The owner of the best class in the Pac-12 can also claim the best recruiting class in the country.
Sean Miller has hit an absolute home run for the Wildcats, picking up commitments from three five-star prospects and a valuable four-star.
Ashley's athleticism, length and skill will add plenty of versatility to Arizona's front court. He's known for his scoring but has all the tools to be a very good rebounder and defender at the next level.
Arizona's most recent commitment was in five-star 7-foot center Southborough, (Mass.) St. Mark's center Kaleb Tarczewski, Scout.com's 8th ranked 2012 prospect, who the Wildcats landed after a memorable recruiting battle with longtime favorite Kansas. Tarczewski has a good frame and athleticism, a developing hook and the mobility you're looking for out of a player his size.
As if two five-star posts weren't enough, the Wildcats landed another versatile big man in La Verne (Calif.) Lutheran center Grant Jerrett, ranked 23rd nationally by Scout.com, who is one of the nation's most skilled posts. Although Jerrett is considered a center, his footwork, hands and work ethic will allow him to play either post spot in college.
UA also nabbed one of the nation's top scorers in Orange (Calif.) Lutheran shooting guard Gabe York. An undersized two, York puts up points in a hurry and will give the Wildcats a player who can knock down the three or get to the basket.
Heading into the spring, the rest of the country has a lot of work to do to catch up with Arizona's four-man class.
While UCLA is hoping to land Scout.com's #1 2012 prospect in Las Vegas Bishop Gorman small forward Shabazz Muhammad in the spring, head coach Ben Howland has a couple of players to be happy about now.
7. Arizona State
8. Washington State
11. Oregon State
The Bruins went all the way out to New Jersey to pick off forward Jersey City St. Anthony forward Kyle Anderson, one of the most unique prospects in recent memory. Scout.com's 4th ranked 2012 prospect, Anderson has ridiculous length and a very high basketball IQ, He's limited athletically, but his handles, size, vision and smooth stroke will make him a very productive player in Westwood.
The Bruins also nabbed forward Jordan Adams from Georgia, who is one of the top shooters in the country. He'll need to improve his conditioning, but his shooting ability will come in handy for UCLA.
Colorado has plenty to celebrate, as the Buffs are coming away with one of the best recruiting classes in school history. It starts up front with Monument (Colo.) Lewis-Palmer power forward Josh Scott, a terrific scorer with a good frame that is going to pile up points in the Pac-12.
While Scott will provide CU with offense, the Buffs also landed Colorado Springs (Colo.) Sierra center Wesley Gordon, whose rebounding and overall defensive presence will make scoring on Colorado in the post difficult.
CU is signing Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei small forward Xavier Johnson, who has the athleticism, sweet shooting stroke and upside to eventually make a major impact in Boulder. University of Detroit Jesuit athlete Chris Jenkins also gives the Buffs some upside at the forward position.
Stanford picked up a very unique prospect in Las Vegas Bishop Gorman's Rosco Allen, who at 6-foot-9 can shoot it, put it on the floor and pass. He will need to gain weight to guard opposing fours, but should help the Cardinal offensively.
The Cardinal's biggest prize was Visalia (Calif.) Central Valley Christian center Grant Verhoeven, a post with a good frame and terrific motor. Verhoeven's effort on the court makes him a dominant rebounder and a very good scorer around the basket. He should be a very good player in the Pac-12.
Stanford also added Houston St. Thomas guard Christian Sanders, who has a high basketball IQ and can really shoot it.
One of the most memorable moments in the 2012 recruiting cycle came when Findlay Prep point guard Dominic Artis decommitted from UCLA and ended up choosing Oregon. The Ducks are picking up one of the best pass-first point guards in the country and a player who Dana Altman will be able to build his team around for multiple seasons.
Also of note in Eugene is the signing of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman power forward Ben Carter, a skilled four whose work ethic and high basketball IQ will make him a fan favorite at Oregon. The Ducks complete their class with Houston Yates athletic forward Damyean Dotson.
How did the Pac-12 stack up?
|Top Pac-12 Prospects|
|Top Prospect:||Brandon Ashley, Arizona|
|Best Scorer:||Gabe York, Arizona|
|Best Passer:||Kyle Anderson, UCLA|
|Best Shot Blocker:||Brandon Ashley, Arizona|
|Best Floor General:||Dominic Artis, Oregon|
|Best Post Player:||Kaleb Tarczewski, Arizona|
|Best Shooter:||Rosco Allen, Stanford|
|Best Rebounder:||Grant Verhoeven, Stanford|
|Best Athlete:||Demarquise Johnson, Washington State|
With three Top 10 prospects – Arizona landed two in Ashley and Tarczewski, while UCLA brought in Anderson – the Pac-12 does have some serious star power at the top.
All told, 12 Top 100 prospects are committed to Pac-12 schools, and with some talented West Coast players waiting until the spring, that number should improve when it's all said and done.