The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

66° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Versus Column: Should Arizona fans be worried about empty 2016 recruiting class?

Tyler Baker

Arizona basketball head coach Sean Miller shouts at a player while the team plays against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 14, 2014. Many doubt Arizona basketball’s recruting pull compared to other top programs.

Ivan Leonard: Despite slow start, Arizona’s recruiting class will be fine

Arizona’s 2015 basketball season doesn’t tip off until Nov. 13, but there is never a bad time to talk about college hoops in Tucson, including basketball recruiting. 

While the Arizona coaching staff has not landed any commits for the 2016 season, they have offers out to multiple top recruits such as Frank Jackson and Kobi Simmons, while fellow five-star recruits Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox are both strongly considering the Wildcats.

Arizona basketball head coach Sean Miller has turned multiple five-star recruits into lottery picks over the past few years, including Stanley Johnson and Aaron Gordon. This year, it looks like incoming freshman Allonzo Trier has a golden opportunity to be the next top recruit turned lottery pick.

Sure, Miller might not have Kentucky head coach John Calipari’s ability to turn entire starting fives into first-rounders, but the Arizona head coach has enough on his resume to lure elite high school players. 

Five-star forward T.J. Leaf recently decommited from Arizona and reopened his availability to the chagrin of the Wildcats. While the loss does hurt, Arizona has never been ultra reliant on one player, so players like Chance Comanche and Dusan Ristic will have to step up in the future.

Since the 2011 season, Miller has finished no lower than seventh when it comes to recruiting classes and it is hard to believe that the 2016 class will be any different. 

There may not be any players committed to the 2016 Wildcats just yet, but Miller has consistently shown that he can bring in California kids like Johnson and Gordon along with East Coasters like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and T.J. McConnell.


Justin Spears: Lack of commits signals Arizona has lost touch with top recruits 

The month of September is upon us, which means Arizona football, football and more football. But don’t forget that Arizona still has a nationally ranked basketball team that is looking to finally get over that hump called the Elite Eight. 

Head coach Sean Miller has had many chances to do so with top-level recruits like Aaron Gordon and Stanley Johnson. That man in 2015 could be McDonald’s All-American scoring phenom Allonzo Trier.

Miller has always had elite recruits in his basket, and every season, followers of the program understand who’s going to take their talents to the NBA. Trier will be one of those candidates this season along with Gabe York, Kaleb Tarczewski, Ryan Anderson and Mark Tollefsen, who will all be leaving due to graduation. 

Who’s next in line for another group of Wildcats to follow in the upcoming years? According to the 2016 recruiting class, there isn’t one soul committed or signed. 

After five-star big man T.J. Leaf decommitted from the Wildcats during the summer, it’s time for Miller to hit the panic. 

Last season, Arizona already tallied three of their four signees before mid-August. Trier, Ray Smith and Justin Simon each gave Arizona the nod well over a year before their college basketball careers began. 

Miller and company are in a very difficult position that they haven’t been in before. It’s understandable if players don’t hop on board for a program like Kentucky, because it can be overcrowded with NBA talent. Just like any program, there’s always a new batch of high school highfliers coming in, but apparently Arizona isn’t a sexy school to the newer generation of recruits. 

Sure the recruits may fly in later during the season, especially when the program does visits for the annual Red-Blue Game, but having no commits nearing September is likely a scary feeling for Sean Miller.

More to Discover
Activate Search