Arizona men’s basketball missed out on a couple five-star recruits last week and have already lost two players to the 2015 NBA Draft, but its recruiting class looks like the Wildcats are reloading, not rebuilding.
Rivals and Scout have Arizona’s 2015 class ranked first, ESPN has it third and 24/7 Sports has it fifth. That’s without Ivan Rabb, who picked California over Arizona last week, and former UA target Stephen Zimmerman who chose UNLV.
Here’s the UA’s 2015 batch of freshmen:
Position: Shooting guard
Height and weight: 6-foot-4, 190 lbs.
From: Seattle, Wash.
High school: Findlay College Prep (Henderson, Nev.)
Scout: #17 overall, #2 shooting guard, #1 west shooting guard, #1 Nevada shooting guard, five stars
ESPN: #17 overall, #4 shooting guard, 90 grade, five-star
247 Sports: #14 overall, #2 shooting guard, #1 Maryland, 99 rating, five-star
Rivals: #13 overall, five-star
Trier is the jewel of the Wildcats’ recruiting class and potentially that big time scorer the UA has been lacking.
Trier played for the USA U18 national team with Stanley Johnson, in the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit. Trier was the West’s Most Valuable Player in his team’s 118-116 win at the Jordan Brand Classic after shooting 8-for-10 from the field and scoring a game-high 28 points.
“He has a natural way of scoring that’s really striking as a coach,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a press release. “He gets to the foul line as well as anyone I’ve seen at his age, and he has a physicality to his game that makes him incredibly efficient. He’s also a very good passer and can play more than one position, which makes him even better.”
Position: Small forward
Height and weight: 6-foot-8, 180 lbs.
From: Las Vegas
High school: Las Vegas High School
Scout: #14 overall, #4 small forward, #1 west small forward, #1 Nevada small forward, five-star
ESPN: #28 overall, #4 small forward, 88 grade, four-star
247 Sports: #9 overall, #4 small forward, #1 Nevada, 99 rating, five-star
Rivals: #12 overall, five-star
Smith didn’t play in any of the big three high school all-star games, but the recruiting services have him ranked just behind Trier.
Smith tore his ACL over the summer, but should be 100 percent by the time he enrolls.
“Ray is a terrific athlete who can really get up and down the floor,” Miller said. “He has the size you want as a small forward, and he can really pass, shoot and dribble. He’s a very skilled basketball player with great size.”
Position: Point guard
Height and weight: 6-foot-5, 185 lbs.
From: Temecula, Calif.
High school: Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.)
Scout: #20 overall, #2 point guard, #1 east point guard, #1 New Hampshire point guard, five-star
ESPN: #37 overall, #7 point guard, 87 grade, four-star
247 Sports: #46 overall, #7 point guard, #5 California, 97 rating, four-star
Rivals: #22 overall, five-star
A potential successor for T.J. McConnell can be found in Temecula, Calif. Simon is bold, his name on Twitter is “THE MAYOR” and his handle is @simon_Says_so.
“His disposition and length give him a chance to be very special defensive player,” Miller said. “Regardless of what position he plays, he’s an exceptional passer who really has a great feel for making his teammates better. He really fits our style of play in a number of different areas.”
Height and weight: 6-foot-10, 205 lbs.
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
High school: Beverly Hills High School
Scout: #46 overall, #13 center, #6 west center, #2 California center, four-star
ESPN: #90 overall, #14 center, 81 grade, four-star
247 Sports: #38 overall, #5 center, #4 California, 97 rating, four-star
Rivals: #33, four-star
Comanche is highly rated, but could be forced to redshirt or compelled to transfer if center Kaleb Tarczewski does, in fact, return.
“He loves the game and he plays hard,” Miller said. “As he gets bigger and stronger, the sky’s the limit because he already has a great feel and skill level. As somebody who can make shots, score around the basket and run the court, we love where he’s going to be in his future.”
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