Arizona Wildcats roster 2013-14: Pac-12 favorites have high expectations

USA TODAY Sports

The Wildcats lose their top two starters from last year, but bring in Aaron Gordon, one of the nation's top freshmen.

When the media voted for who it thought would win the Pac-12 this year, there wasn't much disagreement. The Arizona Wildcats received 21 of 23 first-place votes, with UCLA coming in a distant second.

And that's with the Wildcats losing their top three scorers from last year.

Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill are both in the NBA; they accounted for about 40 percent of Arizona's scoring in 2012-13. But junior Nick Johnson returns and freshman Aaron Gordon may end up being the best player on the team.

Expectations are high in Tucson, but the roster has yet to prove itself. Arizona's 84-52 exhibition win over Augustana was a start, but the competition will step up soon.

Guards

Nick Johnson: Johnson is the returning veteran for the Wildcats. He'll be the one Sean Miller looks to late in a close game. The guard led the team in assists last year and is the leading returning scorer. The offense will run through him, even if he isn't the one who ends up scoring.

T.J. McConnell: The Duquesne transfer might come to Arizona a bit overlooked, but he is just another piece of a roster loaded with potential. He sat out last season, but already has Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, A-10 All-Defensive Team and Third Team All-A-10 honors on his resume.

Elliott Pitts: Pitts is a top-100 shooting guard, and while there are other freshman who come in with more hype, he is not one to overlook. Perhaps his strongest asset is a level of discipline that you don't normally see from a freshman. He doesn't try to force things and rarely plays out of control, according to ESPN.

Gabe York: York came to Arizona last year with expectations that he didn't quite meet, playing sparingly and rarely in an important moment. He spent the offseason working on his defense, which many saw as a huge flaw in his game, and that might earn him more time on the court. York played 21 minutes against Augustana and scored 14 points.

Forwards

Brandon Ashley: Ashley came in last year with no shortage of freshman accolades, including McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand All-American honors. As a freshman, he started 21 games, averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per contest. He'll take on an even larger role this year.

Aaron Gordon: Gordon was the No. 2 power forward in his class and should start immediately for the Wildcats at the 4. Look for him to give Arizona a ton of extra chances via the offensive glass, many resulting in put-backs or dunks. Don't be surprised if Gordon evolves into Arizona's best player, particularly in the frontcourt.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: The Chester, Pa. product makes the trip across the country to join the Wildcats, and the coaching staff hopes his long move will pay off. He put up double figures against Augustana and was named a McDonald's and Jordan Brand All-American at the end of last season.

Matt Korcheck: Korcheck comes from Corchise Junior College and sat out last year at Arizona. Prior to 2012-13, 6'10 forward averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Apaches.

Zach Peters: The former high school teammate of Kentucky forward Julius Randle, Peters sat out last year after transferring from Kansas. He was a four-time all-state forward for Prestonwood Christian in Texas, leading them to two state titles.

Centers

Kaleb Tarczewski: It always helps to have a 7-footer in the middle, and that's what Arizona has in Tarczewski. He averaged six and six last year and will likely improve this year. When you combine his presence with Gordon's, Arizona has one of the most imposing frontcourts in the Pac-12.

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