There have been numerous AAU tournaments in the past month or so and we have learned quite a bit about who Arizona is recruiting and the players that should be priorities.
1. Arizona will land a top point guard in 2018
Bold statement, but we’re confident in that belief. When looking at the point guards Arizona is recruiting, there are more than a few that have the Wildcats among their top choices. When that happens, Arizona doesn’t strike out. Brandon Williams, Devon Dotson, Jahvon Quinerly, and Quentin Grimes are among the targets.
Tre Jones is in there as well, but we don’t see him winding up at Arizona considering the Duke connection. We believe Arizona will land one point guard from that group and a look at who the coaching staff followed during the evaluation period shows that point guard is a major priority.
2. Marvin Bagley is the best player in the country.
This is becoming less debatable with every ridiculous performance he puts up. Yes, his team is among the worst in EYBL, but if anything that means that Bagley is getting more attention from the opposition and still putting up insane numbers. He is clearly the top player in the country for 2018, as evidenced by his averages of 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks on 56 percent shooting from the field.
Arizona is among Bagley’s top six and Miller followed him aggressively last month. Bagley may be a little different from the other top players in the country in that he is going to decide before his senior season and the Wildcats are right in the thick of things.
3. Bol Bol or Bust
The big man class in 2018 isn’t very good. There is only one prospect that is elite and every school in the country will want him. Bol Bol is averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game on 66 percent shooting (including over 50 percent from three). There isn’t another center in the west that comes close to his overall potential and the scary part is that he is still raw enough to improve quite a bit.
Arizona landed Duke transfer Chase Jeter and it makes sense when you look at the available prospects. If Arizona can't land Bol Bol, we would assume it will hit the grad market once again because there’s just not a lot out there. Landing Jeter is a big step in the right direction, but Arizona will likely need depth at the position.
4. Will Arizona land a shooting guard?
This is another position that really isn’t strong in the west, but Arizona has some options. It’s interesting that Kevin Porter recently said the Wildcats weren’t on him much, especially considering that he may be the top two guard in the west or at least close to it. The main option for Arizona was David Singleton, but he is headed to UCLA.
After that, there isn’t much. Eric Ayala is an option and he has said he won’t reclassify to 2017, so Book Richardson and company will stay on him. Aaron Wiggins is another player Arizona is somewhat involved with, but would have to pick it up with if the staff wants to land him. Of course, there is also the graduate option. Arizona currently has Dylan Smith and Brandon Randolph on the roster, but they are likely more effective on the wing than as a true shooting guard.
5. The west is a mess
If you can’t figure it out, the 2018 class out west is one of the weakest we have ever seen. If Arizona somehow misses out on Brandon Williams, there isn’t one point guard out west we would feel comfortable offering. There’s probably three high major shooting guards out west and one of them is committed to UCLA and another, Jules Bernard, isn’t going to Arizona. Taeshon Cherry is clearly the best small forward in the west and Devonaire Doutrive is seeing his stock rise, but even he has question marks.
Power forward has fantastic talent and Arizona landed one of the top power forwards in Shareef O’Neal. The coaching staff continues to recruit Marvin Bagley and Jordan Brown as well, so there’s potential there. At center, we highlighted the fact that Bol Bol is the only high major prospect in the west. As strong as Arizona recruits, it likely has no choice but to go national unless there is a clean sweep of priority recruits.