The Arizona Wildcats began the new year with some fireworks.
Georgetown Hoyas transfer James Akinjo committed to the team just after the clock struck midnight on the West Coast. He announced the news on Instagram with the caption “Happy New Year. I’m 1,000 percent committed. Turn me up.”
The 6-foot sophomore point guard took an official visit to Arizona on Dec. 14, the weekend of the Gonzaga game.
Akinjo averaged 13.4 points, 5.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in 40 career games (39 starts) at Georgetown, while shooting 36 percent from the field, 36.1 percent from 3, and 81.2 percent from the free-throw line. He has 204 career assists to 115 turnovers.
The reigning Big East Freshman of the Year, Akinjo was the No. 90 player in his recruiting class coming out of Salesian College Prep in Richmond, California. He was considering Arizona but decided to head across the country to Georgetown instead.
It is unclear when Akinjo will be eligible to play for Arizona. He announced his decision to transfer seven games into the 2019-20 season, meaning he most likely won’t be able to suit at the start of next season, though he will undoubtedly apply for a waiver to try to make it happen.
That would be huge since Arizona will likely be losing freshman phenom Nico Mannion to the NBA Draft and will need a new starting point guard. Brandon Williams (assuming his knee is OK) and incoming four-star recruit Dalen Terry are options as well.
Landing Akinjo is also important because Arizona was running out of leads. As we outlined last week, there are not many high-caliber high school prospects left on the board, yet the Wildcats will have several roster spots to fill this offseason and only have two commits (Terry and Akinjo), meaning they will likely be major players in the transfer market.
Consider Akinjo a much-needed head start.