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Arizona basketball: What to watch for in Wildcats’ Spain exhibition tour

The Arizona Wildcats are set to begin their three-game Spain exhibition tour Sunday morning, and here are a few things you should watch for during the trip.

For UA’s complete schedule and viewing info in Spain, click here.


DeAndre Ayton

DeAndre Ayton is the No. 1 prospect in his class, Sean Miller called him a once-in-a-generation talent, and Rawle Alkins compared him to Joel Embiid. So it’s more than fair to say Ayton is entering his collegiate career with incredible hype around him, and this trip to Spain will be the first time we see him take the floor for the Wildcats.

Ayton is a do-it-all 7-footer with a physically imposing frame, but how he fits with Arizona obviously remains to be seen. Ayton will essentially be replacing Lauri Markkanen in Arizona’s starting lineup, and it’s expected he will provide more of an interior presence with a slight drop-off in shooting.

It’s obviously hard to evaluate any player in a three-game sample size, but you can’t blame Arizona fans for being excited and intrigued to see Ayton play in Spain where he can quickly prove he’s the real deal.


Emmanuel Akot and Alex Barcello at point guard

Senior Parker Jackson-Cartwright is Arizona’s clear-cut starter at point guard heading into the 2017-18 season, but who will be his main counterpart at the position?

Based on Miller’s recent comments, freshmen Alex Barcello and Emmanuel Akot are first in line, and it will be interesting to see how they handle that position in Spain, and the skill sets that they each bring to the table.

If there is one weakness this Arizona team may have, it’s its point guard play, so Barcello and Akot may very well wind up being two of Arizona’s most important players in the upcoming season.


The rest of the freshmen

We can’t forget about Brandon Randolph and Ira Lee, Arizona’s two other freshmen.

The 6-foot-5 Randolph has been lauded for his athleticism and shooting ability, while Lee, a 6-foot-8 forward, has been praised for…

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