Citizen Staff Writer
ARIZONA WILDCATS BASKETBALL
After landing two impact recruits in his first two weeks, new Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller has missed on two others.
In other words, he’s human. Not even Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson could get his guy every time.
Miller picked up commitments and then signatures Friday from forward Solomon Hill and center Kyryl Natyazhko. But the last couple of days, Miller missed on center Jarrid Famous and point guard Lamont Jones, who are headed to South Florida and USC, respectively.
Arizona is still in the running for shooting guard/small forward Kevin Parrom, who was released from his letter of intent at Xavier, where Miller coached before UA.
Even if the Wildcats don’t get Parrom, their future is brighter.
“To me, this is the best-case scenario,” said Dave Telep, Scout.com’s recruiting analyst, referring to Miller’s two quick signees, “because it’s difficult to walk in and grab guys who can legitimately impact your program in the spring” signing period.
Telep said with UA getting Natyazhko and Hill, “it’s above and beyond what was reasonably expected given this stage of the game. It’s a big deal.”
Parrom, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound swingman, hails from New York City and played at South Kent School in Connecticut. He’s rated No. 74 overall by Scout.com and No. 122 by Rivals.com.
“Kevin, at this point, wants to take a step back and breathe,” Chris Mack, hired as Xavier head coach after Miller left, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He wants to examine all of his options, and so we have granted Kevin a complete release.”
Parrom is also considering Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Marquette and Louisville, according to ESPN.com, which says the player has “very good athleticism and quickness.” In addition to those schools, Scout.com said, Parrom is interested in Providence, St. John’s, Virginia Tech and South Carolina.
As for the ones who got away:
• Famous, a 6-11, 235-pound center from Westchester (N.Y.) Community College, visited UA last weekend, according to Rivals.com. He also strongly considered Missouri.
• Jones, a 6-foot guard from Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, is expected to play a lot for USC because Trojans junior Daniel Hackett declared for the NBA draft.
Telep said Arizona should look forward to a coach “who is committed” to success. Telep said Miller has a reputation for having a “good eye for talent.”
“He’s a tireless worker and you can expect that to happen at Arizona,” Telep said. “He doesn’t waste a lot of time. He has a knack for identifying players and their recruitment. The people who know him will tell you it was just a matter of when (and not if) he had a chance to captain an elite program like Arizona’s.
“He’s the real deal as a head basketball coach. His team will embody his personality: gritty, tough, get-it-done type.”
Swingman looking at Arizona . . . and a lot of other schools