A calendar year ago, the Arizona Wildcats had four commitments from high-school recruits and added a fifth when Zeke Nnaji pledged to the UA by the end of November.
Compare that to where they stand in the 2020 recruiting cycle and it is clear they are behind schedule. UA’s class currently consists of, and only, four-star wing Dalen Terry.
Eventually, head coach Sean Miller said he expects to sign “more than one” recruit by the time the early signing period comes and goes later this month.
Arizona’s top 2020 targets include:
- 4-star guard Adam Miller
- 4-star guard Kerwin Walton
- 5-star forward Ziaire Williams (who was on campus last weekend)
- 4-star forward Puff Johnson
- 4-star forward Dawson Garcia
One of the reasons Arizona is running behind schedule? All those transfers they spent time recruiting this offseason. You know, guys like Jordan Brown, Jemarl Baker Jr. and Max Hazzard.
There is also uncertainty looming over the UA program because of the ongoing NCAA investigation and the potential sanctions that could result from it. Perhaps that will be resolved by the spring, giving interested recruits a better idea of what their future at Arizona would look like.
It is also important to note that Arizona was short-staffed until June when it hired former NAU head coach Jack Murphy as an assistant.
“We had a lot of activity going on, and with that you’re not going to be as efficient from one (class) to the next,” Miller said.
When all is said and done, Miller expects the Wildcats to ink “four or five” players in the 2020 cycle. That makes sense considering they have to replace, at minimum, seniors Hazzard, Dylan Smith, Chase Jeter, and Stone Gettings. There is the chance that freshmen like Nico Mannion, Josh Green and even Nnaji declare for the NBA Draft as well. (Mannion and Green were recently projected as first-round picks).
As far as who their replacements will be, they could be some of the high-school recruits listed above—or they could be junior-college players and/or Division I transfers.
“They could come in different forms but we didn’t really expect to have a big early signing class,” Miller said. “We’re just doing the best that we can like always. It’s really no different than a year ago, two years from now, four years ago. Recruiting is recruiting. It’s very, very difficult. It’s challenging. One year doesn’t necessarily mirror the next, but the one common theme in the 11 recruiting classes that we’ve had, we’ve signed 61 players. So sometimes we’ve got a big class early of freshmen. We’ve had a blend. But 61 (recruits) in 11 years pretty much tells you that that’s where we’ll be when we get to the summer. Four or five.”