It's understandable everyone is head-over-heels in anticipation for Josh Jackson and Terrance Ferguson's impending announcements. They are two dynamic players who will bring a plethora of talent to whichever team they end up choosing. However, there are other players besides the two of them that can still make a difference.
To recap, it's looking like Kansas is in the driver's seat for Josh Jackson with the Arizona Wildcats all but out. ESPN's Jeff Goodman passed along the same sentiments earlier this week. Jerry Meyer also added that, while not verified, people believe Jackson wants to go to Michigan State, but his mother wants him at Kansas. Both Goodman and Meyer's comments are similar to what I've been hearing.
Jackson threw out a date of post-April 9 as a possible announcement date, which is two days away. Furthermore, national signing day is April 13, which leads me to believe it would probably happen in between April 9 and April 13.
For Terrance Ferguson, Arizona currently leads by wide margin on 247's Crystal Ball, but he will be taking some more visits. Many thought he would commit to Arizona after he visited, but he has since delayed a commitment. He talked about his upcoming plans in a Rivals interview:
"I’ve already taken unofficial visits to Kansas and Baylor so I probably don’t need to visit them. But North Carolina has really been trying to get in the mix and hitting me hard this last week so I am considering a visit to them and I've put them in my final six. I've also got Maryland who I visited unofficially and N.C. State too."
The interesting school is North Carolina. Not thought to be a factor early on, if North Carolina gets him on campus, it would be able to make a convincing argument coming off an NCAA National Championship game appearance.
Another reason to question how big of a lead Arizona has is the return of Allonzo Trier. With him back in the fold and arguably being the team's offensive go-to player heading into the 2016-2017 season, will Ferguson want to play on a team that has as many offensive options as the Wildcats currently do?
Sean Miller said in his press conference on Wednesday that he was expecting six or seven players for this recruiting class. Arizona already has three in the fold with Lauri Markkanen, Rawle Alkins, and Kobi Simmons.
That leaves three or four players to be added through a transfer or recruiting. Besides Jackson and Ferguson, we have Jordy Tshimanga who is visiting the University of Minnesota this weekend. The three-star prospect talked with AZDS in January about moving from Canada and finding his way into basketball.
This is the first visit Tshimanga has officially taken, and he had tried to get to Tucson for the final weekend of basketball in early March, but that fell through. I expect this recruitment to go through the month of April, unless he absolutely falls in love with the Golden Gophers.
Another player the coaching class is targeting is five-star international player Omer Yurtseven. At 6-foot-11 and 230 pounds, Yurtseven would sure up the post position after Kaleb Tarczewski and Ryan Anderson's departure.
Scout interviewed him at the beginning of March when he said he'd be taking his visits in June, meaning Arizona may not know their final piece until midway through summer workouts. According to Draft Express, Yurtseven is a projected top-10 NBA Draft pick in the 2017 draft, which shows the talent people believe he possesses. They also offered this analysis:
"Omer Yurtseven, a 6-foot-11 sturdy post prospect, is an impressive scoring post prospect. He's equipped with good hands and impressive touch around the basket. When he posts up he favors a right jump hook over his left shoulder. But it doesn't stop there. He does a good job of securing good post position on the block and finishes well with either hand at the rim. He can also face up and make a mid-range jump shot. His form and shot mechanics are good. Now his range doesn't extend deep, but with time and effort, he'll eventually be able to step out further. Yurtseven, although not an explosive athlete, is deceptive athletically, as he moves fluidly, runs hard and gets off the ground better than you'd expect on first glance. While his frame isn't overly thick, he does have a wide base and has a solid build. Yurtseven does a very good job rebounding his area and is especially effective as an offensive rebounder, as he pursues put back opportunities."
Besides Arizona, the Istanbul native is also considering Utah, Cal, Oregon, Miami, UNC, NC State, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mizzou, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, USC and Texas. In other words, it's still early in the recruiting process for him.
Going even farther off the radar is Robinson Idehen, a 6-foot-9, three-star center from California. Everyone knows Arizona needs front court help and, while they've offered Taurean Thompson last week, that might be seen as a long shot attempt to lure an east coast player to the west coast via a big brand name such as Arizona.
Scout's Josh Gershon caught up to the young man in early December, writing he's a "defensive specialist whose shot-blocking and rebounding ability give him value at the next level."
"I try to focus on rebounding, blocking shots, and finishing," Idehen said. "I'm getting better. I'm getting more and more comfortable."
As mentioned above, Arizona's staff reportedly offered Taurean Thompson of Brewster Academy, per the coach's tweet which we captured here. That tweet, however, has since been deleted, leading me to wonder if the offer is still out there. Regardless, we'll include him in this.
Thompson is an athletic four-star forward with the ability to shot block and run the floor. At 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds, he seems to be a raw player with an upside that could be harnessed with the right coaching staff.
Scout's analysis of him states:
Thompson is a player whose best basketball is clearly ahead of him. He has long arms, runs the floor extremely well, and also can step out and make a 15 foot jumper. He absolutely has to get stronger, but that should come in college. Also he is limited in terms of his basketball experience, so he has some rawness to his game, but the upside is through the roof.
With the options out there, Miller and his staff will be crisscrossing the country, attempting to lock down the remaining players they feel are crucial to a Final Four run many are expecting in 2017.