The Arizona Wildcats have added a third member to their 2016 recruiting class. Rawle Alkins, a 5-star prospect from Brooklyn, New York, verbally committed to Arizona on Monday night.
He was also considering St. John's and UNLV.
The 6-foot-5 guard/forward is ranked 17th on both ESPN's Top 100, and 247Sports' National Composite list, and he joins a class already loaded with two other 5-star recruits -- Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkanen.
Here's what you can expect Alkins to bring to the table (via DraftExpress):
Alkins impressed on the offensive end with his ability to finish at the rim, create off the bounce, and move the ball to keep the offense flowing. He has a low, but consistent release point that allows him to knock down perimeter shots at a nice rate, and while he could stand to improve his ball handling ability, has a nice package of offensive tools.
Perhaps more importantly, Alkins is a terrific defender, using his strength and lateral quickness to hound ball handlers, crashing the glass at a terrific rate for a guard, and even providing some rim protection...thanks to his terrific leaping ability.
And here are some of his highlights:
Alkins visited Arizona twice, once in late January, and then again a couple weeks later in mid-February. He was in attendance when the Wildcats' 49-game home winning streak was snapped by Oregon, but when discussing his visits, he said the team's reaction to the loss was a "high point".
"I love the fact that one loss is like the world ended!," Alkins wrote in his personal blog. "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."
Kobi Simmons was also actively recruiting Alkins throughout the process, and Alkins was excited about the possibility of playing alongside him, he told ZagsBlog.com:
"I think [Simmons] is going to probably be the primary ball-handler, though, if I end up going there. They're talking about getting Josh Jackson, too, so if they get [Simmons], Josh Jackson, me and imagine if Allonzo Trier stays another year, so who knows?
Imagine that lineup."
Arizona's 2016 recruiting class, which, for a while, was completely bare, obviously now has three high-level prospects, and Sean Miller and company aren't finished yet.
Miller mentioned in January that he envisions the program adding "four or five" prospects when this recruiting year is all said and done.
"I have said it, and I'll say it again... we're just getting started," he said. "I believe that this class is going to be a good one, but we're going to point towards the spring, when all of the chips will fall."
And with the Alkins commitment, another chip has fallen indeed, and there are still more to come. Josh Jackson, often regarded as the best player in the 2016 recruiting class, has Arizona in his top three along with Kansas and Michigan State. He is expected to make his decision in late-March or April.
Meanwhile, 5-star guard/forward Terrance Ferguson recently de-committed from Alabama and Arizona appears to be in the mix for him as well, plus the Wildcats have offered Jordy Tshimanga, a raw, but physically-gifted center.
Alkins clearly won't be the final piece to the puzzle and, eventually, the once-empty 2016 recruiting class is going to be a monstrous one for Arizona.
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