Who’s Who of Arizona Basketball Recruiting

Posted on February 2, 2011 by


Check out No. 9 on ESPN's Chad Ford's Mock NBA Draft

With a Top 10 recruiting class coming in next year, with the potential addition of another ESPN Top 100 player possibly pushing it to a Top 5 recruiting class, Arizona will be over committed on scholarship spots. Thus, we need to discuss.

2010-2011 Roster

PG: MoMo Jones(So.) – Jordin Mayes(Fr.)/Daniel Bejarano(Fr.)

SG: Kyle Fogg(Jr.) – Brendan Lavender (Jr.)

SF: Solomon Hill(So.) – Kevin Parrom(So.)

PF: Jesse Perry(Jr.) – Jamelle Horne(Sr.)

PF/C: Derrick Williams(So.) – Kryl Natyazhko(So.)/Alex Jacobsen(Jr.)

Others: Dondre Wise(G-Jr.), Robert Arvizu(G-Fr.), Max Wiepking(F-So.)

Now, every NCAA Division I team is allotted 13 scholarships for players. Hopefully, as most of you can see, we have 15 players above. Both Robert Arizu and Max Wiepking are walk-on players, i.e. without scholarships.

Arizona has a phenomenal class coming in next year and not enough room for them. As of now, there are three committed future Wildcats.

Josiah Turner is a 6’3″ 190lb point guard. Of the 2011 class, ESPN ranks him No. 26 overall and the No. 5 point guard in the country. He brings a true point guard, which we are greatly in need of. Don’t get me wrong, I am a MoMo fan and he has been truly stepping up the past few games, but he is not a true point guard. Coach Miller has found what he described as a “pass first” point guard which is extremely rare in the game these days. Miller also mentioned Turner’s frame in reference to his aptitude to play good defense at the next level. His ceiling is very high. The Wildcats can only hope he flourishes under Miller and stays a while.

Nick Johnson is a 6’3″ 185lb shooting guard that ESPN has ranked No. 23 overall and the No. 7 shooting guard in the country. Johnson goes to Findlay Prep in Henderson, NV, an adjacent city to Las Vegas, NV. I am from the area and have nothing but absolutely great things about him. In fact, Findlay and my alma mater Bishop Gorman are highly competitive nationally and played each other a few weeks ago. Johnson led his team to a tough victory over my Gorman Gaels. Oddly enough, we are recruiting a small forward out of Gorman by the name of Rosco Allen and Johnson was told by the Arizona Coaching staff to be nice to him. As for Johnson, he is supposed to be a beast of a player.He has a high basketball IQ and a sweet stroke that makes everyone who lettered in high school basketball weep. With Fogg being a senior next year, under his tutelage, Johnson will hopefully contribute in a big way immediately.

Sidiki Johnson is a 6’8″ 220lb power forward. ESPN ranks him No. 68 overall and the No. 13 power forward in the country. He is an athletic specimen. He has great post play with a mid-range jumper as well. His rebounding, especially offensively, is supposed to be superb. He is said to have a great eye for passing as well, outlets and break aways. This is something that I think our team is a little deficient in, so looks like a great add.

Lastly, Angelo Chol, a 6’8″ 210lb power forward, just took an official visit this past weekend and “loved” it. He is ranked No. 67 overall by ESPN and the No. 11 power forward. He averages an astounding 8 blocks a game right now and clearly has a great sense for defense. His frame is still filling out and his work ethic is said be miles ahead of many his age. Another interesting fact, Chol is from The Sudan, lived in Egypt for a bit and then moved to the states. His potential addition might mean a dangerous front court on both ends of the floor for opposing teams.

So, let’s have some fun with hypotheticals.

First of all, Jamelle Horne is a senior and gone. Secondly, Derrick Williams is an NBA lottery pick, Top 5 on most mock draft boards, which means he is gone as well. There are two spots right off the bat.

Then, Dondre Wise’s scholarship is what I have found to be a “conditional” one, meaning that it is some sort of a year-to-year renewal kind of scholarship and with the bloated back court the Wildcats look to have next year with Jones, Fogg, Turner and Johnson, I am guessing his renewal might not go through.

There are three spots cleared, the fourth gets a little more tricky. There are two possible scenarios and let me tell you which I think more likely. Alex Jacobsen, the junior center, might be gently nudged out of the program or the freshman guard Daniel Bejarano, might transfer. I am going to say the latter is more feasible. With the loaded back court already mentioned and Daniel’s production this season, he sits as the most likely option to make room for our fourth spot. Well, it is kind of unfair to talk about his lack of production, isn’t it? He has played a total of 30 minutes in eight games the entire season and only attempted eight field goals. With that said, he has only made one of those attempts. Moreover, he has not logged a minute in 2011, the last nine games. He was a prized in-state recruit who was supposed to have a high ceiling for potential contribution and development. I subscribe quite wholeheartedly to Coach Miller at present and assume that there are reasons we do not know about that contribute to his lack of playing time. Perhaps, he will make a better fit in another program. We hope the best for him, regardless of whether it is at Arizona or somewhere else.