Cats keep options open for 2014; basketball recruiting full speed ahead

Only 1 senior will leave, but others could, too
2013-07-10T00:00:00Z 2013-07-10T12:12:46Z Cats keep options open for 2014; basketball recruiting full speed aheadBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 10, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats have only one senior to replace after next season, guard Jordan Mayes, but that hardly means the coaching staff can take it easy this month.

Their efforts on the recruiting trail this summer could eventually offset a potential onslaught of early departures next spring.

Freshman forward Aaron Gordon is already projected as a lottery pick for 2014. A jump in development could send 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski or forward Brandon Ashley into pro ball. And well-rounded Nick Johnson is no guarantee to stick around, nor even is freshman guard Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

What's more, Arizona's somewhat unexpected losses last spring of Angelo Chol (San Diego State) and Grant Jerrett (NBA) suggested that all bets are off the table, really.

So Arizona could have one, two or maybe even four or five openings for the 2014-15 season. And the time to find replacements is now, when many rising high school seniors play their final travel-ball games and begin to finalize their recruitments.

"I think it's one of the most, if not the most, important class we have in terms of signing based on the fluidity of our roster and the number of different things that can happen," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "We know it's going to be a big class. I don't know if any coach likes to say every year is a big class, but that's how it kind of is in college basketball right now."

The Wildcats have one commitment so far for the class of 2014, Los Angeles point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and Miller said he hopes to sign a total of five players during the early signing period. He said he could see adding another player or two in the spring signing period, when it will likely have a better idea what players it will lose early.

Miller said he is especially emphasizing a need for frontcourt players so it's no surprise that many of the top 2014 frontcourt prospects have Arizona on their lists:

ARIZONA'S 2014 WISH LIST

(Player, Position, Size, Hometown, Ranking, Other schools considering, Skill set)

  • Jahlil Okafor C 6-10, 265 Chicago 1 (ESPNU, Scout, Rivals) Baylor, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State Hands, footwork, strength
  • Emmanuel Mudiay G 6-5, 190 Arlington, Texas 3 (Scout, Rivals) 5 (ESPNU) Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, SMU, NC State size as combo guard, slashing
  • Myles Turner C 6-11, 225 Euless, Texas 5 (Scout), 6 (Rivals), 10 (ESPNU) Duke, UCLA, multiple Big 12 schools Mobility, shot-blocking, face up game
  • Stanley Johnson SF 6-6, 200 Fullerton, Calif. 8 (Rivals, Scout), 12 (ESPNU) Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon, UCLA, USC Dominant open court game
  • Justise Winslow SF 6-5, 208 Houston 13 (Scout), 15 (ESPNU), 16 (Rivals) Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, six others Athleticism, all-around wing skills
  • Isaiah Whitehead SG 6-4, 195 New York 17 (Scout, Rivals), 35 (ESPNU) Kansas, Louisville, UCLA, many others Slashing, strength
  • Josh Perkins PG 6-3, 185 Denver 18 (Scout), 24 (ESPNU) UCLA, Gonzaga, Kansas, others Uptempo-minded point guard
  • Kameron Chatman SF 6-6, 175 Long Beach, Calif. 25 (Scout), 30 (Rivals), 42 (ESPNU) UCLA, Connecticut, Michigan, UCLA, Oregon, Washington Versatility, length
  • Namon Wright SG 6-5, 185 Los Angeles 58 (Scout), 60 (Rivals) ASU, Gonzaga, Oregon, UCLA, Washington, USC Slashing ability, length
  • Brekkott Chapman F 6-8, 215 Roy, Utah 49 (ESPNU), 57 (Rivals), 79 (Scout) ASU, BYU, Colorado, Kansas, Utah Versatility, basketball IQ
  • Reid Travis PF 6-8, 240 Minneapolis 40 (ESPNU, Rivals), 44 (Scout) Michigan State, UCLA, USC, Harvard Rebounding, physicality
  • Kelly Oubre SF 6-6, 190 Fort Bend, Texas 19 (Rivals), 20 (ESPNU), 28 (Scout) Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis, multiple Big 12 Shooting, length
  • Craig Victor PF 6-7, 205 New Orleans 14 (Scout), 21 (Rivals), 31 (ESPNU) Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, six others Production around basket
  • Paul White PF 6-8, 185 Chicago 48 (Scout), 57 (ESPNU) DePaul, Miami (Fla), Marquette, Michigan State, others Slashing, versatility
  • Payton Dastrup C 6-10, 230 Mesa 77 (Rivals), 84 (Scout), 85 (ESPNU) ASU, BYU, Florida, USC, Virginia, others Rebounding, toughness

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