Kadeem Allen’s commitment to the Arizona Wildcats today came quickly after his recruiting visit. But really, it wasn’t a quick decision at all.
Speaking by phone this afternoon from Kansas, the Hutchinson CC standout combo guard said he was “always leaning” toward Arizona, which gave him his first major scholarship offer last spring and stayed on him hard.
“They just showed me the most interest,” Allen said. “Coach (Sean) Miller was the first head coach who saw me here. When I saw him, it was like `This is for real.’
“Other schools offered me after Arizona offered but I felt like they were making me the second man. They were playing the game. So I just felt Arizona was the best fit.”
Allen said he didn’t know any of the Arizona players until his visit over the weekend but quickly became close to freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whose hometown (Chester, Pa.) is the closest to Allen’s (Wilmington, N.C.).
Not that Allen cared about geography or anything. He said he hasn’t really watched UA or Pac-12 ball, either.
“Wherever I go, I just want to go in and play basketball,” Allen said. “It really doesn’t matter.”
Allen is likely to make an impact immediately with the Wildcats, at least by assuming the backup combo guard role that will be vacated by Jordin Mayes … but possibly in greater ways.
Jerry Mullen, who had Allen in his well-regarded Top 100 junior college camp, said he believed Allen could have a bigger impact at UA than did forward Jesse Perry, who also participated in Mullen’s camp.
“I’m telling you, he will play,” Mullen said. “He always had the athleticism to play at a high level but he’s refined his game to where he can play the point.
“He’s an outstanding midrange shooter, who really elevates on his J. He’s tough. He can get to the rim. He’s highly competitive, and explosive.”
Allen's high school coach said he was "blown away" by his visit to Arizona, and could end up playing multiple roles for the Wildcats.
The Republic's Paola Boivin takes a look at Sean Miller's recruiting and this season's Wildcats.
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Dunk-minded USC guard Julian Jacobs says he's loving everything about Andy Enfield's new regime.
We had a look at Augustana coach Tom Billeter and his Vikings, who will face Arizona tonight at 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks, so no free streaming...)