Arizona point guard group tabbed as one of the best in college basketball for 2022-23
Tommy Lloyd had quite the task on his hands this offseason. The Wildcats were brilliant immediately under his stewardship, but in doing so vaulted Bennedict Mathurin and Dalen Terry into the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft. Lloyd is going to have to reconfigure his backcourt for the 2022-23 season following their departures.
His response was to pluck the miscast former Texas guard Courtney Ramey from the transfer portal to pair with Kerr Kriisa. The fit, at least on paper, appears to be more seamless than not. And the folks at 247Sports think that duo gives the Wildcats one of the best point guard rooms in college basketball heading into next season.
Here’s what 247Sports’ Isaac Trotter wrote on the Cats:
Both Kerr Kriisa and Courtney Ramey know what it’s like to play in loaded backcourts. That’s why they’re perfect for Arizona. Kriisa and Ramey both play so hard. They’ll feed off each other and really inspire everyone else to raise their effort level to match theirs. In close games, Arizona has two guys (and really a third in Pelle Larsson) who can handle the rock and handle pressure. Tommy Lloyd knows you need multiple elite ball-handlers to win at a high level which is why landing the coveted Ramey was so huge.
After four years with the Longhorns and appearances in 128 of a possible 129 games (106 starts), Ramey entered the transfer portal at the end of March. He put his name into the NBA Draft pool at the same time but pulled out prior to the June 1 deadline.
When projecting the former Longhorn into Lloyd’s system, look to what Ramey did as a junior under Shaka Smart. In 2020-21, he averaged 12.2 points and 3.2 assists in 33 minutes a night while shooting 41% from the 3-point line.
With Adama Bal and Pelle Larsson also returning, Lloyd has a number of ball-handlers to work with as he constructs the new Arizona rotation. The Cats also found former Campbell wing Cedric Henderson Jr. from the transfer portal this offseason as well, and he could slot into a number of different roles.
Options. Good coaches give themselves options. Lloyd has done exactly that. Guard play wins you games in March, and the Wildcats should have strong guard play once again.