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Arizona basketball recruiting: 2018 five-star Emmanuel Akot verbally commits to Wildcats

The staff just added a big time talent as its first piece of the 2018 class

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga vs Arizona Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a month after visiting the University of Arizona for the first time, Emmanuel Akot has decided to call it home by committing to the Arizona Wildcats.

Akot’s recruitment has been a bit different than those who share his lofty rankings and skillset. Without much fanfare, he announced a final four of Arizona, Utah, Louisville, and Oregon last fall. Then, pretty much out of nowhere, he said he would be deciding between Arizona and Utah after visiting both schools.

He called his visit to Tucson “great” and loved the atmosphere at the game. The five-star also talked about how Miller will use him on the court.

“Coach Miller said he'll put the ball in my hands and will allow me to make plays but also expects me to be a great defender.”

This commitment gives Sean Miller his first recruit of the 2018 cycle and one that could theoretically speed up decision dates for some players worried they might be left on the outside looking in.

At 6-feet-8, 205 pounds, the wing has the ability to play nearly every position on the floor, something Miller will likely take advantage of. While his offense is still a work in progress, it is his defense that will make him a huge asset to this team.

Akot told Eric Bossi of Rivals, "I think I'm very versatile. I can score the ball and create for my teammates. My ability to pass is my best strength. I'm also a good defender."

Right now, the 2018 class is wide open, but it still revolves heavily around uber-prospect Marvin Bagley III who has already narowed his list to six schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Duke, Kentucky, Oregon, and UCLA. He unofficially does not have a leader but U of A is in good shape at the moment.

For now though, landing Akot and adding a dynamic piece to the puzzle this early helps Miller and his staff be able to better prioritize positions and skillsets moving forward.

If you’re curious who the 2018 targets are, I listed them out a few months back.

You can follow Alec on Twitter: @UofAlec