During three seasons at Boston College, forward Ryan Anderson was on the winning team less than 40 percent of the time.
He doesn’t figure to have that problem at his new school. Because Anderson chose Thursday evening to finish his career at Arizona, committing to the Wildcats after taking an official recruiting visit to Tucson.
A 6-foot-9 junior forward from Lakewood, California, Anderson had also considered Iowa State and Indiana after deciding last month to leave the Eagles, who were 8-24 last season and fired coach Steve Donahue.
“Coming from BC, I wanted a chance to compete for a national championship and be a part of it,” Anderson told the Star. “That’s the main thing, and their player development and history.”
While Anderson will have to sit out next season under NCAA transfer rules, before having a final season to play in 2015-16, the timing actually works out well for both sides.
The Wildcats get a veteran forward, who became an honorable mention all-ACC pick last season while averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds, just when they could have major early NBA departures next spring.
Arizona will lose point guard T.J. McConnell and forward Matt Korcheck, plus up to four players early, and UA coach Sean Miller said on Wednesday he is hoping to attract six recruits to his 2015 class as a result.
Anderson, meanwhile, gets a chance to recover from arthroscopic shoulder surgery this spring – he said he should be fully healthy by September — and then improve his game while practicing against players such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski next season.
“I’m excited about practice,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s decision came quickly. He announced he would leave the Eagles on April 7, and the Wildcats swooped right in.
Arizona had a scholarship to offer Anderson after announcing that Zach Peters left the team for medical reasons.
“They reached out to me as soon as they heard and started building a relationship with me,” Anderson said.
Anderson wound up taking only one other visit this spring, to Iowa State last weekend.
He had a visit scheduled to Indiana earlier this week but postponed it, finding upon his arrival in Tucson that he needed to look no further.
“This is the place for me,” Anderson said. “No need to waste the Arizona coaches’ time or the Indiana coaches’ time, or my time.
“I’m sure about it.”
Anderson didn’t get a chance to see the Wildcat program in its usual state, with McKale Center being torn up for renovations this offseason.
But Anderson said he visited McKale for an elite camp in high school and was already aware of the program and its tradition.
Coming to UA gets Anderson closer to his Lakewood home, although he said the decision to attend Arizona wasn’t about geography.
“It really wasn’t about me being closer to home; it was just that Arizona was the best fit for me to try to win a national championship,” Anderson said.
“I lost a lot of close games at BC and now I can be at the top of college basketball. Coach Miller thinks I can be a key part of achieving their goals and hopefully I’ll be a part of their success.”