Adia Barnes continues to dominate the recruiting trail.
The Arizona head coach reeled in another highly-touted recruit this week, as five-star international prospect Valeria Trucco committed to the Wildcats.
The 6-foot-3 forward becomes the second five-star recruit in UA’s 2018 class, along with 6-foot-2 forward Cate Reese, who is the No. 12 prospect in the class and the highest-ranked recruit Arizona has ever landed.
Trucco, from Italy, is rated as the No. 1 post player in Europe and is a member of the Italian National Team.
She chose Arizona over California and Georgia Tech and was heavily recruited by UA assistant coach Salvo Coppa, per PJ Brown of the Arizona Daily Star.
Coppa, Barnes’ husband, hails from Italy himself.
“For Arizona, Trucco has the potential to make an immediate impact both as an individual offensive threat as well as being a member of a class that compliments her game,” wrote Prospectnation.com’s Keil Moore.
“Current Arizona verbals Cate Reese and Shalyse Smith bring toughness, rebounding, and physicality to a frontline in need of those traits. Trucco, however, will be the finesse post. Offensively, Trucco is a versatile stretch four with some back the basket skill. She is most comfortable playing in space, making plays off the bounce, and shooting open jumpers. Having frontcourt players like Smith and Reese alongside a skilled forward the caliber of Trucco should make for an exciting interior combination in Tucson.”
On Tuesday, Arizona landed Purdue transfer Dominique McBryde, a 6-foot-2 sophomore forward, who was an All-Big Ten honorable mention this past season.
McBryde will have to sit out the 2017-18 season, before having two years of eligibility at Arizona starting in 2018-19 when Trucco and Reese arrive on campus.
Meanwhile, Smith is a three-star wing from Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, Wash.
“In addition to Trucco, Reese, and Smith, Arizona has a verbal commitment from Bryce Nixon, a wing with the ability to stretch the floor as a perimeter shooter,” Moore wrote. “With three impact frontcourt players, Nixon’s presence will be needed to help provide Arizona with a perimeter attack. Look for Arizona to stay active in the 2018 class as another guard will be a key for them to round out this class. Either a playmaking point guard or scoring wing that can create her own shot would be a welcomed addition to what has already become one of the elite recruiting classes in the country.”
Barnes, a UA alumna and the program’s all-time leading scorer, is entering her second season as the head coach at Arizona, as she attempts to turn around a program that has not had a winning season since 2010-11.
And with the way the 2018 recruiting class is shaping up, it’s safe to say Barnes is on the right path.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire