What a 24 hours for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats.
With Rawle Alkins announcing his return to Tucson on Sunday, Emmanuel Akot kept spirits soaring in McKale (and surely around Wildcat Nation) as he announced he would reclassify from the 2018 class to 2017.
“After much thought, my family and I have decided to join the 2017 class and become a member of the Arizona Basketball family next season,” Akot tweeted. “I would like to thank those who helped me through my high school career, and I can’t wait to join A Players Program. BEAR DOWN.”
“My family and I thought I was ready,” he told Rivals about his decision to go to U of A next season. “The coaching staff believes in me and I'm going to a great program so I'm going to get better every day and will have the chance to play on a great basketball team.”
Akot, a five-star ranked in the top 15 of the 2018 class, will be able to immediately contribute to the Wildcats next season as one of the first players off the bench. At 6-feet-8 inches, the Canadian-born wing will give the Wildcats a player who can both get to the rim well and knock down shots from the outside.
Additionally, he already understands what it means to play for a Sean Miller coached team and the focus it takes on the defensive side of the ball.
“I see myself coming in and being a defensive stopper right away,” Akot added to Rivals analyst Corey Evans. “My versatility on offense and my passing ability will also help the team. I just want to win and will do whatever I have to do to win.”
We talked with Akot’s coach, Curtis Condie, after his commitment in March and he said the five-star has already begun to bulk up and get the size needed to play college ball.
“He's going to get bigger but he’s already gotten bigger and he has really adapted to the weight room.”
So even though he’s listed at 190, plus or minus on most recruiting sites, it wouldn’t surprise me if he came in over 200 pounds thanks to a summer with the Arizona strength and conditioning staff.
Akot joins DeAndre Ayton, Alex Barcello, Brandon Randolph, and Ira Lee in the 2017 class along with transfer Chase Jeter who should push the team in practice while he sits out due to NCAA transfer rules.
Arizona is also out of scholarships so you can put to rest any idea of Brian Bowen or Cameron Johnson committing to the program.
You can follow Alec on Twitter: @UofAlec