Breakdown of Arizona’s top-ranked 2015 recruiting class
The statement is almost a cliche for great college teams: they don’t rebuild, they reload.
Cliche or not, reloading is the only way to describe the Arizona Wildcats’ 2015 basketball recruiting class.
After Arizona received letters-of-intent from four of ESPN’s top-100 players in the class on Thursday, the first day they could sign, the Wildcats have the early top-ranked recruiting class, according to ESPN. Although there is no way to know which underclassmen could leave early after the 2014-15 season, it seems like the returning players will be sharing the floor with some explosive freshmen.
As head coach Sean Miller and the Wildcats continue to target other premier recruits, here is a breakdown of Arizona’s highly-touted 2015 recruiting class:
Allonzo Trier – Seattle, Wash.
The five-star recruit is ranked 17th in ESPN’s top-100, and the 6-foot-5 shooting guard is expected to be a much-needed scorer from the wing. Not enough can be said about Trier’s ability to pour in points, with a great long-range shooting touch that complements a knack for easily getting to the rim. Although he doesn’t stand out in any other area nearly as much as with his scoring, Trier’s shot-making prowess alone will make him an immediate contributor for the Wildcats.
Sean Miller’s Take: “He has a natural way of scoring that’s really striking as a coach. He gets to the foul line as well as anyone I’ve seen at his age, and he has a physicality to his game that makes him incredibly efficient. He’s also a very good passer and can play more than one position, which makes him even better.”
Ray Smith – Las Vegas, Nev.
The immediate thing to stand out in Smith’s play is his incredible athleticism, garnering him the 24th ranking in ESPN’s top-100. The 6-foot-8 small forward can get up with just about any player and runs the floor very well in fast-break situations, although he will be in recovery after tearing his ACL in July. Looking past his athleticism, Smith is just a well-rounded player with very good court vision and an ability to hold his own in the low-post against bigger players on offense and defense.
Sean Miller’s Take: “Ray is a terrific athlete who can really get up and down the floor. He has the size you want as a small forward, and he can really pass, shoot and dribble. He’s a very skilled basketball player with great size.”
Justin Simon – Temecula, Calif.
Although listed as a point guard, with Simon’s 6-foot-5 frame and great athletic ability, he should be able to help out at various positions. Still, Simon’s greatest strengths come at the top of the key, where he is a great passer and lockdown defender, using quick hands to create turnovers. As the 27th ranked prospect in ESPN’s top-100, Simon stands out as one of the best passers in the class and could be a great floor general for the Wildcats.
Sean Miller’s Take: “Justin is the ultimate versatile player in that he can play, and defend, as many as three positions. He has great size as a guard. His disposition and length give him a chance to be [a] very special defensive player. Regardless of what position he plays, he’s an exceptional passer who really has a great feel for making his teammates better.”
Chance Comanche – Beverly Hills, Calif.
Getting a seven-inch growth spurt as a freshman in high school, Comanche towers with incredible length as a 6-foot-10 center, ranking 97th in ESPN’s top-100. Comanche defends very well in the post, easily blocking shots and rebounding, and shows some great range on the offensive end as a shooter and fast break threat. Comanche’s low-post abilities are only expected to get better as he further grows into his tall frame.
Sean Miller’s Take: “As he gets bigger and stronger, the sky is the limit because he already has a great feel and skill level. As somebody who can make shots, score around the basket and run the court, we love where he’s going to be in his future.”