A look ahead to the Class of 2011by Javier Morales on Nov. 06, 2009, under Sports
The University of Arizona program already has a commitment from Class of 2011 power forward Sidiki Johnson, who will be a perfect transition from Jamelle Horne to the future, but what does the remainder of that class look like to the Wildcats?
First a little bit on Johnson: He is rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals.com, which also has him as the No. 58 prospect overall of the Class of 2011. He has transferred from Bronx (N.Y.) St. Raymond’s to St. Benedict Preparatory in Newark, N.J., which should improve him as a player and continue Arizona’s image of going after elite-level national recruits.
St. Benedict plays a national schedule similar to prep-school powers Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy and Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep. Last year, for example, St. Benedict played in elite-level events in Benton (Ky.), Fort Lauderdale (Fla.), San Juan, (P.R.), Santa Ana (Calif.) and Pittsburgh. This is just a sample. Most of its schedule is national.
UA coach Sean Miller has said in the past that getting players from these types of programs reduces the learning curve once they get into Division I. Johnson has two years remaining playing these difficult schedules and next year’s summer elite AAU tournaments to refine his game.
Here is the rest of the Class of 2011 preliminarily in the Wildcats’ plans. These are current high school juniors who have expressed interest in the UA program according to Rivals.com. I have separated them into regions: East, West, Midwest and South. The ranking is their overall rating among other 2011 prospects. The recruit’s interest level is also judged by Rivals.com.
No. 23 Kyle Wiltjer, PF, 6-9, 200, Portland (OR). Five-stars. Interest: Medium
No. 28 Jabari Brown, SG, 6-3, 205, Henderson (NV). Four-stars. Interest: Medium
No. 51 Nick Johnson, SG, 6-2, 175, Henderson (NV). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 56 Josiah Turner, PG, 6-3, 175, Sacramento (CA). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 63 Norvel Pelle, C, 6-8, 180, Compton (CA). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 120 Cezar Guerrero, PG, 5-11, 165, Bellflower (CA). Three-Stars. Interest: Medium
***Wesley Saunders, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound Class of 2011 shooting guard from Los Angeles Windward unofficially visited the UA campus two weeks ago when the Wildcats played UCLA in football. It might come down to Arizona and USC for Saunders next year, with Stanford as a possibility as well.
No. 20 Quinn Cook, PG, 6-1, 180, Bowie (MD). Five-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 47 Angel Nunez, SF, 6-7, 180, Winchendon (MA). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 58 Sidiki Johnson, PF, 6-8, 220, Newark (NJ). Four-Stars. Interest: COMMITTED TO ARIZONA
No. 70 Derrick Wilson, PG, 6-1, 185, Lakeville (CT). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 80 Naadir Thorpe, PG, 5-11, 170, Wolfeboro (NH). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 7 Bradley Beal, SG, 6-3, 170, St. Louis (MO). Five-Stars. Interest: Low
No. 52 Amir Williams, C, 6-9, 220, Beverly Hills (MI). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 101 James Siakam, SF, 6-7, 190, Carbondale (IL). Three-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 112 George Marshall, PG, 6-0, 180, Chicago (IL). Three-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 12 Shannon Scott, PG, 6-2, 175, Alpharetta (GA). Five-Stars. Interest: Medium
No. 36 Chris Jones, PG, 5-10, 160, Memphis (TN). Four-Stars. Interest: Medium
Observations: Of this group, other than Johnson, the UA has it sights strongly on Williams. UA assistants James Whitford and Emanuel “Book” Richardson are diligently recruiting him (Rivals.com reports that they have offered him a scholarship). … Williams is a Michigan product similar to Class of 2010 point guard Ray McCallum Jr., who officially visited the UA last weekend and is concluding his visits this weekend at Florida. The commitment of Adreian Payne to Michigan State will likely alter Williams’ recruitment. He was showing a strong interest in the Spartans but he and Payne, a Class of 2010 recruit, play the same position. … If the UA’s current roster stays intact for the Class of 2011-12 season, that means one scholarship will be available: Horne’s. He exhausts his eligibility after next season. Theoretically, Johnson will take that scholarship. The UA coaching staff is preparing for potential personnel changes (transfers, academic situations, funding through other means) by continuing to pursue many of these Class of 2011 recruits. … I will provide a similar list for the Class of 2012 recruits this weekend. If the UA roster remains intact until then, the Wildcats will have at least five scholarships available that year. That could be the year Miller inks his first Five-star recruit.