Arizona will be a Final Four contender next season, but now Sean Miller has a solid piece for the years to come. On Tuesday night, former Duke forward Chase Jeter announced he was moving to the desert. He’ll play for Arizona, but because of undergraduate transfer rules, he will sit out the upcoming season before being eligible to play in 2018-19.
Jeter, in part because of the school he was leaving, was one of the biggest targets on the transfer market this spring. He opts to leave a top-three program to join a top-10 one. Clearly, he thinks he’s up for the challenge and wanted no part of transitioning down, to a considerably lesser program.
Arizona fans can be excited with the acquisition, though it’s fair to label Jeter as a project at this point. He was a five-star prospect (ranked 15th overall) and McDonald’s All-American in the class of 2015. But he amounted to little at Duke, averaging 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in two seasons and at 10 minutes per game. Be it because of other personnel or Mike Krzyzewski’s scheme, Jeter was a rare case of a five-star prospect who did not pan out for the Blue Devils.
But that’s OK. He gets a reboot here, and a year away from competition could wind up serving him well. His NBA potential is still there. He’s 6-foot-10, a stretch 4, and if he’s able to round out his game and become something similar to what Lauri Markkanen was for the Wildcats this past season, then it would be a boon to U of A come 2018-19.