Former Arizona Wildcats post player Angelo Chol has decided on a new school — San Diego State — hoping for consistent playing time.
Chol’s window of opportunity looked a little wider for the 2013-14 season after Grant Jerrett’s decision to turn pro after his freshman season, although he was still behind center Kaleb Tarczewski and Brandon Ashley, both sophomores.
Arizona also has junior college transfer Matt Korcheck (who redshirted last season) and incoming freshman Aaron Gordon, who can also play small forward. But any margin of error the Wildcats had in the post has been whittled to almost nothing.
Chol, a fan favorite, averaged 1.9 points and 2.0 rebounds last season, playing in 28 of 35 games. He averaged 8.5 minutes per game, and was often just outside of coach Sean Miller’s playing rotation late in the season.
“Nothing against Coach Miller, I have a lot of respect for him, but at the same time it was hard,” Chol said in a story on U-T San Diego.
“I felt like I had to keep looking over my shoulder, keep looking at the bench every time I did something to see if I would get subbed out. It wasn’t a fun way to play. I want to be comfortable when I’m out there. I was never able to get into a rhythm. You can’t do much in eight minutes per game.”
Chol, who attended San Diego’s Hoover High, will sit out this season before having two years of eligibility left. He has a good chance of blossoming with the Aztecs — as he could have at Arizona — with more experience and playing time.
Miller never hesitated to praise Chol’s work ethic, attitude or potential. Chol, still raw offensively, could develop into a defensive, shot-blocking force.
“Angelo’s future is extremely bright,” Miller said in late January. “What you see now and what you can see down the road is going to be two different things, I promise you that.”
Miller is down to 10 scholarship players for next season, three below the limit. Here is what it looks like:
C/PF — Kaleb Tarczewski, Matt Korcheck
PF/SF — Brandon Ashley, Aaron Gordon
SF — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
SG — Nick Johnson, Gabe York, Elliott Pitts
PG — T.J. McConnell, Jordin Mayes (also a shooting guard)
Arizona has only one senior (Mayes) and two juniors (Johnson, McConnell). Miller could still add a graduate transfer for next season, as he did last year with Mark Lyons, to bolster the roster in the post or with a shooter on the wing.