Arizona doesn’t really have a “true” point guard on its roster this season, as senior Mark Lyons is more of a combo guard. But in receiving a verbal commitment from four-star point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright on Sunday, head coach Sean Miller is making sure the Wildcats are set at the one for the foreseeable future.
Duquesne transfer point guard T.J. McConnell, a junior, will be eligible starting next season.
Jackson-Cartwright, from Los Angeles, is short in stature at 5-foot-8, 150-pounds, but Dave Telep, ESPN’s senior recruiting analyst, said he doesn’t think his size is much of an issue.
“The only way the height is a negative is if a head coach is uncomfortable with playing small guards,” Telep told the Daily Wildcat. “Sean Miller’s brother is Archie Miller, and Parker Jackson-Cartwright might be taller than Archie Miller. So clearly Sean’s comfortable with that and when you’re 5’8″ you know you have to compensate, and I think Parker has done that with his ability to deliver the ball and put it in the right place.”
Jackson-Cartwright is ranked the 30th-best 2014 recruit by ESPN, and its 7th-best point guard. He has averaged 13.6 points, 7.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game for Loyola High School this season.
“He steadies the ship,” Telep said. “Above anything else, he is an exceptionally trustworthy kid. You hand him the basketball and he’s going to run his team for you. When you’re his size, you better be a tough guy, and he’s a tough kid. He’s going to earn your respect.”
Telep said he believes Jackson-Cartwright needs to work on his perimeter game and to “add a floater” because at his size, it will be difficult to get to the basket.
“You gotta knock down shots at that size,” Telep said. “And if you can get in the lane you’re not going to be able to get all the way to the rim. So, how are you going score? You need a floater.”
Arizona beat out UCLA and Gonzaga for Jackson-Cartwright’s services.
Telep has ‘no clue’ which way Aaron Gordon is leaning
Arizona is still in the running for one of 2013’s top recruits in Aaron Gordon, ranked the fourth-best recruit in his class by ESPN and its second-best power forward.
For a while, the Wildcats were on a list of three teams in the running for Gordon’s services — Washington and Kentucky as the other two — but at the beginning of the month he added Oregon to the list.
“I don’t think anybody really has a great feel,” Telep said. “The Oregon thing really threw a curve ball. I do this enough to know that when Aaron Gordon decides to announce, probably all the schools involved in his recruitment will be just as interested and watching the television as the average fan.”
•This story was courtesy of the Arizona Daily Wildcat.