With Terrance Ferguson, the question has been whether or not he officially signed. When asked about the LOI, Miller didn’t want to get into anything about how these were done but did let us know that by talking about him, he signed something.
Ferguson and Miller have a history together, with the U18 USA team, which explains why he’s excited to have him on campus. “Terrance is as good as defensive play as I’ve seen at his age. Regarding his ability to shoot the basketball coupled with his ability to defend, he’s almost like an upperclassman in those two areas of his game.”
Miller and his staff will have to wait for a couple of months before getting Terrance in Tucson. This is due to Ferguson having been named as one of the participants in the 2016 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team training camp. Ferguson will be going for his fourth gold medal!
Kobi Simmons will be on campus soon, and Miller can’t wait. He compared Kobi to Russell Westbrook, with his explosion, talent, and ability to score. “There’s no denying his talent level, and he’ll be here in a couple of weeks.” With Kobi’s size 6’5″, he has the capability to play multiple positions, which is a trend with this team.
Miller mentioned he could see Kobi and Parker sharing the backcourt together at the same time. The coaching staff is raving about what type of player Kobi can be for this team. With the potential for small-ball, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move to the 3.
Rawle Alkins is, in Miller’s words, “New York City through and through.” What he meant by this is those coming from NYC had to compete and earn everything. Alkins is a big kid, tough, very physical, and truly believes in himself. “I love his fight and his will. This is something that our team needs that we missed a year ago.”
I think that statement is critical, and one to remember. My biggest critique of the team last year was that there were little fire and energy. When we lost Aaron, Rondae, and Stanley, this team lost all of their grit and intense personalities. If Rawle can embellish that role, and light a fire in the group, expect to see a high octane team.
Lauri Markannen is already in Tucson, participating in the pre-session. However, he will be heading back to Europe for the majority of the Summer. Miller informed us that Lauri has the opportunity to play for his age group and a training camp for his senior national team. But Miller is very excited about his potential. He referenced his size (6’11” 225 lbs 5% body fat), and his amazing shot. Miller expects him to be an impact player this year.
Lauri is the biggest question mark out of the four incoming freshmen. Miller and his staff light up when talking about Lauri. It’s not every day you get a 6’11’ athlete who can stretch the floor, shoot, and run. Miller is going to throw out both Lauri and Chance together, just watch.
Next: Incoming Transfers