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4-star center Emmanuel Stephen commits to Arizona over USC, others

arizona-wildcats-mens-basketball-recruiting-emmanuel-stephen-commitment-2024-bryant-phillips Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Heading into his first two seasons coaching Arizona, Tommy Lloyd had secured a commitment from one prep player apiece. A little more than a month before his third season begins, he’s already got three lined for the following year.

4-star center Emmanuel Stephen has committed to the Wildcats, picking them over finalists Kansas, Miami (Fla.), Michigan and USC. He made his commitment official Tuesday on 247Sports’ YouTube channel.

The 7-foot, 215-pound Stephen, who plays for Dream City Christian in Phoenix, is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 84 player in the Class of 2024 as well as the 14th-best center and the No. 4 prospect playing in Arizona. Second among in-state recruits is 4-star guard Jamari Phillips, who committed to the UA last December.

Stephen was among a handful of recruits who attended Arizona’s Red-Blue Showcase on Friday, whee he saw incoming freshman guard KJ Lewis win the dunk contest. Lewis was the only member of the UA’s 2023 recruiting class to sign last November, while the only 2022 recruit to do so during the early period was sophomore center Dylan Anderson.

Assuming they all sign next month—the early period begins Nov. 8, two days after Arizona’s opener against Morgan State—the Wildcats will already have three players lined up for the 2024-25 season. The third is 5-star forward Carter Bryant, who committed in April.