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Arizona basketball recruiting: A look at the Wildcats’ 2018 recruiting targets

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Who could commit to Arizona from here on out?

2017 CIF Southern Section Boys Open Division Championship
Bol Bol
Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Three commits are on the board for the Arizona Wildcats in 2018 so far, which means two, three even four more recruits could still be added by Sean Miller and company.

“I would say that we will sign a minimum of five players by the time we get into the spring, but I would say probably six maybe seven,” Miller said recently.

With point guards Jahvon Quinerly and Brandon Williams already committed, and Alex Barcello already on the roster, the Wildcats are done adding at the point guard position for the foreseeable future.

This means we turn out attention to the wing and post positions.

The following is who the staff is still targeting with the first three listed as most likely to commit. After the top three, it starts to get dicey with so much still up in the air.


Bol Bol

At 7-foot-2 and possessing an outside stroke, it’s easy to see why Bol Bol is one of the most heralded players in his class. He’s ranked fourth overall and second at his position. Last month he said he was planning to visit Arizona, Kentucky, and Oregon.

Arizona has an upper hand in this recruitment, though. He’s good friends with Shareef O’Neal and Shaq’s son has been in his ear constantly. I think he ends up at Arizona.


Naz Reid

Quinerly’s teammate on his AAU SportsU team is now down to just two schools: LSU and Arizona.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound versatile big man would give Arizona a quality defensive presence as well as a player who can step away and hit a long two. He’s already visited LSU and will be visiting Tucson on Sept. 8.

The scenarios could not be different for Reid. If he goes to LSU, he can be the star. Or, he can come to Arizona and join a program with all but a guarantee to reach the second weekend in March, as well as play in front of adoring fans.

However, Reid likely won’t be “the man” at Arizona, which might be an issue. Furthermore, Arizona’s ability to develop big men (or not, there’s an argument for both sides) might be an issue to keep an eye on.


Nassir Little

Little recently unveiled his top five and it included Arizona along with Duke, North Carolina, Miami (FL), and Georgia Tech. The electric wing will be at the Red-Blue game along with a handful of other recruits. The five-star wing has also mentioned that he’s good friends with Shareef O’Neal.

The staff has undoubtedly made Little a major target and will once again go head to head with Coach K and Roy Williams. But don’t count out Georgia Tech (maybe he wants to be a science major...?).


Quentin Grimes

Grimes has Arizona in his top 7 and has indicated he plans to officially visit the campus. Usually we would pencil him in for the Red-Blue game, but Grimes was at last year’s event so this could allow him the opportunity to check out a football game this time around.

However, the 6-foot-4 Texas native is a point guard,,and with Quinerly and Williams already on board, is there room or him? Probably not as the main ball handler. But, with his size, he could probably play off the ball, which is what the staff has been telling him, according to MadeHoops.com.

“They are deep, they have a lot of depth at the guard and big man position. They would definitely complement me because I can play the one, two or maybe the three so I definitely think it would work out well.”

The staff has been on him for his entire high school career ,so I wouldn’t rule out a single commitment ending things but with two point guards in the class and Barcello already in the mix, there may just not be enough room.


R.J. Barrett

With Arizona in his top five, the Wildcats will be getting a visit from Barrett, though no dates have been set yet. Scout.com’s Evan Daniels recently said that Arizona has positioned itself nicely in this recruitment.

“In terms of favorites on that list, I think it’s kind of early, but Arizona and Duke have done a really good job of recruiting him,” Daniels said. “I’d hate to say there are favorites, but if I was going to guess, I’d say those two are maybe out front right now. There’s a long way to go, though, and he’s in the process of setting up visits. I think those are coming very soon, and the recruitment will really take shape from there.”

Daniels also talked about Barret’s talent level to SECCountry:

“With R.J., it’s his ability to score. He’s a tremendous scorer — got good size, got good length, he’s a good athlete — and the scary thing is he’s not a good shooter yet. As good of a scorer as he is, he’s not a good shooter, so there’s room for improvement.”


Simi Shittu

With Arizona in his top 10, Shittu’s recruitment seems pretty wide open and no visits have been set yet. Sea of Blue, Kentucky’s SB Nation site, believes this comes down to Oregon or Kentucky. This would make sense if you put Bol Bol and Naz Reid in the Arizona column, that’s not much more room for a big man.


Zion Williamson

Known for his rim assaults, Williamson also said he’s planning to visit Arizona though that’s looking like it might just be a way to get a free trip to Tucson. Regardless, it’s a good chance for the staff to make an impression on him. We don’t have a visit date set and we’ll see if it ever materializes.

The wing is 6-foot-7, 230-pounds is built like a linebacker but will definitely need to work on his outside jump shot in order to dominate at the collegiate level.


Bryan Penn-Johnson

A tremendous shot blocker who is rising fast in the recruiting rankings, Penn-Johnson isn’t close to releasing a list but has said Arizona’s Sean Miller is one of the coaches he’s built the best relationship with. While this could easily change (see Brian Bowen’s commitment fiasco), the big man is eyeing a January decision date.

AZDS talked with his future coach over the summer if you’d like to learn more about the seven-footer.


Jordan Brown and Moses Brown

Arizona has been targeting these two for some time, but their respective camps keep it very tight lipped. With little information out there, there’s not much I can out but I wanted to make sure they were included as both are big time centers.

It’s highly doubtful both would commit, but landing one of these twin towers would give the Wildcats a major defensive presence.


Nate Laszewski

He received his Arizona offer at the beginning of August and is currently ranked 101st in the country. However, he’s trending in the right direction after being 125th just three weeks ago.

Laszewski has also recently been offered by North Carolina and Virginia, so the bluebloods are finally coming around to the 6-foot-10 sharpshooter.

At Adidas Uprising, he averaged 8.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in 22.2 minutes per game. He shot 48 percent from behind the arc (12-25) and 45.5 percent (15-33) overall. This probably isn’t a recruitment Arizona wins (or even has room for) but we’ll keep this here for the time being.


Where we are now

Committed

  • Jahvon Quinerly, point Guard, 15th overall
  • Shareef O’Neal, power forward, 30th overall
  • Brandon Williams, point guard, 39th overall

Follow Alec Sills-Trausch on Twitter at @UofAlec