Natyazhko ready for taunts from Arizona St. fansby Steve Rivera on Apr. 16, 2009, under Sports
Citizen Staff Writer
Center Kyryl Natyazhko, who chose Arizona over Arizona State, expects to get razzed by Sun Devils fans when UA plays basketball in Tempe.
“I felt bad about not choosing Arizona State,” he said in an IMG e-mail/video, “and I’m ready to get extra-specially booed when we play them.
“But the Arizona coaches told me that at away games, we’ll often have just as many fans there as the home team. Plus, the Pac-10 is one of the best conferences in the country.”
There was no official word from UA about recruits signing Wednesday, the first day they can ink a letter-of-intent for the spring signing period. Expected to sign were Solomon Hill, a 6-foot-6, 195-pound forward from Los Angeles Fairfax High School, and Natyazhko, who committed to the Wildcats on Saturday.
Hill moved up one spot to No. 27 in Rivals’ overall rankings, while Natyazhko fell from No. 75 to No. 81. Natyazhko, a 6-10, 250-pound center, averaged 24 points and nine rebounds a game for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
The Ukraine native said he speaks four languages (Ukrainian, Russian, Lithuanian and English) and has become friends with many people, particularly after picking Arizona last weekend.
“As soon as I made my decision, my Facebook went crazy,” he said. “I had like 300 friends; now it’s up above 500.”
Also, an announcement could come soon on Ohio State assistant Archie Miller joining his brother’s staff at UA. Earlier in the week, Ohio newspapers reported that Archie, also a former Arizona State assistant, would join Sean Miller at Arizona.