The Arizona Wildcats’ 2019 recruiting class is loaded with international prospects, and the 2020 class is already following suit.
The UA have picked up a commitment from Turkish point guard Derin Erdogan, according to PassionHoops and confirmed by a source close to the program.
Erdogan is a 5-foot-8 point guard who plays for the Turkish national team. The lefty averaged 11.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in the 2018 FIBA U16 World Championship, including a 20-point game against the Czech Republic.
Big Big Time News for the 2020 class!!! #theONE Lefty strong and savvy PG from Turkey Derin Erdogan has verbally committed to @ArizonaWBB. #Turkey #Beardown #Lefty #TheOne #SheGoesToWork #AZGlobalGrinding pic.twitter.com/zmYvwj4oTL— passionhoops (@passionhoops) November 28, 2018
Erdogan is UA’s first 2020 commitment. The Wildcats have signed four 2019 recruits, all of whom are from overseas, as Adia Barnes has proven she is willing to recruit anywhere to improve the talent level at Arizona. (A breakdown of the 2019 class can be found here).
Recruiting international players does come with the risk that they may never arrive on campus, which the Wildcats experienced this summer when five-star post player Valeria Trucco opted to stay home and play professionally in Italy rather than attend the UA.
“You have to worry about that,” Barnes said in September. “You don’t have to worry about it a ton, but it is a thing because at the end of the day, we’re asking a kid to come 20,000 miles away from home. … I think when you’re recruiting high-caliber players overseas, there’s always that chance.”
However, Barnes noted there is a similar risk when recruiting American players, especially with the new NCAA transfer rule implemented in October that allows student-athletes to transfer without needing permission from their current school.
Arizona has lost four players to transfer within the last several months, including freshman Shalyse Smith whose departure was announced Tuesday.
“You can recruit a kid and they can leave after a year,” Barnes said. “You’re going to see the transfer rules change so I don’t think it’s much different financially (to recruit overseas). It doesn’t cost that much more. People think it does, but when you’re going overseas you’re not paying for books and entries to competitions. Here you’re paying for all that. So it’s not like it’s that much more of an investment, but it’s just hard to keep players regardless nowadays.”