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5-star forward Ziaire Williams commits to Stanford over Arizona, USC, others

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BASKETBALL: JUNE 03 Pangos All-American Camp Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just like the experts predicted, five-star forward ZIaire Williams has committed to the Stanford Cardinal. He announced the news Sunday via Twitter, picking Stanford over Arizona, USC, North Carolina and UCLA.

Nobody seemed to have a good beat on Williams’ recruitment throughout the process, but late Saturday night, hours after Williams announced he would be committing on Easter, recruiting analysts overwhelmingly were convinced that Stanford would be the landing spot.

Williams joins a Cardinal 2020 recruiting class that previously ranked 40th in the country and also includes four-star forward Max Murrell and a three-star wings Noah Taitz and Brandon Angel. Stanford is also set to return a strong core of Oscar da Silva, Daejon Davis, and Bryce Wills, and maybe even freshman standout point guard Tyrell Terry who is testing the NBA draft waters.

If he returns to school, Stanford could be the favorite to win the Pac-12. The Cardinal went 20-12 this season, posting the seventh-best defensive efficiency in the country, though it’s worth noting that they are 0-19 against Arizona in the Sean Miller era.

The 6-foot-7 Williams is the No. 5 player in his class and was the top-ranked recruit left on Arizona’s board, which is quickly thinning.

The UA is one of six finalists for four-star Minnesota shooting guard Kerwin Walton, who will make his decision April 25. One expert recently predicted he will commit to North Carolina.

Arizona is also in the mix, so far, for two graduate transfers—Purdue center Matt Haarms and San Francisco wing Charles Minlend.

With four scholarship slots open, and an assistant coaching vacancy, the Wildcats have a lot of moves to make before the 2020-21 season tips off.