Ashley makes it official

After much anticipation, Brandon Ashley has made his decision official. On Monday, the third best player in 2012 decided to become an Arizona Wildcat.

It is no secret that Sean Miller has the reputation of being one of the best recruiters in the country.

On Monday, he solidified that even more.

Miller landed his number one priority in the class of 2012, as Brandon Ashley has committed to the Arizona Wildcats.

Ashley has been long time the top priority in the class and since Miller and his coaching staff have been in Tucson, it is no secret how much they have wanted the 6-foot-8, 190-pound forward.

The number three player in the class of 2012 according to Scout.com now joins Grant Jerrett who is ranked 24th and Gabe York, the 43rd ranked player.

Arizona did a great job recruiting Ashley as it was one of the first schools to get on him early. Miller stayed persistent with Ashley and in the end his persistence paid off.

The famed Oakland Soldiers team of last summer included Ashley as a junior with four other great players as they ripped through summer circuit. The starting lineup included two current Arizona freshmen as Nick Johnson and Josiah Turner were major reasons for their success as well.

After landing both Johnson and Turner, Arizona was able to make a whole statement to the west coast and the rest of the nation that it was going to recruit at a high level and help it translate into success on the court.

Landing two of his fellow Soldiers couldn't hurt and the full court press of Ashley began. The fourth ranked player in the class of 2012 according to Scout.com kept his recruitment close to the vest as it was a bit difficult to understand where he was standing.

On August 20, 2011 Ashley decided to trim his list to four that included Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Kentucky. The interesting aspect that all of the schools shared in common was that a member of the Oakland Soldiers is either a current freshmen or has committed to each of the schools.

It was obvious that Ashley wanted to play with good players and with players that he is familiar with. Jabari Brown is at Oregon, Kentucky has Kyle Wiltjer this year, Dominic Artis has committed to UCLA for 2012 and of course Johnson and Turner are at Arizona.

What seemed to be common knowledge was that Ashley was going to take visits to all four schools while committing at any point was still a possibility. Regardless, Ashley wanted to take his official visits to make sure he was making the right decision.

That was until the past weekend.

Ashley played in the Boost Mobile Elite 24 in Venice Beach and decided to travel to Tucson Sunday before returning to Findlay Prep where he'll be playing high school basketball for his senior season.

The unofficial visit paid dividends for Arizona as Ashley was able to visit with the current team along with Johnson and Turner as they have been in Tucson since the middle of the summer.

Miller and company really were able to sell Ashley that Arizona was the best place for him to play college basketball. It was enough of a selling point that he decided to commit and not wait to take his official visits.

Arizona is riding high right now and its momentum with recruiting is so far unmatched on the west coast. Landing Ashley is huge for Sean Miller, who is gaining the trust of so many kids and parents across the nation.

Arizona is still hoping to land one more in the class of 2012 and all eyes are now on Kaleb Tarczewski, the ninth ranked player in the class.


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