Arizona stayed consistent with Victor

Arizona may have been the most consistent school in Craig Victor's recruitment. Read on to see why that is, how long Arizona has been around, and why it paid off on Saturday.

After some speculation that picked up in the past week or so, Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep forward Craig Victor ended his recruitment with a commitment to Arizona on Saturday.

Arizona's recruitment of Victor started over a year ago, as he started to draw attention on the AAU circuit.

"I like Arizona," Victor said in July 2012. "Honestly, I don't know too much about them, but they have a good reputation and a good coaching staff. I would like to learn more."

Only a few weeks later, Victor would name a list of UCLA, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor, Syracuse, Florida, Georgetown, LSU, Miami, UConn and Arizona.

He added that Arizona, UCLA, Oklahoma, Baylor and UConn were the five schools standing out and Arizona was the only one of those five to make Victor's final schools.

Victor's recruitment quieted down a bit until December when it appeared that his recruitment could turn into a three school race with Arizona, LSU, and UCLA.

"They come down about once or twice a month," Victor said of Arizona. "They are a good school, especially with how their power forwards have been successful. I could see myself filling Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley's shoes once they leave."

Victor proceeded to visit numerous schools in the following months, including a February visit to Arizona that greatly impressed him.

"I liked the environment," Victor said after the visit. "The fact that there are no pro teams out there, nothing is bigger than Arizona basketball and I like that. The fans are very supportive night in and night out, and I really like what Coach (Sean) Miller is doing. His players get better every year, and you could see that with Derrick Williams, who made a huge improvement and became the second pick in the draft.

"I like what they are doing over there, especially with their four men. Their fours are very versatile from playing on the perimeter to posting up. They showed that with Derrick Williams, Solomon Hill, and also Brandon Ashley."

Not long after the visit to Arizona, Victor made the decision to come up with a top seven and start focusing more on his recruitment.

"I have a top seven of LSU, Arizona, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and UCLA," Victor said in March. "I want to look at each school and see how each team is performing next season. I'll also have to figure out how exactly I fit into their programs and their schemes. Those are some of the things that I will look at."

Throughout the spring, Arizona remained one of the schools to beat for Victor and he said that the coaching staff's recruiting pitch was impressive.

"Family orientation," Victor said of Arizona's pitch. "They treat me like I already signed there. That is something I take very seriously. If I have problems or anything like that, I can depend on Sean Miller or the other coaches to make sure I am alright and care about me."

In late June, Victor announced that he would be transferring to Findlay Prep. Although the impact of that transfer was downplayed, Arizona has had success recruiting the school and it really could have had only positive effects on the recruitment.

"Findlay has been recruiting me for a long time to come out there and play and I just felt the timing was right to go out there and start playing against really good players on a daily basis," Victor said.

"I'm basically looking at it as getting a head start on college. So many guys go out there and it just sounds like a completely different environment that should help me adjust to college."

Up until that point, Victor had played his recruitment pretty quietly. However, he started to open up more about the schools he liked, specifically Arizona.

"Arizona is one of the schools that I'm looking at the hardest right now," Victor said last month. "They've been on me for a while, have come to a lot of my games and have really made me feel wanted. There are some other schools on the list that I am interested in also, but Arizona stands out right now."

Victor made it known that he planned to decide in the days after his final AAU tournament, but delayed that decision for nearly a month.

"I have to feel comfortable with my decision," Victor said. "That's really the only thing. If I'm comfortable, then I have no problem making my decision."

As it turns out, it took him a little longer than expected to feel comfortable enough to make his decision.

You won't hear any complaints from Arizona though, as the Wildcats' recruiting efforts paid off with Victor comfortable enough to become the second commitment in the 2014 class.


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