Kellogg: Despite Turmoil, Arizona Still Capable Of Final Four

Clark Kellogg believes Arizona remains the Pac 12's best shot at a spot in San Antonio

The DA Show
March 08, 2018 - 12:59 pm

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Despite the controversy surrounding its program in recent weeks, No. 15 Arizona (24-7) remains the Pac-12’s best shot at a spot in the Final Four.

“I think so,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg said on The DA Show. “Deandre Ayton, to me, is right there with Trae Young for Player of the Year.”

Ayton, a 7-1 freshman, averaged 19.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game this season.

“Marvin Bagley III, you could make a case for a couple of other guys (for Player of the Year) – Jalen Brunson,” Kellogg said. “But I think Deandre Ayton is the most uniquely gifted player in the college game today.”

Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins, with averages of 18.9 and 13.7 points, respectively, have been stellar as well.

“Arizona has some other good players around (Ayton),” Kellogg said. “They clearly came into the season as a projected Final Four-caliber team. There’s been a ton of turmoil and clouds around their program, but on the court they’re still Final Four-capable.”

In the Big 12 meanwhile, No. 9 Kansas (24-7) won its 14th consecutive regular-season title, but there’s a sense that this Jayhawks squad doesn’t have the talent or depth to win it all.

“I’ll echo Bill Self’s sentiments: clearly this is not one of his strongest teams,” Kellogg said. “It may be, perhaps, the team with the least depth and overall talent of any of his championship teams over the last 14 years. He’s been on record as talking about. He also indicates the margin of error is extremely thin – and just got thinner.”

Center Udoka Azubuike, a 7-foot center from Nigeria, will miss the Big 12 Tournament with a sprained MCL. The sophomore averaged 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks this season.

“I don’t know how that affects him for the NCAA Tournament, which they’re assured to be in,” Kellogg said. “But clearly this is not nearly as deep nor as strong on the frontline a team as Kansas has had in the past. Devonte’ Graham has been brilliant, and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has only been a notch below that in terms of their consistency and production.”

Graham and Mykhailiuk, both seniors, are averaging 17.6 and 15.3 points, respectively.

“The margin is really, really thin for the Jayhawks,” Kellogg said. “Yet, in a one-and-done tournament deal, we know that strange things can happen. KU, they’ll be a tough out – but not as tough as they’ve been in the past.”​