Leading the way for Arizona is five-star pledge Stanley Johnson. Johnson, a 6-foot-6 small forward, was one of the most consistently dominant players in the country all year long. He proved it during the high school season, and then again during the all-star circuit. Johnson was excellent at the McDonald's All-American Game and then showed his wears quite well at the Nike Hoops Summit as well.
Johnson made the jump from No. 7 overall to No. 3 because of that consistency. His shot looks better and more consistent, he is rebounding, he is defending, and is the total package. That forced him into the consideration for top 5 status before we decided on No. 3. He might be the safest bet of any kid in the class to have a high level freshman season in college, and should be a major impact guy on the wing from day one for the Wildcats.
After Johnson we had big swings for Arizona's two other ranked prospects. Parker Jackson-Carwright went from No. 50 to No. 32, while Craig Victor fell from No. 17 to No. 42. At the end of the day we decided that their senior seasons really justified corrections in their rankings.
In the case of Jackson-Cartwright, he really stepped up. Though he is small, he got all of his quickness back following an injury as a junior, and his impressive feel for the game was on full display. He didn't quite reach the five-star level, but we felt given his savvy and understanding combined with improving physical skills, that Jackson-Cartwright deserved a significant bump up to the very high four-star level, and should be more than ready to replace T.J. McConnell upon his graduation.
With Victor it was a bit the other way. We as a group felt we went too high with Victor following the NBA Players Association Camp in June, and that he was more of a role player than an alpha dog at the high-major level. His year at Findlay he showed that he has some skill, but isn't the explosive athlete at around 6-foot-7 to stay in the five-star range. Instead we decided a solid four-star was a better spot for him, and that the expectations for him are a solid four year career instead of a potential early entry kid.
Arizona has two other pledges from junior college guard Kadeem Allen and center Dusan Ristic. Ristic wasn't evaluated by Scout.com and therefore wasn't given a ranking, Allen being a junior college kid also wasn't included. Both are said to have potential, but there just wasn't enough information to give a good evaluation on our end.
Overall this might not be the star studded deep class that Miller has brought in, in the past, but it is still a very good national class. Johnson is a potential superstar, and then Victor and Jackson-Cartwright project as solid four year guys. If Allen and Ristic can be contributors it is a very solid foundation class that will help Arizona win a lot of games.