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Arizona men's basketball should have title expectations for 2023-24

Mike Luke Avatar
July 20, 2022

The 2022-23 Arizona basketball season figures to be a transition year of sorts. The Wildcats should be a top-25 team, but considering the massive personnel losses the program suffered this offseason, the Cats likely lack the firepower to compete for a national championship.

A popular topic of conversation is the potential greatness that the 2023-24 Arizona basketball team should possess.

Let’s take a look at all the possible pieces and moving parts to what figures to be a national title contender.

Certain or likely to be on the 2023-24 team

Pelle Larsson, junior (wing) — If Pelle Larsson is on the 2023-24 roster, two things are for sure: He will be starting, and Arizona should expect him to be an all-conference player and leader of the team.

Due to a lack of creative ball-handling, Larsson probably can’t reach All-American status, but his shooting, canny one-dribble drives and finishing ability, combined with a physical defensive prowess, make him a cornerstone on any Arizona team.

Adama Bal, junior (wing) — Coach Tommy Lloyd is clearly high on the French wing for a multitude of reasons: Bal is a year younger than his classmates, has a body made for basketball and is a quick learner.

With Bal’s physical attributes and improved handle and shooting, it’s easy to project him into the 20 minute-plus rotation role.

Filip Borivcannan, sophomore (wing) — The ultimate wildcard for 2022-23 and 2023-24. The clips coming out of workouts and conditioning show a surprisingly sturdy 6-foot-8 wing with guard-type skills.

In limited settings, these types of skills can be overstated, but Lloyd has a fantastic track record with recruits like Borivcannan.

Kylan Boswell, sophomore (point guard) — Boswell will have the keys to the car by this point. If Kerr Kriisa is still around, the guess here is that Kriisa will be moved off the ball more to focus on scoring. Boswell is a true point guard with a dogged defensive presence who figures to be the perfect conductor for a loaded basketball team.

KJ Lewis, freshman (shooting guard) — The 2023 wing is generally thought of as a top-40 national prospect, but much of that is due to the inferior level of competition he played against in El Paso. That national ranking figures to climb now that he’s at powerhouse Duncanville High School.

With an already sturdy frame, next-level athleticism and an ability to draw fouls, Lewis is an easy choice to see rotation minutes as a freshman.

Oumar Ballo, junior (center) — Ballo came in last season as a transfer and surprised nearly everyone with his effective play down low. From blocking shots to dunking everything in the paint, Ballo was a monster at times.

His lack of conditioning did make him prone to mismatches against athletic, undersized bigs. The 2022-23 season will the the ultimate test whether Ballo is strictly a highly-effective role player or if he can develop into a true starter on a title-contending team.

Kwame Evans Jr., freshman (power forward/center) — Evans has not committed to Arizona yet, but it feels like this one is only a matter of time. It would surprise if Evans is not on the roster when Arizona travels to Cameron Indoor Stadium in late 2023.

Long and athletic, Evans is more of a finesse power forward who will likely only be in Tucson one year before heading off to the NBA.

During his likely short stay at Arizona, he figures to be a double-digit scorer who chips in 6-7 rebounds while providing Arizona with tremendous length and activity on the defense end.

Henri Veesaar, sophomore (power forward/center) — Many Arizona fans are worried that Veesaar could end up a one-and-done after this upcoming 2022-23 season, but the guess here is that Veesaar is a two-year player. 

Very skilled with the ability to step out or finish around the basket, Veesaar should average close to double-digit points as a freshman. Howver, his lack of strength and the adaptation to the college life figures to make for an inconsistent freshman season.

A sophomore Veesaar would fit in perfectly next to the athleticism of Kwame Evans and the brute force of Oumar Ballo.

Dylan Anderson, sophomore (power forward/center) — Many have soured on Anderson, but we haven’t. He spent far too much of his high school life attempting to prove that he can play on the perimeter. He can’t, but Anderson is a somewhat fluid athlete, with long arms and is pretty skilled around the basket.

If Anderson is patient, Lloyd should be able to mold the big man into a valuable contributor as an upperclassman.


Kerr Kriisa, senior (point guard) — Kriisa is the epitome of a 50/50 return guy. Lloyd loves Kriisa, and Kriisa will have the ball in his hands a lot during the 2022-23 season, in what will likely be his best chance to showcase his skills for scouts.

Kriisa probably isn’t an NBA player, and he’s going to be an older junior by the end of this coming season. The allure of making big money overseas is certainly enticing.


Azuolas Tubelis, senior (power forward) — Being the focal point of the 2022-23 team should allow Tubelis to post big numbers and showcase his skills for NBA and international teams alike. The guess here is that Tubelis dominates college to the level that his professional stock will never be higher.

If Tubelis decides to come back for 2023-24, Arizona will have a massive frontcourt logjam on its hands, but no good coach will ever complain about such an issue.

With or without Kriisa and Tubelis, the 2023-24 Arizona roster figures to possess everything needed to compete for a national title. Between perimeter and interior scoring, ballhandling, defense, height and maturity, Arizona figures to have it all.

Tommy Lloyd’s first season at Arizona propelled Arizona back to the nation’s elite, but as the NCAA tournament showed, there were still some significant holes on the roster.

The 2023-24 season is go time.

Follow @ironmikeluke

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