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Can Caleb Love Find Enlightenment in Arizona?

TUCSON, Ariz. – Caleb Love finds himself in a unique situation at the University of Arizona. As he arrives for a preseason practice, Motown hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” play in the background, setting the mood. Love, known as one of the most polarizing players in college basketball, wears a long-sleeved shirt under his workout jersey and changes it halfway through practice to reveal the words “BE BETTER. BE DIFFERENT” on his base layer.

Love’s journey has been filled with highs and lows. He led North Carolina to the national championship game in 2022 but faced criticism for the team’s struggles the following season. After a failed transfer to Michigan, he found refuge at Arizona, where he sees it as his last chance to prove himself.

In a recent interview, Love reflects on his experiences and admits that the past setbacks have made him mentally stronger. He believes that going through those challenges was necessary for him to grow.

As Love celebrates his 22nd birthday with his family in Tucson, they enjoy a meal at Caruso’s, a restaurant known for its delicious Italian food. It’s a moment of joy and relief for Love, who didn’t expect to be in this position after his time at North Carolina.

Love’s journey took an unexpected turn when he had a meeting with North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis, hoping for honesty and shared disappointment but instead receiving uncertainty about his future. Love was deeply affected by this and had to figure out where to go next.

The failed transfer to Michigan only added to Love’s frustration. He had thought he would find solace in reuniting with Wolverines coach Juwan Howard, but it didn’t work out due to various reasons. It was another disappointing end to what should have been a fresh start.

Meanwhile, Arizona head coach Tommy Lloyd was reevaluating his team’s needs and searching for someone who could provide backcourt scoring. After a fortuitous turn of events, Love ended up at Arizona, where he was offered an opportunity to improve his game.

Lloyd emphasizes a specific style of play at Arizona, one that values efficiency and teamwork. Love is willing to embrace this philosophy and acknowledges that he needs help with shot selection, playmaking, and consistent defense.

Love and his new teammates have had to adjust to each other’s playing styles, but he is determined to overcome any negative perceptions of him. He understands that his reputation as a ball hog and a bad teammate is not entirely accurate and is willing to prove himself on the court.

Love is learning and adapting to his new team’s system at Arizona, including the importance of cutting and finding open teammates. He reflects on how he didn’t fully understand the concept of cutting before joining the Wildcats but now practices it daily.

Overall, Love is focused on reprogramming himself and proving his worth at Arizona. He sees this opportunity as his last chance to showcase his abilities and change the narrative surrounding him.

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