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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Sean Miller finds potential 2013 replacement for Solomon Hill, Kevin Parrom in new recruit

Larry Hogan/Arizona Daily Wildcat Sean Miller and freshmen from the UA basketball team practice in McKale Center on Sept. 5, 2012.

The Wildcats will be losing senior small forwards Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom next season, but on Thursday head coach Sean Miller did well to try and offset that loss.

Small forward recruit Rondae Jefferson revealed via Twitter Thursday night that he would be joining the Wildcats in 2013.

The 6-foot-7 forward from Chester, Pa. tweeted “Arizona it is #BearDown”. He made the decision during an in-home visit with the Wildcats.

Jefferson is a five-star recruit and the No. 10 ranked player of 2013 recruits, according to Dave Telep, ESPN’s senior college basketball recruiting analyst, described Jefferson as the kind of player with a “lunch-pail” mentality.

“[Jefferson] brings a resume of winning and just a toughness to the small forward position,” Telep said in a phone interview with the Arizona Daily Wildcat. “He can be facilitator, he can be a very good scorer in the lane, he has great instincts and reflexes. If he’s ever able to get a consistent perimeter shot, at least from mid-range, he’ll be even more of a threat.”

With the looming graduation of seniors Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom, Jefferson is perfect for Arizona.

Jefferson averaged 12.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.7 blocks per game for Chester High School during his junior season.
Telep believes Jefferson fits into the Wildcats lineup perfectly.

He called him the type of player that “championship teams always have,” comparing him to similarly versatile, championship-winning Tar Heel.

“I think for Arizona it’s a very unique piece,” Telep said.

“Obviously they loaded up with the bigs last year and this is the kid that, he’s not gonna be the high scorer or the No. 1 rebounder.“He’s going to be that Danny Green type player that championship teams always have. One guy who ties everything together whether it’s a help on a block or a weakside rebound or a tip-in, that’s Rondae Jefferson.”

In 2009, for North Carolina’s championship team, Green averaged 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 three-pointers per game. He was also named to the ACC All-Defensive Team, as he recorded 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

The signing makes this the third year in a row that Miller has added a five-star recruit to the Wildcats, following the additions of Josiah Turner in 2011 (who has since left the program) and Kaleb Tarczewski, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley in 2012.

Jefferson, who is from Philadelphia, had also been considering Florida, Texas, Rutgers, Syracuse, Memphis and Temple, according to ESPN. His brother, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, stayed in Philadelphia to play for Temple University.

The last player to commit to Arizona from Philadelphia was point guard Mustafa Shakur in 2003.

Jefferson joins four-star shooting guard Elliott Pitts, who hails from Concord, Calif., in the Wildcats’ 2013 recruiting class.

Telep attributed Miller’s success in reeling in Jefferson to an attention to detail and a commitment to the recruitment.

“Whenever you go 2,000 miles to recruit a kid, he has to go there with a purpose and a commitment to doing it,” Telep said. “They went all the way on him and it paid off.”

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