ARIZONA BASKETBALL

Four-star Arizona signing reopens recruitment after Sean Miller’s firing

Apr 8, 2021, 3:42 PM | Updated: 3:43 pm
Arizona head coach Sean Miller speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day in San Fr...
Arizona head coach Sean Miller speaks during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
(AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

Losing a coach in college basketball can be a blow to a program in more than one way. On top of restructuring a coaching staff, losses on the roster can come with that, and they’re starting to come for Arizona.

From a recruiting standpoint, Arizona had its first departure on Thursday after the firing of Sean Miller on Wednesday.

2021 four-star guard K.J. Simpson will be reopening his recruitment, per the head coach of his AAU team.

Simpson was one of three four-stars to sign with the Wildcats from this past recruiting class, ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 99 player in the class. The 6-foot-2 guard was Miller’s first commit back in August.

The folks in Tucson will be closely monitoring other potential developments, such as 2021 four-star forward Shane Nowell, slotted 69th by ESPN and 80th by 247 Sports. Nowell, Simpson and four-star guard Shane Dezonie were Miller’s three signings for the 2021 class.

There have already been roster developments elsewhere. Junior guard Jermarl Baker Jr. and senior guard Terrell Brown Jr. have both entered the transfer portal and were two of the top-4 players for the Wildcats in minutes per game last season. The top guy at 34.9 minutes a night was junior guard James Akinjo, who entered his name in the NBA Draft, but is testing the waters and could return to school.

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