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Arizona the frontrunner for James Akinjo?

One analyst believes the Wildcats are the “team to beat” for the 2018 point guard

California v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats’ starting point guard job is up for grabs heading into next season, and that could be enough to lure one 2018 recruit to the desert.

Corey Evans of believes Arizona is the “team to beat” for 2018 four-star point guard James Akinjo.

Here is what Evans wrote in his weekly mailbag:

Patrick Ewing was the first head coach to see Akinjo after his release and the Hoyas look to be well-positioned but Arizona looks to be the team to beat. The Wildcats only have six scholarship players returning to next year’s squad, and the idea of 25-plus minutes per game as a freshman could be very enticing to Akinjo.

Akinjo initially signed to play at UConn, but he was released from his National Letter of Intent after the school parted ways with now-former head coach Kevin Ollie.

Arizona had an in-home visit with the Richmond, California native in late March, but there are several other schools after him.

Akinjo has been visited by Tennessee, Georgetown, Oregon State, San Diego State, and Cal in the last few weeks, and is expected to visit Tennessee and Georgetown in the next two weeks. He also has offers from Baylor, Gonzaga, Colorado, and others.

Akinjo is the No. 95 player in his class and No. 17 point guard. Standing at 6-feet, 160 pounds, he is known for his all-around game.

Akinjo led Salesian High School to a 30-2 record this season. His stats are unavailable, but in January he was averaging 24.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

If Akinjo attends Arizona, he would likely compete with rising sophomore Alex Barcello (and perhaps another 2018 recruit and/or a grad transfer or two) for the team’s starting point guard job.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire