Another year in the books, another top 5 recruiting class for Sean Miller headlined by Deandre Ayton, the No. 2 overall recruit in the country.
Wildcats fans have been spoiled by Miller’s relentless recruiting from coast to coast. Especially, if the Rumors about Lorenzo Romar are true, Arizona basketball will even be more dominant in recruiting. Romar is one of the best recruiters of west coast talent in the country. With all the talent already committed next year, Miller is hopeful to add another scholarship player or two.
Wildcat fans are still playing the waiting game for the decision of Rawle Alkins and Allonzo Trier entering the NBA draft. When Miller recruits NBA talent each year he has to be prepared to lose players. Therefore, he has to continue to be a “savage” on the recruiting trail.
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It all starts with the number 2 overall player in the class, Deandre Ayton from Hillcrest Prep just two hours north in Phoenix. Ayton is 7-foot tall 235 pounds, he’ll probably put on another 15-20 pounds once he starts working out with our athletic staff. He is the highest ranked player to ever commit to Arizona (Stanley Johnson was ranked No. 3).
Ayton has been very vocal about winning a championship for Sean Miller and the Cats through twitter. Deandre just recently finished his high school career with a national championship along with tournament MVP honors.
In the championship game, Ayton had 29 points and pulled in a ridiculous 22 rebounds. They had to win four games in four days against the top schools in the country and Ayton was up for the challenge, hopefully giving Cats fans a glimpse into the future. Look for a big impact right away at McKale.
Another local kid is Point Guard Alex Barcello, from Corona Del Sol in Tempe. Barcello was the Arizona Gatorade Player of the year this past season. In fact, this is the second time he has won the award also winning it as a sophomore. He averaged 24 points per game with 5.8 rebounds and 3 assists. Barcello also plays very physical defense, similar to the legendary T.J. McConnell.
The third to commit is Shooting Guard Brandon Randolph from Yonkers, NY. Brandon Randolph will make this offense dangerous with his 3-point shooting and athleticism. Standing at 6-foot-6 he will be a mismatch for opposing offenses and defenses. With Kobi Simmons entering his name into the NBA draft, Randolph can slide right into that role. It was a no-brainer for Randolph to choose Arizona.
“I just felt like Arizona was the best fit for me,” Randolph said. “Had everything we were looking for in a school, both athletically and academically.”
The latest player to commit is strong forward Ira Lee, from Santa Monica, CA. Sean Miller has been recruiting Lee for three years and Lee also considers former UofA standout Stanley Johnson a mentor. Ira has so many ties to Arizona that it was inevitable he was going to end up signing with Arizona. Ira Lee is a very versatile forward that can spread the floor.
We caught up with Ira after a CIF Playoff game last month:
Not only does Arizona already have a top 5 class, but there are two very highly recruited players that still are yet to decide on where to play. A pair of 5-star players in Trevon Duval and Brian Bowen. With or without Duval and Bowen, this group is special and are so versatile. Wildcat basketball will be in great shape for years to come.