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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sean Miller strikes again in Arizona basketball recruiting

Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat Arizona men’s basketball head coach Sean Miller, left, talks to freshman forward Angelo Chol during the first half of the Wildcats’ matchup against the UCLA Bruins in McKale Center on Saturday, February 25, 2012.

Sean Miller, master recruiter.

After two straight top 10 recruiting classes, including this year’s No. 3 class, Arizona’s head coach has established himself as one of the nation’s best at getting top talent to come to the UA.

Thursday was national signing day, and Miller officially added some more top talent to the Wildcats for 2013 in five-star small forward Rondae Jefferson and four-star shooting guard Elliott Pitts.

With Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom graduating in May, Jefferson is expected to fill the vacancy at the three, and his skillset fits perfectly, according to Miller.

“He’s a warrior,” Miller said. “He’s similar to Solomon in that he can do a lot of things. He can handle the ball, I think he has a chance to be a great defensive player.

“He’s very unselfish, can pass, is a great teammate. He can be at a lot of different spots. His versatility is the greatest thing that he has going for him, and he’s a winner.”

Jefferson comes from Chester High School in Pennsylvania, where his team has won 58 games in a row.

As for Pitts, Miller said he doesn’t feel like Pitts is getting the credit he deserves.

“Part of it is physically, he’s a late developer,” Miller said. “I think he’s going to grow. He’s certainly going to be heavier once he gets here. The attributes we love about him as a player are he’s a great passer, he’s a good shooter and he can play at more than one position.”

Miller said he expects to add “one more, if not two more players” to the 2013 recruiting class, which is currently ranked as the No. 18 class by ESPN.

One other top recruit still considering Arizona is five-star power forward Aaron Gordon, who reportedly shrunk his list to three teams, including the Arizona.

Arizona’s frontcourt is pretty filled up with the additions of Kaleb Tarczewski, Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett this year, but securing the No. 1 prospect in the West would be an impressive coup for Miller.

The recruits:

Elliott Pitts

Height/weight: 6-foot-5, 190 pounds
Hometown: Dublin, Calif.
High school: De La Salle High School
Position: Shooting guard
Considered: Cal, Georgetown, Virginia and Washington
Stats: 16.0 points per game, 6.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists
Four-star, 91st by ESPN (23rd shooting guard)
Four-star, unranked by Scout (23rd shooting guard)
Three-star, 120th by Rivals (32nd shooting guard)

Rondae Jefferson

Height/weight: 6-foot-7, 215 pounds
Hometown: Chester, Penn.
High school: Chester High School
Position: Small forward
Considered: Florida, Memphis, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Texas
Stats: 12.1 points per game, 9.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.7 blocks
Five-star, 17th by ESPN (4th small forward)
Five-star, 12th by Scout (4th small forward)
Five-star, 19th by Rivals (4th small forward)

Aaron Gordon

Height/weight: 6-foot-7, 210 pounds
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
High school: Archbishop Mitty High School
Position: Power Forward
Considering: Arizona, Kentucky, Washington
Stats: 22.9 points per game, 12.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.1 blocks
Five-star, 7th overall by ESPN (2nd power forward)
Five-star, 6th overall by Scout (2nd power forward)
Five-star, 6th overall by Rivals (3rd power forward)

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