Hopes were high for Arizona Wildcats sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko. And with good reason.
He wasn’t expected to turn into an All-Pac-10 player or anything like that, but he looked like a key part of the rotation following a productive summer playing for his native Ukraine at U-20 European Championships.
He averaged 17.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks for Ukraine. These weren’t summer-league pickup games. Those numbers were supposed to translate into a solid sophomore season, right? Arizona coach Sean Miller talked in the preseason about being hopeful that Natyazhko was one of the guys who make dramatic improvement from one year to the next.
But as the Wildcats head into tonight’s big conference home game against UCLA, the player that Miller counts on for size and minutes in relief of Derrick Williams, has hit a low point. He’s nearly disappeared.