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December 25, 2013
A Christmas list for Arizona
What would you get the players and coaches on the Arizona football and men's basketball teams?
Well, GOAZCATS.com has put together a short list of stocking stuffers this Christmas that each could use moving forward into 2014.
Rich Rodriguez: A true quarterback competition in the spring
If there is one thing the Wildcats could use, it's a quality competition for the starting job B.J. Denker will leave behind after the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
Rodriguez should have no shortage of options this time around. Health and a lack of numbers were an issue this past spring and carried into the fall.
Now, he will have five scholarship quarterbacks available when spring ball opens.
Ka'Deem Carey: National respect on New Year's Eve
That's all the two-time consensus All-American running back wanted when asked what he would like to see on his NFL evaluation when the results return.
While Carey is not completely under the radar, he is sometimes forgotten in the discussion of top running backs in the country. But he has the stage to make an even bigger name for himself.
The junior will put his skills up against Doak Walker Award winner Andre Williams when Arizona meets Boston College at the end of the year.
Sean Miller: A consistent eighth man
What do you get the coach who seemingly has everything but a national championship ring right now?
Right now, Miller might say he wants his already standout defense to become the undisputed best in the nation. In reality, the Wildcats in their current state would still be able to stand up to any challenge out there.
But what UA could certainly use is another contributor to a rotation that is essentially seven deep. The Wildcats may be on the verge of finding that extra body to prevent a premature burnout come February or March.
Elliott Pitts has made limited appearances in each of the past two contests and has shown flashes. This is right around the time Miller said the freshman could find a solid role, too.
The other positive sign Monday night was the stat line from senior guard Jordin Mayes. He cracked the scoring column for the first time since Nov. 11 and finished with five points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal in nine minutes.
A short spell is all the Wildcats really need to alleviate some of the workload every now and then.
Brandon Ashley: More credit
It is easy to overlook a number of players on Miller's balanced squad. A case could be made for three or four different players as the most valuable player through the first 13 games.
But nobody gets passed on more than the sophomore forward. Entering the season, the attention understandably went to star freshman Aaron Gordon. With each passing game, however, Ashley has proved he is the one with the more polished game.
Ashley has added a 3-point shot to his arsenal, connecting on 8 of 18 attempts after shooting just three - all makes - last season. He has cooled off a bit after a hot start but is still second on the team at 54.4 percent shooting from the field.
At 6-8 and 230 pounds, Ashley is essentially the backup center when Kaleb Tarczewski is out of the game.
New Annual GOAZCATS.com subscribers who sign up for a full year also will receive $99 in team gear at no extra cost.
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor
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