On Monday afternoon, word came out that Jordy Tshimanga had received an offer from the Arizona Wildcats and Sean Miller.
Just heard that Jordy Tshimanga (6'10" PF-C, MacDuffie School), one of the better unsigned big men out there, got an offer from Arizona.— Phil Kasiecki (@PhilKasiecki) January 25, 2016
It was no coincidence that Tshimanga, a 6'11", 250 pound big man originally out of Montreal, was offered a scholarship just mere hours before Australian big man Harry Froling announced he would play for Larry Brown and the SMU Mustangs, ending his recruitment with the Wildcats.
On Tuesday, I confirmed that the offer had been made, by Sean Miller himself, when I talked to Jordy's older brother Yannick.
The first thing to note about this family is how humble and down to earth they are. Multiple times Yannick spoke of being "grateful for what we have," as three years earlier, Jordy wasn't even playing basketball.
In fact, three years ago he was 320 pounds, in Canada speaking French, and not on the path towards a collegiate scholarship, let alone a place like Arizona.
At that point in Jordy's life, his brother Yannick moved him into the United States, and enrolled him in the MacDuffie School in Granby, Massachusetts to hopefully put him on a more fruitful path.
Three years later, Tshimanga, a raw three-star prospect, has over ten offers including Arizona, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Providence, Nebraska, Central Florida, Purdue, Colorado, LSU, Grand Canyon, and Iowa State. Providence was the first to offer and Yannick said Iowa State was "highly interested."
There are two things to credit for this turn around and that is Jordy's "work ethic" along with "taking nothing for granted." One example of the work ethic he possesses are his goals for the 2015-2016 senior season. Jordy wants to lead the country in rebounds and the most loose balls dived for.
Think about that.
A 6'11", 250 pound man wants to have the most number of loose balls dived for in the United States. That right there is hustle every coach in the country wants to see.
The rebounding part I think he'll have a good shot at. He averaged 15 rebounds a game last year and at the most recent Hoophall Classic, he pulled down a whopping 19 rebounds, while adding in 13 points and three blocks in one of his games.
When asked about Jordy's offense, his brother said the forward has a nice touch on his jump shot out to 15 feet, though many won't see it, stating "the (NCAA) game is changing where big men are asked to do more rebounding and post moves than outside jump shots." He even ventured a comparison, saying Jordy was a "baby Zach Randolph."
Furthermore, Jordy's strengths include "controlling the boards and finishing around the rim" along with a great motor. Without stating the obvious, those are three traits coaches look for when recruiting post players.
The older brother continued, saying how being a lefty puts Tshimanga at an advantage as many defenders aren't used to guarding a lefty, especially one down low.
On the recruiting front, Yannick had only positive, glowing responses about the University of Arizona. He said Book Richardson was the lead recruit and in classic Book fashion, already had ties to Tshimanga through one of his former coaches. He continued saying the coaches had been in contact with Jordy for the past few years but wanted to see more development before moving forward with an offer.
It's apparent they saw what they needed.
According to Yannick, Miller said Jordy is the "need Arizona is looking for," as Arizona will be losing its center, power forward, and small forward next season.
When asked about what attracts them to Miller and the Wildcats, he spoke multiple times on how Arizona plays the best teams and the competition would be great for Jordy's development, stating what every U of A fans knows; "whoever Arizona plays, that team gives its all against them."
He also said Miller has the ability to elevate Jordy's game to the next level thanks to being surrounded by the top players at practice each and every day. Yannick also said Arizona's coach brings out the best in players, something Arizona fans have seen countless times the past six years.
Off the court, academics are also a big part of Jordy's mindset, which is why he wasn't on the AAU circuit. When he came to the U.S. in high school, Tshimanga spoke only French, meaning he's had to learn a new language and achieve passing grades in school necessary for the NCAA Clearinghouse. Though I didn't ask, I'm under the assumption both of those areas are not of a concern.
He's currently waiting to take the ACT and wants to follow in his brother Yannick's footsteps and study psychology. The center is attracted to that major due to enjoying the study of the human mind and interactions with others, something he feels will help him in the game of basketball.
As of right now, the recruitment is wide open and no visits are currently planned, though that could soon change as college basketball recruiting is a very fluid process.
The family is just happy to be in the position they are and I'm very appreciative to have had the chance to talk with Yannick and learn more about his younger brother.
I wish them the best going forward and hope to see them and Jordy's propensity to hit the floor to get a loose ball in McKale next season.
In other news....
Rawle Alkins is in town this week for an unofficial visit to the University of Arizona. Yes you read that right, unofficial which means he is paying his way. Flight, hotel, everything.
Heading up to the west coast tomorrow for an unofficial visit to Arizona ✈️✈️— Rawle Alkins (@Iam_RawleAlkins) January 26, 2016
This shows how serious Alkins is about playing for Sean Miller and the Cats. Overall, this trip is probably costing close to $1000, which is hardly pocket change for most of this country's population.
Make sure to pay close attention to this recruitment (as well as Tshimanga's) as it could move fast now that he's seeing Tucson and the campus at probably the best time of the year -- Wednesday's weather forecast is sunny and 67.
Another perfect day to Beardown.
If you missed part one of the recruiting update, you can find it here. I talked about the ongoing recruitment of Josh Jackson and Rawle Alkins, as well as the two current commits Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkanen.
You can follow Alec on Twitter as he offers his take on Arizona Wildcat Athletics and Recruiting: @UofAlec.