As Arizona Basketball took six international recruits for 2020, could the Wildcats soon be starting to recruit internationally more frequently?
A Players Program is steadily becoming an international program, and that’s by no means a bad thing. As Arizona Basketball fans, we will gladly take any solid player from anywhere.
As basketball has seen a steady increase in international talent and overall presence, it’s natural to see it start to blend in more with the college game as well.
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More frequently you are starting to see international players go the college route, and this recruiting cycle was particularly interesting to follow, especially as six of Arizona’s seven committed kids were from other countries. Those countries being; Canada, Lithuania, Estonia, France and Turkey
Even then, our international presence doesn’t start there! Under Sean Miller, we have had; Deandre Ayton (Bahamas), Lauri Markkanen (Finland), Josh Green (Australia), Nico Mannion (Italy), Dusan Ristic (Serbia), Keanu Pinder (Australia), Angelo Chol (South Sudan) and Kyryl Natyazhko (Ukraine).
Now granted not every player ended up being a high-level contributor, but the international presence is there, and it was surely there under Lute Olson as well.
With Arizona already taking so many international players already for 2020, I wouldn’t expect that trend to stop either. There is so much talent in the class of 2021 and beyond, and Arizona is already making major progress on the recruiting trail. Here are a few international players that have been offered by Miller and the Wildcats so far!
Moussa Diabate ★★★★★
Power Forward, IMG Academy - Bradenton, FL
247Sports Composite: 0.9961
Natl Comp: 9
Pos PF: 4
Originally hailing from France, Moussa Diabate is easily one of the best players in the class of 2021, and interestingly enough he’s a friend to current Arizona commit, Daniel Batcho.
Moussa already has offers from; Maryland, Memphis, Florida State, Michigan and Texas Tech among numerous others and his recruitment is continuing to grow as well.
He is a good athlete with solid interior game, with great rebounding, and good rim protection skills. Moussa is aggressive down low, showing nice touch and feel around the bucket, and he will continue to develop as he gets older and his shot develops more!
Alex Tchikou ★★★★
Power Forward, Dream City Christian High School - Glendale, AZ
247Sports Composite: 0.9843
Natl Comp: 40
Pos PF: 10
Playing just up the road, Alex Tchikou is another player for the class of 2021 that is an intriguing prospect. He hails from France, but since coming to the US to play High School ball, he has seen his recruitment soar.
Already receiving attention from Oregon, Alabama, Arizona, ASU, Baylor, Georgetown and Florida among others, he is a very solid prospect in the class for 2021.
Alex is a long, talented athlete with great size and length to make him a very versatile player. He very much falls into that stretch forward category where he can score at all three levels, and he also shows good upside as a defender as well.
Caleb Houstan ★★★★★
Small Forward, Monteverde High School - Monteverde, FL
247Sports Composite: 0.9971
Natl Comp: 7
Pos SF: 2
Hailing from Canada, Caleb Houstan is one of the best players in the class of 2022, and he is already drawing a lot of interest from some major programs including; Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina and now Arizona as well.
Caleb is a skilled forward in the class and he’s only going to continue to improve as well. He is a very skilled scorer, showing great range from all over the floor and is even deadly from three.
He is smooth with the basketball, can play above the rim and will be a nice addition for anyone who is able to get a commitment from Caleb!
Sadraque Nganga ★★★★★
Power Forward, Compass Prep - Chandler, AZ
247Sports Composite: 0.9947
Natl Comp: 15
Pos PF: 3
Already one of the best prospects for 2022, Sadraque Nganga hails from Angola and is steadily climbing the ranks on the recruiting trail. Playing just up the road at Compass Prep in Chandler, AZ Nganga has offers from; Kentucky, Kansas, Auburn, Maryland, ASU and Arizona among others.
He is a talented stretch forward who can play inside as well as he can play outside, and in addition to his solid offensive game, Nganga is a very skilled defender as well. He is long and athletic, he has good instincts and his size size and length to disrupt shots
Sadraque is definitely a high major prospect and he is going to be a good player at the next level!
ND Okafor - N/A
Forward, NBA Academy Latin America - Mexico City, MX
| Height: 6’7″ |
247Sports Composite: N/A
Natl Comp: N/A
Pos F: N/A
One of the more intriguing prospects in the class of 2022 is Ireland forward, ND Okafor. Arizona recently offered and was smart to do so, as he is going to see his recruitment explode in my opinion.
He will soon be playing at the NBA Academy Latin America, the same Academy Arizona commit Ben Mathurin came from, and I imagine the competition he will face will only help him to continue to get better.
He already has a lot of upside, especially as Okafor went off at the 2019 FIBA U16 Tournament. In the eight games he played in, he averaged 16.1 points, 14.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game.
ND is a gifted athlete with good strength and length, he’s explosive, he’s aggressive and can be a dominate force down low.
At Zona Zealots, we’re excited to see how the 2021 and 2022 classes continue to develop and see if the Wildcats will stay aggressive in recruiting international players! As always, Bear Down, Arizona!