The Arizona Wildcats turned east for a reliable, experienced guard last season in Justin Kier.
Could another east-coaster become Kier’s replacement?
Arizona is one of at least eight schools to express interest in St. Bonaventure grad transfer Kyle Lofton, a 6-foot-3 guard with one remaining year of eligibility. Other programs interested in Lofton are Purdue, Rutgers, Florida, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Seton Hall and Kansas State, according to Jon Rothstein of FanDuel (yes, sportsbooks employ reporters these days).
St. Bonaventure transfer Kyle Lofton tells me that he’s receiving interest from the following programs:
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 3, 2022
Lofton averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the Bonnies last season. Lofton shot 40.2 percent from the field including 28.2 percent from behind the arc.
His assists per game ranked 10th in the country. Lofton averaged 38.5 minutes, the third-most amount of playing time by any player in the country.
A native of Hillside, NJ, Lofton emerged as one of the top point guards in the Atlantic 10. He was named to the Wooden Award National Player of the Year Watch List and the Cousy Award Point Guard of the Year Watch List.
Lofton and the Bonnies accomplished something Arizona didn’t last season: beating Colorado in Boulder. St. Bonaventure upset the Buffs in the first round of the NIT before eventually falling to Xavier in the semifinals. Lofton had 15 points and eight assists in the win at Colorado. He played all 40 minutes.
Lofton would be a natural fit to replace Kier. Lofton’s natural position is point guard, but he would likely be forced to transition to more of an off the ball role alongside Kerr Kriisa. Lofton would give Arizona some needed insurance in the backcourt in the event Dalen Terry decides to remain in the NBA Draft.