Versatility key to Arizona lineup

By Patrick Klein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

This is a team that can send out any number of lineups, from a true two-guard, two-forward and a center alignment to two forwards and three guards, or even one forward/center and four guards. At the beginning of practice, head coach Lute Olson broke the team down into three positions guards, wingmen and post players. The depth chart will reflect that.

Guards

Reggie Geary, senior

6-foot-2, 187 pounds

Geary is the heart and soul of this team. He will set the tone for the defensive pressure and will be counted on to distribute the ball and keep turnovers to a minimum. He has done that so far, averaging 8.4 assists and 3.8 turnovers a game through the first five contests. He is not known as a scorer, but has improved his perimeter shooting and, judging by his 10 points per game and 53 percent shooting percentage, teams leave him alone at their own peril. He apprenticed for the point guard position by practicing against Damon Stoudamire and Khalid Reeves, both NBA first-round picks, the last three years.

Miles Simon, sophomore

6-foot-5, 199 pounds

Simon has blossomed as a scorer this season, sharing the team lead with a 15.8 points-per-game average. The starting shooting guard, Simon also will log time at the point. He had a team-high 22 points against Arkansas and was named to the Preseason National Invitation Tournament All-Tournament team. Despite missing a month of action last season with a dislocated right index finger, Simon still averaged 8.9 points, the most by a freshman since Khalid Reeves averaged 9.1 in 1991.

Jason Terry, freshman

6-foot-2, 168 pounds

A highly touted recruit from Seattle's Franklin High School, Terry impressed the coaches during practice, earning the right to be the first true guard off the bench. He is an explosive player, but the coaches want him to reduce his turnovers. Terry will back up Geary at the point, but is also capable of playing shooting guard.

Kelvin Eafon, sophomore

6-foot-1, 190 pounds

Eafon will probably not see much time this season. He was a highly recruited tailback out of Seagoville High School in Dallas. There is speculation he may try out for the football team next year. He had a career high of five points against Southern Cal last season.

Eugene Thompson, sophomore

5-foot-8, 148 pounds

Thompson is a walk-on who is in his first year in the program. He saw some action in the season opener against Long Beach State, playing one minute.

Wingmen

Michael Dickerson, sophomore

6-foot-5, 190 pounds

Dickerson is the most dangerous offensive threat on the Wildcats. He has shown great promise, scoring a career-high 25 points in last year's regular-season finale against Arizona State. In the first two rounds of the Preseason NIT, he scored 19 in each game, and led Arizona in scoring before a left ankle sprain against Georgetown limited his time. Coaches want him to improve his defense and rebounding. He spent the summer in his hometown of Seattle and played pick-up games against members of the NBA's Supersonics.

Corey Williams, senior

6-foot-6, 212 pounds

A four-year contributor, Williams alternates with Joe McLean as the first man off the bench for the Wildcats. In the Arizona offense, Williams will see time at the small and power forward positions, using his quickness to create mismatches at the offensive end. He had a career high of 17 points against Oregon last season. He got the start against Michigan when Joseph Blair went down with an ankle injury, contributing nine points and four rebounds.

Joe McLean, senior

6-foot-6, 217 pounds

A great hustler, his effort has never been questioned. His production, however, has. After a three-season average of 3.7 points a game, McLean has shown signs of establishing himself as a consistent threat, scoring 13 against Georgetown, leading the team with 16 in an exhibition against Marathon and adding seven against Houston.

Post Players

Joseph Blair, senior

6-foot-10, 265 pounds

A lifetime 60 percent shooter from the field, Blair has been a solid contributor for four years. But this year, he will be one of the main offensive weapons and will be counted on heavily to control the boards with Ben Davis. Olson said he thinks Blair could be one of the best big men to ever play for Arizona. Blair is tied for the team lead in scoring with 15.8 points and, after a monster 17-rebound game against Houston, is second on the team with nine rebounds per game.

Ben Davis, senior

6-foot-9, 240 pounds

After stops at Kansas, Florida and Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College, Davis landed at Arizona last season. He was named to the Pacific 10 Conference All-Newcomer team after averaging 9.9 points and 5.9 rebounds last year. He leads the team this year in rebounding with 9.4 per game and is second in scoring with a 14.2 average. He can shoot with some range and provides quickness on the inside. Olson said he thinks the starting frontcourt of Blair and Davis should be the Pac-10's best.

A.J. Bramlett, freshman

6-foot-11, 210 pounds

Bramlett is probably the biggest surprise of Arizona's recruiting class. He was considered a redshirt possibility at the beginning of practice, but a strong showing against Blair and Davis forced the coaches to put him on the active roster. Despite his weight deficit, Bramlett has impressed Olson by not backing down from the bigger centers. He has emerged as the first big man off the bench for Arizona. He scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in his first game against Long Beach State.

Donnell Harris, freshman (redshirt)

6-foot-11, 214 pounds

Harris added 15 pounds during his redshirt season. He will see limited time this season, but with Blair and Davis graduating, he will have a better chance next year. In the season opener, he registered two blocks in three minutes. His teammates voted him most improved from last year.

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