Just days after landing UNC-Asheville transfer Dylan Smith, the Arizona Wildcats have added another lanky forward -- this time it's Keanu Pinder, a 6-foot-8, 195 pound player from Hutchinson (KS) Community College, the same school that Arizona point guard Kadeem Allen played at before becoming a Wildcat.
Arizona Bound! pic.twitter.com/DVs5XnT3nP— Keanu Pinder (@KeanuPinder28) May 15, 2016
Pinder, a native of Perth, Australia, averaged 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this past season, and is known for being an athletic, defensive-minded player.
"He's a 6-9 highly skilled 3 man that can also play the 4," Hutchinson assistant Jay Cyriac told SNY.tv. "He was the Jayhawk Defensive Player of the year. A two-year starter, he will thrive under Sean Miller as Kadeem Allen did. He's very athletic."
Pinder, being a JuCo player, isn't required to sit out a year and will be eligible to play for Arizona right away. He has two years of eligibility left.
Pinder took an official visit to Arizona on May 8 and was also considering New Mexico, NC State, South Carolina, and Nebraska. Pinder committed to Nebraska in May 2013 before he went the JuCo route, and then was committed to New Mexico up until March 2016.
Defense is Pinder's calling card, and while he did score in double-figures at Hutchinson, he doesn't necessarily profile as a "3-and-D" player, as he hit just 9-35 (25.2 percent) of his 3-pointers this past season. Game footage of him is limited, but he appears to be a player that will make his offensive impact as a finisher in transition, on the offensive glass, or as a slasher in the half court.
Regardless, Arizona is loaded with offensive talent already and even if Pinder turns out to be a rebounding and defensive specialist with a so-so offensive game, he'll still be able to find some playing time, as we know Sean Miller will always find a way to get strong defensive players on the court.
Pinder is expected to be the last addition to Arizona's 2016 recruiting class.