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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sean Miller has set up UA for success after this season


Arizona head coach Sean Miller directs a play during Arizona’s Sweet Sixteen win against San Diego State in Anaheim, Calif., last season. The Wildcats are ranked No. 2 overall in both the USA Today coaches poll and the AP Poll

There are few stalwarts in life, among which include: Death, taxes and Sean Miller securing top-level recruits, with the latter being the most important.

OK, maybe not, but you get the picture. All Sean Miller does is rake in highly rated recruits.

His latest recruiting victory came a few weeks ago when fast-rising 2015 power forward Chance Comanche committed to Arizona, adding to an already dominant 2015 class that includes five-star guard Allonzo Trier, four-star guard Justin Simon and four-star forward Ray Smith.

Miller is clearly bracing for a mass departure from this season’s roster, and rightfully so. T.J. McConnell is a senior, so he’s for sure gone after the year. Toss in the likely NBA early entry departures of sophomore Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, freshman Stanley Johnson and juniors Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski, and Miller has the right idea.

That’s the entire projected starting lineup gone after this season. Not to mention potential transfers like Elliot Pitts or even Craig Victor.

In essence, Miller’s mass recruitment makes a lot of sense and is far from finished. The Arizona coaching staff is still in on highly rated 2015 recruits Ivan Rabb and Stephen Zimmerman.

According to ESPN, Rabb is fifth and Zimmerman is 10th in the 2015 player rankings.

The Arizona coaching staff had an in-home visit with Zimmerman just a few weeks ago and definitely has to be considered one of the leaders for the 7-footer’s services. As for Rabb, Arizona held an in-home visit with the versatile power forward less than one week ago.

Both recruits play for the AAU powerhouse Oakland Soliders club team, which is the program Ashley, Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon all came from.

With the Wildcats already having four 2015 commits and Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson eligible to play next year, it’s highly unlikely both Rabb and Zimmerman end up playing in Tucson.

The Arizona coaching staff is still firmly entrenched with both recruits and has a great chance to secure a commitment from one of them. The question is which one?

Rabb is wiry strong and reminds me of Ashley when he came out of high school. Rabb’s length and quickness provide defensive advantages and fits perfectly into Arizona’s defensive scheme. If Rabb committed, he would essentially replace Ashley as the starting power forward next season.

Zimmerman, a 7-footer, is a matchup nightmare for opposing big men. He has the ability to stretch out the defense and is remarkably agile for a guy his size. If Zimmerman committed, he would likely replace Tarczewski as the starting center next year.

Arizona is one of the few programs in the nation where the coaching staff has the luxury of choosing exactly who it wants, and, barring a radical change, will likely do so in this situation.

Don’t expect any news on either front anytime soon either, as both should take their time announcing a college decision.
Regardless of who Arizona gets, it’s clear that the 2015 class will be among Miller’s best.

Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter @HouseofPayne555

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