Arizona’s much-maligned recruiting class, prior to Sean Miller taking the reins, is now complete with the addition of Derrick Williams.
Lance Stephenson and Jarrid Famous, we hardly knew ya.
With the committment of Jones and Williams, Miller rounds out a now-top 10 class for 2009 that includes:
Kyryl Natyazhko (C/PF)
Solomon Hill (SF/SG)
Kevin Parrom (PF/SF)
Lamont Jones (SG/PG)
Derrick Williams (PF/SF)
Every position is deep now. There are two options for PG after returner and All-American candidate Nic Wise in Garland Judkins and Jones. SG goes three deep with Kyle Fogg, then Brandon Lavender and Hill or Jones. SF has multiple options, starting with Hill, and then going through Parrom, Williams, and DJ Shumpert. PF is rock steady with Jamelle Horne, followed by Natyazhko, Parrom, and Williams, and the C position is anchored by Natyazhko and Alex Jacobson, with Horne being able to run the C if Miller goes small.
Miller will run, and run a lot, and his players will all see significant minutes – almost 20+ a game for everyone except Wise, who you can count on being around 30+ a game. This team will create matchup problems for everyone in the Pac-10 except UCLA, and even then the Bruins must be a little worried that this young Wildcat team somehow, some way, is now loaded and deep with talent at every position.
Wise and Horne will be the leaders on this team, and you know that these Wildcats will be a huge threat to win the conference now – a 26th straight run to the NCAA Tourney is almost a given, since a top-3 finish in the conference literally guarantees a berth.
Down at Tempe Normal, Herb Sendek and the rest of Sun Devil Nation must be wondering “How on earth could this have possibly happened?” They had four straight wins over Arizona – granted, they were over non-Lute Olson-coached teams – and it looked like they were going to become the new king of the hill in the state. Instead, Arizona turned the tables and now has not only the upper hand coaching-wise, but the talent to go with it. It’s a proven fact that Sendek is simply not an elite coach. He’s a good coach, maybe borderline great, but he’s not elite. Miller, however, has already proven he’s elite. In fact, Miller is already mentioned in several pundits’ top 30 coaching lists in the country.
All that’s left is now to look forward to the start of the basketball season. Jarrid Famous can stay at South Florida – hope he’s happy to be a bottom feeder for the remaining two years of his college career, because South Florida isn’t going to do anything in the Big East anytime soon. Lance Stephenson? Well, if he doesn’t sign with Memphis (and Josh Pastner could really use the help), then he will most likely end up in Europe. Good luck with that.
Either way, the 2009 Wildcats are complete!