UA in position to land program-changing class

Arizona's recruiting for 2012 got off to a solid start with Grant Jerrett. However, if its current position with numerous top recruits is what could launch it to the top of the country.

As Arizona's recruiting picture gets a bit clearer for 2012, the realization that this could be a special class also becomes more obvious.

For starters, Bishop O'Dowd forward Brandon Ashley is the number one power forward in the country and Arizona is in solid shape for him.

While Ashley does not do many interviews, sources say that Arizona is certainly one of the schools to beat in his recruitment.

What type of player would Arizona be getting if it was able to land Ashley?

"The 6-foot-8 forward is constantly adding something new to his game, and he showed a perimeter jumper on Saturday," Brian Snow wrote a few weeks ago. "Ashley did hit jumpers from the outside, but that also didn't preclude him from using his size, strength, and athleticism to clean the glass and control on the interior."

Ashley is one of the top priorities for Arizona in this class and one look makes it easy to see why. Ashley may be the top-ranked power forward in the nation, but that does not mean he is simply a power forward.

Ashley has the ability to play the three and five as well, which allows Arizona to look at landing a true center, as it already has its four in Grant Jerrett.

Jerrett is the type of player that can be ignored a bit because he committed so early, but he definitely does not deserve it based on talent.

The only player more highly regarded in California is Ashley and to land the top two players in the state, both forwards, would be something that most schools in the country would have difficulty contending with.

Jerrett's already quite advanced for his age and will likely only grown more as a player in the upcoming years.

These aren't the type of players that are going to play sparingly upon arriving at any school, due to the fact that physically they are ready to play now.

At center, Arizona is in good shape with a handful of prospects. 6-foot-11, 240-pound center Robert Upshaw has not played basketball in a year, but that certainly has not stopped him from improving and getting close to five-star status.

The fact that Upshaw is improving at this rate is something that is going to make him one of the highly recruited centers in the country.

In addition to Upshaw, Shaquille Cleare is a center that the Wildcats would love to land. At 6-foot-9, 280-pounds, Cleare is a man among boys. However, he is also extremely skilled and has underrated passing skills.

Another center that Arizona is on is 6-foot-9, 230-pound Mitch McGary. McGary reclassified to 2012 and since then, has been very impressive.

"His rise up the national charts is absolutely no joke," Brian Snow wrote this past weekend. "McGary is completely dominating on the floor. On Friday night he was hitting step back threes, scoring over either shoulder on the block, finishing above the rim, and making good passes out of the post and even in transition. The improvements he has made are stunning, and he continues to be one of the highest risers this spring."

It is certainly no guarantee that Arizona is going to land any of these players, just like it is no guarantee that some will still be major targets for Arizona. In fact, if history is any indication, there are going to be some new faces that pop up this summer.

However, the Wildcats are in great shape and definitely seem to be the talk of the west.

For a team coming off an Elite Eight run, that's definitely not a bad place to be.

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