Despite a slow start, the Arizona Wildcats' 2016 recruiting class is expected to be a big one. The program already has commitments from two five-star prospects -- guard Kobi Simmons and forward Lauri Markkanen -- and eventually "four or five" more could be added, based on what Sean Miller said in January.
One of the program's targets is Rawle Alkins -- a five-star guard from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina (Alkins is originally from Brooklyn, NY).
Alkins, ranked 17th in ESPN's Top 100, has visited Arizona twice in the past few weeks. He took his unofficial visit when Arizona was hosting the Oregon schools, then took his official visit last week when the Wildcats faced off against the Los Angeles schools.
Of course, that means Alkins was in attendance when Arizona's 49-game home winning streak was snapped, but he wasn't discouraged because of that. Here's what Alkins wrote in his personal blog in USA Today about that plus a few other things about his visit:
"The first time I went I was there for the Oregon game when they lost at home. Before that game they were 49-0 at home and when they lost I was like man I don't want to be bad luck! Haha!
After the game those guys were in there crying and everything like that because it would've been Coach (Sean) Miller's 300th win.
Coach Miller was saying that he hopes this doesn't affect their recruitment of me, but I told him I love the fact that one loss is like the world ended! I love that because I'm a winner. And winning is the only option. Honestly, seeing their reaction to losing was a high point of the visit for me.
Coach Miller told me this one quote, he told me, "With team success comes individual success." That stuck with me. I think too many times we focus on the bigger picture, but to get to that bigger picture you have to go through tonight and tomorrow. That's what I love about Arizona, they never get ahead of themselves. That's what they're about."
Alkins clearly came away with a favorable impression of the program, and you'd have to think Arizona is a frontrunner for him right now. That said, he has officially visited UNLV and St. John's too, and still has two more official visits left at his disposal, though he wrote that he's unsure where those will be to.
The other programs known to be targeting him are North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, N.C. State, and Indiana. Alkins is expected to make his college choice sometime in the spring.