A near-perennial Sweet 16-or-better team over the past two decades, Arizona had to settle for the NIT last year in its third season with Sean Miller at the helm. A 12-6 in-conference record was only good enough for fourth place in what was widely regarded as a very weak Pac-12. It was just one season before that when Miller's Wildcats were 30-8 and made the Elite Eight. There's reason for that kind of optimism again in Tucson with the freshman who will be coming in next season. Evan Daniels breaks down their class.
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Arizona last year: 23-12 overall, 12-6 in Pac-12, lost to Bucknell in first round of NIT
Scout.com class rank: 3
Best player of the class: Kaleb Tarczewski. Although it's a close call between Tarczewski, Jerrett and Ashley, the big fella from Southborough (Mass.) St. Marks checks in the highest at No. 6 overall in the prospect rankings. At 7-feet tall Tarczewski will rebound, contest shots and has some skill on the block.
The one that got away: Sure Arizona was involved with Shabazz Muhammad, but they never had a legitimate shot at the top three prospect. Sean Miller and company did have a great shot at Katin Reinhardt. They applied a "first to commit gets the scholarship" policy between Reinhardt and York. York, Scout.com's No. 82 prospect, committed shortly after. Reinhardt is an elite shooter that ranks No. 40 overall.
|Click on the photos to learn more about the top 2012 Arizona commits.|
What to expect from them next year: Ashely, Jerrett and Tarczewski are all unique post prospects with different strengths. With that said, all three can score and they'll have a chance to do so next year. York can put up points in a hurry, but he'll have to battle Nick Johnson for playing time.
Will live up to the hype because ...: Three of the prospects in Arizona's class -- Tarczewski, Jerrett and Ashley -- rank among the top 10 recruits in the country. Arizona returns just Angelo Chol inside, so shot attempts and playing time are there for at least two of the big three to make a major impact in year one.
Won't live up to the hype because ...: With three stud post prospects headed to Tuscon, Sean Miller will have to divide up playing time between three five-star recruits and Chol. Is there enough time for each? Gabe York likes to put up shots, will there be enough for him in year one?
In their words: "I'm really excited to play for coach (Sean) Miller. He's a great guy. I really like him as a person as well as a coach. Watching their practice while I was down there was a great experience, so I'm really excited to get going and to make myself a better player. " -- Kaleb Tarczewski
TOP FIVE CLASSES
Evan Daniels breaks down his top five recruiting classes of 2012.
"Over the past three years I've built a pretty good relationship with coach (Sean) Miller. ... Knowing that Grant Jerrett and Gabe York are going there ... just made it that much more appealing." -- Brandon Ashley
"Obviously they have had a lot of great guards coming out of there. Jason Terry, Mike Bibby and a whole lot more, but that wasn't really a big factor for me. It was just the feeling in my heart that I was so sure and that was what really made my decision. " -- Gabe York