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Arizona basketball recruiting: Wildcats in contact with 2018 small forward Jaylen Hoard

One of the top players in the 2018 class grew up liking Arizona while living in France.

UNLV v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With college a year out, Scout.com’s seventh-ranked player Jaylen Hoard made the jump across the pond to attend high school in the United States after growing up in France.

At 6-foot-8, 195 pounds, Hoard was named an international MVP in the 2015 Jordan Brand International game. Ever since, he’s been a rising prospect that Scout considers a ‘big-time scorer,’ and has great ‘body control,’ ‘versatility’, and ‘scoring prowess’.

He sat down with Scout to talk about his recruitment lately and mentioned some schools who had reached out lately. Lo and behold, the Arizona Wildcats were included. Even more interesting was how the wing said that Arizona has been a team he followed growing up.

Here’s part of the interview:

Evan Daniels: I know you’ve heard from quite a few schools at this point, how’s that whole process going?

Hoard: It’s been going well. They don’t talk to me. They talk to my dad and my coach, so I don’t really know a lot of what’s going on.

Daniels: Do you know some of the schools that have reached out?

Hoard: Recently Texas Tech, Texas and Arizona

Daniels: Any schools that you grew up liking?

Hoard: I grew up liking Duke, Arizona and Kansas

While it’s no surprise Arizona is an international brand considering their history of success - albeit no National Championships since 1997 - it is interesting to hear a young man who grew up in France list the team unprompted.

Sean Miller and his staff has had success going internationally with Dusan Ristic and now Lauri Markkanen. Nabbing Hoard would be a huge step in another top-tier class (yes, I’m already assuming 2017 will be top-tier even though Arizona has no commits at the moment).

While the Frenchman has a knack for getting to the rim, he will look to work on his jump shot and ball handling while at Wesleyan Christian Academy in North Carolina. He’ll also work on bulking up from a sub-200 pound frame that would take a beating at the next level.

While this is just a quick highlight tape, he reminds me of Aaron Gordon with a better looking (mechanics wise and results wise) jump shot. He also had no problem getting to the hole against FIBA U17 competition.

I can’t imagine Sean Miller backing off of recruiting this young man with the potential he possesses.

You can follow Alec on Twitter @UofAlec for Arizona Wildcats basketball recruiting.