The Arizona Wildcats pulled in another top 10 ranking among the annual basketball preseason publications, with Athlon Sports putting the Wildcats at No. 6 behind a top five of Kentucky, Louisville, Duke, Michigan state and Kansas.
Arizona is No. 5 in the Sporting News and Blue Ribbon Yearbook annuals, and No. 11 in Lindy’s.
The major top 25 polls won’t be released for at least another month.
Despite the team praise, though, Athlon put no Wildcats on its three five-man all-America teams and none on its five-man all-Pac-12 first team (which had UCLA’s Jordan Adams, ASU’s Jahii Carson, Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie, Stanford’s Dwight Powell, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox).
But Aaron Gordon was named to its all-Pac-12 second team, while Nick Johnson landed on the third team. Gordon was also named the Pac-12’s newcomer of the year.
Gordon was the only UA player to make Athlon’s lists of six kinds of superlative players, checking in at No. 6 on the list of “inside-out” players and was, not surprisingly, one of nine players (plus Kentucky’s entire class) named as an impact freshman.
T.J. McConnell was named one of the Top 15 transfers, along with Oregon's Mike Moser and ASU's Jermaine Marshall.
Meanwhile, Athlon put USC’s Andy Enfield at No. 4 on its list of top 10 new coaches and UCLA’s Steve Alford No. 5. Former UA associate head coach James Whitford of Ball State was one of five “notable first-time head coaches.”
The magazine also suggested there’s a lot of jobs on the line around the Pac-12 this season: Ken Bone, Johnny Dawkins, Craig Robinson and Herb Sendek were all named on a list of “coaches on the hot seat.”
Marshawn Cherry, the travel-ball coach of San Diego guard Trey Kell, called me this morning to confirm that Kell has definitely canceled his UA visit this weekend.
While Cherry stopped short of saying UA is off his list, he said he didn’t think Kell would take another visit. Kell has visited San Diego State, Oregon, Vanderbilt and Gonzaga.
“They just told me he wasn’t going on the trip to Arizona and Trey wanted to figure out what to do next,” Cherry said of Kell's family.
Cherry said UA coaches did make an in-home visit with Kell, and that Sean Miller and Joe Pasternack were “great people.”