Arizona basketball fans will get their first chance to see five star Arizona commit Stanley Johnson play this weekend at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inaugural Hoophall West at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
The 6-foot-6 small forward is ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 100 and signed with Arizona on Nov. 15.
Johnson turned down offers from Kentucky, Florida, USC and Oregon to be a part of Arizona’s 2014 recruiting class. As a junior at Mater Dei High School, he averaged 19.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He is known for his large frame — 225 pounds — and ability to dominate the open court and power towards the hoop.
The high school basketball showcase will take place Dec. 13-14. Tickets are available at the Grand Canyon University arena and www.thehoophallclassic.com/west.
The Basketball Hall of Fame is bringing the high school basketball excitement to the west coast for the first time after much success with the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass.
“We are extremely excited to announce our high school basketball event expansion with the inaugural Hoophall West,” President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame John L. Doleva said in a press release.
Johnson will represent Mater Dei High School of California against four other top prep schools: Orange Lutheran of California, Bishop Gorman of Nevada, Oak Hill Academy of Virginia and Yates High School of Texas.
More information can be found on www.hoophall.com.
On Monday, the Pac-12 announced that it selected Arizona junior guard Nick Johnson as its Player of the Week.
Johnson averaged 17.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists last week, as the NIT Season Tip-Off Most Outstanding Player led the Wildcats to their record-tying fourth title.
He also was 14-of-17 from the free throw line in Arizona’s 66-62 win over Drexel and a 72-66 triumph over Duke last week.
Johnson was the third Wildcat to be named preseason NIT MOP, after Chris Mills in 1990 and Gilbert Arenas in 1999.
Five star recruit Stanley Johnson turned down offers from the likes of Kentucky, Florida, Oregon and USC to play college basketball at Arizona next season, earlier today.
The 6’6, 220 pound small forward out of Mater Dei High School in Fullerton, Calif. was the fourth to commit to head coach Sean Miller’s 2014 recruiting class. He joins point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, forward Craig Victor and guard Kadeem Allen, who is a junior college transfer.
The Wildcats now have the strongest recruiting class in the Pac-12 after getting Johnson, who is ranked ninth on ESPN 100 and sixth on the 247Sports Composite.
Miller is still working on a commitment from another five star recruit, Justice Winslow, but the 6’5, 208 pound small forward is considering offers from other elites in Kentucky, Kansas and Duke.
Arizona’s freshman forward Aaron Gordon was named on Monday to the watch list for the Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award given by the United States Basketball Writers Association.
Gordon is one out of three forwards and the only Pac-12 player on the watch list.
The now-freshman was a top-five recruit in the 2013 class and was MVP of the FIBA U19 World Championship.
Previous winners of the Tisdale Award include Chris Webber, Kevin Durant and Jason Kidd. The award will be presented on April 14 in Oklahoma City.
The Arizona women’s basketball team opens its season Saturday with a home exhibition game against Fort Lewis.
The game against the Division II Skyhawks will tip off at 3 p.m. It will be streamed on Pac-12.com.
This is Arizona’s first game without former UA star Davellyn Whyte. Last season the Wildcats went 13-18, 4-14 in the Pac-12.
Last season Fort Lewis, which is located in Durango, Colo., went 18-11, 16-6 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The Skyhawks earned a bid to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Tournament.
Arizona men’s basketball was No. 6 in the preseason AP poll unveiled Thursday.
The Wildcats, who are ranked No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches poll, earned their highest preseason AP ranking since 2003-04. Arizona is ranked in the top 10 of the AP preseason poll for the 14th time since the start of the 1987-88 season.
This is also the ninth time in the last 21 years that the Wildcats have been ranked in the top ten in both polls.
Arizona opens the season Fri. Nov. 8 against Cal Poly at home.
Arizona’s men’s basketball program earned a commitment from junior college All-American Kadeem Allen on Monday. Allen, a 6-foot-3 guard coming out of Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, is arguably the best junior college player in the country.
While Allen’s versatility and athleticism as a player have never questioned, his tenacity and work ethic have. The New Hanover, N.C., native led his high school team to two state championships in four years and averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds per game as a senior, but what his academics held him back from playing at a Division I school.
At Hutchinson, after averaging 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists for one of the top junior college programs in the nation, Allen was subsequently named an All-American and MVP of the Kansas Jayhawk Conference’s Western Division.
He will join point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright and power forward Craig Victor in next year’s recruiting class.
The Arizona women’s basketball team was selected to finish 11th in the Pac-12 conference this season by media members in preseason voting.
Arizona received 21 points in the poll, ahead of only Oregon in the preseason voting.
The UA returns nine players, including four seniors, from last season’s team that finished 10th in the Pac-12 with a 12-18 record.
Injuries have already hit Arizona, as head coach Niya Butts announced today that senior forward Alli Gloyd suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire season.
— Follow Roberto Payne @RPsportreporter
On Monday, the UA announced that it will broadcast the Red-Blue Game.
The intra-squad scrimmage, which sold out for the third year in a row, will be streamed for free. Fans who don’t have the Pac-12 Network can watch it too.
Arizona radio announcers Brian Jeffries and Matt Muehlebach will provide commentary starting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“Obviously, the experience of attending the Red-Blue Game is second to none,” head coach Sean Miller said in a press release. “This event is made special thanks in large part to the 14,545 fans who pack McKale [Center] to support our team. However, with the immense demand for tickets to this year’s Red-Blue Game, we felt that a webcast of the event would be a gesture to the many members of our outstanding fan base who aren’t able to attend.”
Last year’s McDonald’s Red-Blue Game had nearly 6,500 viewers and was the second-most viewed web stream by a Pac-12 school during the 2012-13 academic year, behind only the Wildcats’ exhibition victory over Humboldt State later that month.
The Red/Blue game will start at 3 p.m., with doors opening at 1 p.m.
In addition to the scrimmage, the UA will also feature a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Arizona’s 1994 Final Four team. Members of the 1993-94 squad will serve as judges for the slam dunk contest.
The UA announced Friday that men’s basketball assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson will be taking a temporary leave of absence due to health issues.
Richardson assured players and fans that he was in no grave danger.
“This is not a life or death situation, but nonetheless very important,” Richardson said in a press release. “I am very appreciative to be given the flexibility to temporarily step away from coaching and basketball, and to concentrate on my well-being. I want to thank Coach Miller, the Arizona basketball family, and the athletic department for allowing me this opportunity. I look forward to returning to the Arizona basketball program.”
Richardson is in his fifth season at Arizona.
“We support Coach Richardson’s decision to take some time off from his coaching duties,” head coach Sean Miller said in a press release. “ What’s most important at this time is that he takes care of himself. We will miss his contribution to our program, but giving him time away is the best thing we can do. We look forward to his return.”
Richardson plays an instrumental part in Arizona’s recruiting efforts and has played fundamental roles in landing many promising freshman like Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17