Sunrise Christian Academy 7-footer Dusan Ristic announced Saturday afternoon that he has committed to play for the University of Arizona next year.
The Serbian high school senior playing in Kansas made his announcement prior to his school’s basketball game.
Ristic’s decision to come to Arizona is not much of a surprise. The Wildcats had been heavily recruiting the 240-pound center even before he moved to the United States.
If Ristic follows through with his commitment, he will be the second player from Serbia to wear an Arizona basketball jersey since the 2003-04 season.
2003-04 recruit Ivan Radenovic was the other Serbian to play for the Wildcats. Radenovic was named Arizona’s co-Most Valuable Player by his teammates after leading the team in rebounds his junior season.
What this means for Arizona next season?
Current Wildcat 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski has seen his draft stock rise over the past few weeks. If he continues the trend he is on and Arizona has a deep tournament run, Tarczewski could leave Tucson for the NBA after this season. This would leave a starting center position open for Ristic to battle for with current junior Matt Korcheck.
If Tarczewski opted to stay another season, Arizona could likely start two 7-footers on its frontline, pushing then-sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to either the small forward position or keep him as the team’s sixth man.
Ristic’s signing also means Zach Peters’ time at Arizona might be done. The fellow big man who transferred from the University of Kansas has barely seen the court this season for the Wildcats, mostly due to a preseason concussion issue. Peters is also still the only Wildcat yet to score.
Don’t expect Ristic to stay a Wildcat for long. The 18-year-old is a top-10 NBA prospect for the draft class of 2015.
–Follow Luke Della @LukeDella