski is able to get above seven rebounds per game and his scoring numbers remain the same, which is just fine. Arizona does not need Tarczewski to be a big scorer, but it does need him to rebound and defend well, which he is capable of doing.

Dusan Ristic: We don't really have a feel for what Ristic is going to be able to do. We have seen some video on him, but that doesn't give us an accurate idea of what he can do in college. If Ristic can get to ten minutes per game, Arizona is in great shape. Nobody really knows what to expect with him and we're not going to pretend like we do either.

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