Serbian 7-footer Dusan Ristic will take a recruiting visit to Arizona this weekend and it would surprise nobody around him if he made a quick commitment to the Wildcats.
Ristic’s coach at Sunrise Christian Academy of Kansas, Kyle Lindsted, told the Star today that Arizona already has a strong relationship with Ristic, to the point where other schools’ interest is not yet being returned.
“I asked him if he was going to commit this weekend, and he said I don’t know,” Lindsted said. “Right now, he could be talking to any college but he’s talking to Arizona pretty exclusively. We’ve (told other schools) he’s going to take this trip and then see if he wants to” talk with other schools.
According to Lindsted, the notion that Ristic would play at Arizona was embedded early, even before he opted to leave Serbia to play high school and college ball instead of sign what is often a very long-term pro deal at home (Ivan Radenovic left Serbia for UA over a decade ago for the same reason).
Lindsted said associate head coach Joe Pasternack had a lot to do with Ristic moving to Kansas for the latter half of his senior season, with the idea of playing high-level college ball before moving to the NBA.
“I don’t know all the details but I know (Arizona) had been recruiting him even when he was over there,” Lindsted said. “They kind of convinced him that he should come to the States instead of staying there. We have a close friend of his and he was looking for a (high) school, so we were able to convince him to come to our place.
Ristic, 18, is projected to go in the late first round of the 2015 NBA Draft, according to Draft Express, coincidentally right in front of Kaleb Tarczewski.
“He’s 7-foot, 240 (pounds), and is very skilled with great hands and feet,” Lindsted said. “He’s going to have to work on becoming more physical, stronger and more athletic but he’s got a great feel and touch for the ball. He’s got some things to work on but he’s got a lot of skills.
“He can play away from the basket but he’s actually real skilled on the block and offensively he’s really good. He’s just got to get more explosive, but that’s me being real picky.”