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Arizona men’s basketball adds two more international recruits: What this means for Brandon Williams

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat Arizona men's basketball head coach Sean Miller.

The international recruiting trail continues as Arizona picked up two more overseas commitments on Wednesday, May 27. The Wildcats added Lithuanian brothers Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis, making them the fifth and sixth international commits in Arizona’s 2020 class. 

Azuolas Tubelis is not only considered to be the better of the two, but ESPN describes him as one of the top European prospects among the 2020 recruiting class. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in the NKL in Lithuania and should slide right into Arizona’s rotation next season, playing alongside freshmen Dalen Terry and Ben Mathurin at the small forward position. 

“Their campus is amazing, they have great fans and they are among best universities in college basketball,” Azuolas told ESPN. “Arizona has had similar players, like Derrick Williams for example, who coach Sean Miller developed, and I believe that will help me. Their assistant coach, Jack Murphy, has followed me since the Basketball Without Borders camp in Chicago and built a strong relationship with us.”

Tautvilas Tubelis, Azuolas’ twin brother, played for Lithuania at the FIBA U16 European Championship while also spending four seasons playing in the U15, U16, U17 and U18 leagues for Vilnius Basketball School. Taulvilas also adds size and length to the roster with his 6-foot-7 frame. 

“I believe that league fits me well and I also get a chance to play together with my brother,” Azuolas told ESPN. “This is a great opportunity for him, which I think he deserves. The transition to [the] U.S. will be easier for me with my brother, so I am very excited to be able to play together with him once again.”

With the commitments of Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis, the Wildcats now have 13 players on scholarship — one over the NCAA limit of 12, meaning Brandon Williams might not be returning to Arizona next season.

In an interview with Zach Schumaker, host of the SchuZ Views podcast, in an Instagram live on May 17, Williams said “I’m definitely gonna play. It’s just a matter of where at this point.” 

Head coach Sean Miller furthered the suspicion of the potential departure when he discussed next season’s roster in an interview with Brian Jeffries, the University of Arizona director of broadcasting,  on May 7. Miller discussed and analyzed every player on the roster except for Brandon Williams and said that he might add two more recruits before the start of next season, which we now know he was referring to Azuolas and Tautvilas Tubelis. 

Here is the Wildcats’ updated 2020-2021 roster. 

  • James Akinjo
  • Jemarl Baker Jr.
  • Daniel Batcho 
  • Jordan Brown 
  • Terrell Brown 
  • Tibet Gorener 
  • Christian Koloko 
  • Kerr Kriisa 
  • Ira Lee
  • Ben Mathurin 
  • Dalen Terry 
  • Azuolas Tubelis 
  • Tautvilas Tubelis 
  • Brandon Williams

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