It doesn’t seem to matter when or how Sean Miller assembles his annual recruiting class.
One thing is for sure; it’s going to be nationally revered.
This year’s class, for the most part, was assembled early - a far cry from the 2016 class that for the longest time featured some gangly Finnish prospect who people knew next to nothing about. (Whatever happened to him?)
While the spring did have its excitement thanks to the monthly ‘Brian Bowen expects to commit by ____,’ Emmanuel Akot committing and then really committing, landing Chase Jeter, the one percent chance U of A might’ve scored Trevon Duval, and lastly, the ‘who will leave, who won’t leave’ NBA Draft script, the majority of the class was wrapped up by the time the turkey came out of the oven last Thanksgiving.
This just goes to show that no matter how Miller goes about his recruiting process, it works.
For the fifth time in six seasons, Miller has assembled a top three recruiting class (always behind Kentucky and Duke) but this one has a different feel to it - at least it does as I write this on the last day of May.
Now twenty years removed from its last National Championship and 16 seasons from its last Final Four, Tucson is restless.
The staff, seen in Sean Miller’s ditching of Twitter, is likely restless or simply annoyed. *
*Or maybe he just really hates Twitter, but something - err some people - irked him the wrong way.
Everyone desperately wants a Final Four berth with a national championship ‘cherry’ on top.
While last season’s class was disrupted by Terrance Ferguson’s decision to head Down Under, this class, if it fully materializes as expected, will have a weight on its shoulders that may have never been felt before; at least in this millennium.
No team in the nation has had the recruiting success Coach Miller and Arizona has had in the last decade without the hardware to show it.
This team, with four returning starters, an uber-talented big man, and athletic wings that fill the rest of the holes, Miller has the pieces that point directly towards San Antonio.
Now, this is hardly the first or last article that will harp on the talent that Arizona Basketball currently possesses. But with the entire national 2017 class set in stone - minus Bowen who, for all I know, will never, ever commit (though doubtful), U of A is cemented in the third spot once again. (If Bowen somehow picks Texas, then please take this article out back and burn it because they will likely jump the Cats.)
Sean Miller did his part off the court, the time now comes for the work to happen on it that will determine if this team will go down in Arizona lore or be another team that leaves something to be desired.
With 2017 in the rear view, let’s turn our focus towards the 2018 class that is back down to one occupant, Shareef O’Neal. Most of these updates are somewhat recent and if they aren’t, by chance, please save the pitchforks for later.
- Gerald Liddell cut his list to seven, including Baylor, California, Texas, UCLA, Oregon, and SMU along with Arizona.
- Taeshon Cherry also trimmed his schools, this time to eight. He’s riding with Oregon, SDSU, Texas A&M, USC, Florida State, Gonzaga, UCLA, and Arizona.
- Jahvon Quinerly cut his list to seven. Along with the Wildcats, he has Villanova, UCLA, Seton Hall, Stanford, Kansas, and Virginia.
- Immanuel Quickley cut his list and did not include the Cats. I’m not sure how hard the staff was going after him but it appears it wasn’t too hard as Arizona doesn’t usually get knocked off this early.
- Devin Dotson is likely to include Arizona on a soon-to-be released list. He told ESPN that the Wildcats have made him a priority.
- Simi Shittu, a friend of Emmanuel Akot, is hearing from U of A. Shittu says of Arizona, “Very nice school, My friend. Emmanuel Akot is going there, he reclassed. They’re in contact here and there. And the coach from Washington [Lorenzo Romar] is there now, he’s an assistant.”
- I might have mentioned it but Naz Reid has U of A in his first top-10.
- 2019 guard Josh Green isn’t in any rush on the recruitment side but does tell Scout.com, “Arizona is a great school with a great coaching staff. I have been down there before and Arizona has a great environment also. It’s just a great school overall.”
- At the bottom of this article, Brandon Williams talks about his rehab. Says “everything is going fine” and goal is to be back on the court in July.
- Jairus Hamilton says Arizona is coming hard at him along with UNC, Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky.
- The first “session” (for a lack of a better word) of AAU ball ended and this link has some updates on Marvin Bagley, Bol Bol, and others.
- Below is Shareef O’Neal and Bol Bol doing as they please.
You can follow Alec on Twitter: @UofAlec