Miller breaks down 2012 class

With all four of Arizona's letter of intents in, Sean Miller toook the opportunity to talk about the 2012 class that the Wildcats brought in.

Sean Miller took the podium Monday for his weekly press conference, but with a twist. Miller announced that all of the Arizona commits turned in their letter of intents, which means he is free to talk about the class.

"To say the least we are very, very excited," Miller said. "I think we have addressed certain things from a program perspective that you covet. The gift of size, players that are really big for their position that add length, size, and depth to your current team. Obviously Gabe York is the only guard of the group and an explosive scorer.

"I think the one common theme with all four of them is that they are really humble kids. They are winners in the programs they are in right now, whether it is their travel team or their high school program. They play in a team environment where winning is at the forefront of everything they do."

The only guard Miller has taken in the class so far is York and he talked about what makes him so special.

"I saw Gabe play a lot over the last two years," Miller said. "He is a very explosive scorer. He can shoot the three and I think one of the things that is sometimes overlooked from a transition from high school to college is if you can really shoot the ball, the game seems to come easier, the adjustment is a little bit simpler.

"Gabe I believe can play some point guard, certainly with a point guard. His ability to really score and his explosiveness, not just shooting the three but getting to the basket, how he has developed over the last year is really exciting."

The highest ranked recruit that Miller was able to land his Brandon Ashley, who also happens to be the player in the class Miller recruited the longest.

"Brandon Ashley is somebody we have recruited almost to the very day that we got here as a staff at Arizona," Miller said. "If you follow him recently he is playing great. Watching Nick Johnson and how ready he is for college, I think Brandon is going to be equally as prepared living away from home, playing for a great coach like Mike Peck, coupling his experiences in the summer with the Oakland Soldiers and that combination of Findlay Prep, he is playing against the best players in the country."

With Ashley being so versatile, Miller believes that he could come in and play the small forward position for the Wildcats.

"His position he will play at Arizona could be a number," Miller said. "Small forward is one of them. If you think about his size, six-eight at small forward, he will remind you a little bit of the old Arizona teams with a guy like Richard Jefferson at that position. He can play the four well and again it is up to us to put him in the right position. I think the combinations Brandon can be on the court with are really numerous."

Another forward that the UA was able to land is Grant Jerrett, who became the first member of Arizona's 2012 class.

"Grant Jerrett was the first guy who committed to us and I give Grant and his family a lot of credit," Miller said. "Momentum is a big part of recruiting and someone with the stature of Grant committing as early as he did continues to give us credibility. Grant did that long before we ever went to an Elite Eight."

In addition, Miller has high expectations for Jerrett due to the fact that he is coming from a winning program and has plenty of talent.

"Grant has won back to back California state championships like Jordin Mayes did and plays for an excellent high school coach Eric Cooper, who played here for Arizona for a brief period of time in his student athlete career.

"Grant has great hands, the best is yet to come, terrific rebounder, very versatile like Brandon, but to me bigger. He is 6'9 with extremely long arms and just watching him play this summer, watching him play for his high school team, very exciting."

The most recent commit for Arizona is Kaleb Tarczewski, who may have had the most difficult recruitment for Miller.

"Very seldom is it possible to get a seven-footer." Miller said. "There just are not a lot of guys like that with that size out there. Kaleb, if he was six-foot-eight, would be a really good player. He can run, he has real good hands, he is physical and loves the low post.

"Part of what I think he had to learn about us is that we can help maybe expand his game and move him away from the basket like he has started to do here recently and not just have his back to the basket at all times. He loves the physicalness of the game, can rebound, really look forward to being able to get him the ball in the low post on offense. Any time you have a guy that size on defense he helps your man to man."

While there is still a year until the 2012 class starts to play for Arizona, Miller believes that the strength of the class is in its versatility.

"Brandon and Grant can certainly play on the court together," he said. "Kaleb, Grant, and Brandon if you just look at the class could easily be the three, four, and five in the future. No question Grant can probably slide over there and play the five some and Brandon can slide and play the four, but I think the combinations that we can play are what makes it exciting."

One aspect of the recruiting process that Miller wanted to make clear is that he could not have done it on his own, as he gave credit not only to his coaching staff, but his players as well.

"Nick Johnson never played one game at Arizona and he was instrumental with a lot of these guys when they made official and unofficial visits," Miller said. "Players recruit players and you can work hard as a coaching staff or head coach, but you need everything to be successful. By the same token, as we know by our four freshmen now, each of these four I am sure will have their bumps in the road when they get here, but I really believe that us being talked about as an elite recruiting class has a lot of credibility to it with this group in 2012."


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