Many observers believe that 2016 El Cajon (Calif.) Foothills Christian High School power forward T.J. Leaf is one of the best basketball prospects to come out of the San Diego area in many years and he will leave California to play his college ball.
“I guess one of the things that made me want to become a Wildcat was how Coach Miller uses his power forwards,” Leaf said. “When you look at Derrick Williams and Aaron Gordon and Brandon Ashley, those are all guys that were allowed to face the basket and shoot the open jumper.”
Leaf believes that philosophy fits his skills perfectly.
"I'm not a complete knockdown shooter yet, but I can definitely hurt a defense if they play off me," Leaf said. "I can also get to the rim off a post move or a face up, so the system seemed to fit me well.
"Plus I can play a little bit on the wing too and that is something the coaches are okay with."The UA atmosphere also played a big factor In Leaf's decision.
"Getting on campus and seeing the game and how everyone gets along was great," Leaf said. "I want to go to a place where players want to get better, but have fun at the same time.
"Even though Arizona lost to Wisconsin, there was never a doubt that all the guys believed in what Coach Miller was doing. And, why wouldn’t they? They've won more than 30 games the last few seasons."
Leaf is looking forward to hearing from Coach Miller in the coming months.
"He's always really cool," Leaf said. "He can give me tips on my game, but he also knows that I'm still a kid and he wants to get other kids in the class that are good guys and want to excel at the game.
"I know I still have another season, but I'm excited to take that next step and get to play under Coach Miller."