UA goes non-traditional route to finish class

Arizona finished its 2016 class in a non-traditional way. Read on to see what Sean Miller has to say about Dylan Smith, Keanu Pinder, and more.

Arizona signed numerous high school players in the 2016 class, but also went with somewhat of a non-traditional route.

The last player to sign was Keanu Pinder, as Arizona once again went to Hutchinson Community College to sign a prospect. 

“Keanu led his team to the national championship game,” Sean Miller said. “He is a wonderful kid, somebody that has a skill level and an understanding of how to play. 

“If you look at our roster, he gives us an ingredient that maybe we didn't have in a flexible defender, a mobile forward, somebody that rebounds the ball extremely well. 

“Those guys are well coached and disciplined and with Keanu having an opportunity to get him in the spring was a big thing for us.”

The Wildcats were also able to add Lipscomb transfer Talbott Denny.

“Talbott Denny had season ending surgery on his shoulder, similar to what Ryan Anderson had,” Miller said. “He has almost made a full recovery and will join our summer workouts. 

“I think in college basketball it is so much about building a puzzle with different pieces. We are looking forward to adding his experience, leadership, unselfish nature. I know he is a great competitor and can play both inside and out.”

In addition, Denny will bring plenty off the court as well.

“He is from Tucson and loves the University of Arizona and is thrilled to be part of our program,” Miller said.

“There is something to be said for that. He is really talented and will go on and be a part of our Eller School of Business graduate program and go on to do some great things.”

Miller also chose to add a traditional transfer that will have to sit out a year before being able to compete.

“Dylan Smith, don’t be fooled by him coming from UNC-Asheville,” he said. “Looking at his pedigree, he is a late bloomer. Great size for a guard, made over 80 threes, scored in double figures over 25 times. 

“If you remember when we took a guy from Duquesne University that I threw in at the end, T.J. McConnell, I feel comfortable with Dylan that one day he will be a special player at Arizona.”

When asked if landing transfers has become a vital part to each recruiting class, Miller simply stated he is going to do what he needs to in order to land the best players.

“We’re not too good to take a guy from here or located too far west to go there,” he said. “There are guys that making these decisions and they are doing it not necessarily the same way they used to. 

“It is up to us to recognize that change, embrace it, and be really good moving forward at running our program, growing our program, and competing for the same standards that have been here for a really long time.”


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