NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Of the five Team Why Not players on the floor for at least 32 minutes of the Peach Jam final on Sunday, four have been Arizona recruiting targets.
That’s probably no surprise, of course.
Neither will it be a surprise if most of those targets keep Arizona on their lists as they schedule official visits and get serious about their recruitments in the weeks to come following Team Why Not’s 85-84 loss to MoKan Elite on Sunday.
Team Why Not guard Devin Askew, a five-star target in the class of 2021 who is considering a move to 2020, said he’s definitely planning to visit Arizona, while teammates Nimari Burnett, Terren Frank and even Jalen Green said the Wildcats remain among the schools they are considering.
That is, if the highly regarded Green even attends college. He’s the No. 3-rated player in the class of 2020 and says college is in his plans. But he has also indicated he would leave immediately for the NBA if the rules change.
“I’m not really worried about college right now,” Green said during Peach Jam play, which he finished Sunday by scoring inside to take the game to overtime but ultimately missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer.
Burnett, a five-star combo guard from Chicago now playing at Prolific Prep in Napa, California, didn’t hurt his stature any when he collected 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting, 10 rebounds and three assists in Sunday’s championship game.
But even while Burnett said he’s still open and won’t narrow down his choices until next month, he said he’ll definitely try to visit the UA.
“Arizona’s a great school, definitely a great coaching staff and there’s nothing but good things from them,” Burnett said. It’s the “recruits coach (Sean) Miller has had, with Deandre Ayton, and in the past Aaron Gordon, people who have a good history at Arizona.”
Frank, a four-star, 6-7 forward from California’s Sierra Canyon, where he played with and became friends with UA freshman Christian Koloko, said he’s considering visiting Arizona while also considering TCU, Colorado, UCLA, USC, Oregon State and several others.
Askew said he’s also open to everyone now, which is understandable considering that he’s still a member of the class of 2021. But if the Mater Dei point guard opts to reclassify this summer and join the 2020 class, something he says is possible academically, the timing accelerates considerably.
If that happens, he’ll be ready.
“I’ve already been serious about it,” Askew said. “I’ve been looking into schools.”
Askew said he already has a tentative list of finalists in mind, and while he says he doesn’t want to announce the entire list now, UA’s chances appear to be good.
“Arizona’s in it for sure,” Askew said.
The Wildcats are also on the minds of several other top players in the South over the weekend. At Peach Jam, Chicago guards DJ Stewart and Adam Miller, plus Pittsburgh-area forward Puff Johnson, were among the others saying they planned to visit UA soon.
Adam Miller said he wanted to look closely at both UA and ASU.
“With coach Miller, Arizona is always a playoff team,” Miller said. “They’ve always got some good guards to come out of there. That’s a guard school. And Arizona State, it’s fun out there. With coach (Bobby) Hurley, it’s a really good environment. So I really like both those schools.”
At the Under Armour Finals in Emerson, Ga., even five-star 2021 center Nate Bittle, of the Medford, Ore., area said he’s been hearing a lot from the UA staff and plans to get to know the program better — even though Oregon is already considered a leader for him.
“They are, yeah,” Bittle said.
At the Adidas Summer Championships in the Birmingham area, Seattle wing MarJon Beauchamp said he plans to visit UA after he moves to Arizona next month to settle into the new program at Dream City Christian in Glendale, while Tempe guard Dalen Terry already visited the Wildcats unofficially last month after receiving a scholarship offer.
“It was good,” Terry said. “I just got the offer and I had never been down to U of A or Tucson before. So it was a great time to be down there.”
Terry, once a teammate of former UA guard Alex Barcello at Tempe Corona Del Sol before transferring to Phoenix Hillcrest before last season, said he might return to the UA in the fall for an official visit, too.
Then there was a tweet Saturday night from four-star 2020 guard Marcus Bagley, the younger brother of former Corona Del Sol and Duke standout Marvin Bagley, who said he was down to just UA, ASU and Cal.
While UA has long kept in touch with the Bagley family, the news might have seemed as something of a surprise considering that the Wildcats weren’t even listed as a school of interest for Marcus on his 247 sports recruiting bio.
Then again, it’s the sort of crazy moment the recruiting stretch run ahead is known for.
So why not?