Miller at pep rally: UA recruiting for four-player Class of 2010by Javier Morales on Feb. 19, 2010, under Sports
Amid the hoopla of a pep rally on campus Thursday night, UA basketball coach Sean Miller talked about the program’s future beyond Sunday’s important game against ASU at McKale Center.
Miller discussed his plans for the recruiting class of 2010. Of course, he did not talk about particular players, per NCAA rules, but he did mention that he and his coaching staff hope to land two more recruits before the April signing period. Miller already has in tow Phoenix North guard Daniel Bejarano (who signed a national letter of intent in November) and Los Angeles Westchester guard Jordin Mayes (who verbally committed to the UA last month).
The most frequently asked question: How will Miller bring in a four-player class when he only has three spots to fill?
Let’s take a look at the 2010-11 roster as it presently stands if the Wildcats stay intact:
1. Jamelle Horne, senior forward. Although Miller’s patience has run thin sometimes over Horne because of Horne’s lack of rebounds, there’s no reason to believe Horne will not be back for his senior season.
2. Kyle Fogg, junior guard. Will Fogg, mired in a funk for the last couple of weeks, accept being a bench player next year behind a freshman (either Bejarano or Doron Lamb, for example)?
3. Brendon Lavender, junior guard. Lavender has shown signs of life of late beyond the three-point line, but will he accept what looks to be a reserve role for the rest of his career at Arizona?
4. Alex Jacobson, junior center. Don’t expect Jacobson to go anywhere. Jacobson, an asset in practice for his size around the hoop, does not want to lose another year after redshirting as a freshman.
5. D.J. Shumpert, junior forward. Shumpert is another holdover from the Lute Olson era who has hardly played for the Cats. Miller promised Shumpert a scholarship for as long as he is eligible. Can that scholarship be an academic one instead, or might UA academic advisors find other ways to keep Shumpert around?
6. Kevin Parrom, sophomore forward. Has developed into the backbone of Arizona’s starting lineup with his aggressive yet steady style of play. He’s going nowhere.
7. MoMo Jones, sophomore guard. Like Parrom, Jones provides the Cats some toughness, mentally as much as physically. He should be back because a starting assignment is a strong possibility.
8. Solomon Hill, sophomore forward. He has a strong upside because of his versatility. He’s not jumping ship.
9. Derrick Williams, sophomore forward. Interesting angle here is Williams will likely be the Pac-10 freshman of the year. How will that play on his mind when the NBA draft deadline comes around? UCLA coach Ben Howland thought Jrue Holiday would be back this season and Holiday is gone to the NBA.
10. Kyryl Natyazhko, sophomore center. The Ukrainian has shown promise as of late. However, any coach must have guarded optimism that a foreign player will stay his entire career because of family being far away.
11. Daniel Bejarano, freshman guard. He will immediately challenge for a starting spot because of his perimeter shooting ability.
12. Jordin Mayes, freshman guard. His basketball smarts and controlled play will be a necessary component Arizona lacks this season.
This leaves one available scholarship. Again, the ways for another to open up include a player transferring, going pro or attending the UA via other means. Miller would not target a four-player class if he did not think any of these scenarios are possible.
Who are the most likely players to fill these two scholarship spots?
The most written about recruits who the UA has a realistic shot likely boils down to four players:
- Jesse Perry, a power forward at John A. Logan Community College in Cartersville, Ill.
- Doron Lamb, a combo guard from Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy
- Josh Selby, a point guard from Baltimore Lake Clifton High School
- Kadeem Jack, a power forward from Manhattan (N.Y.) Rice High School
The recruits not mentioned as much (although they have visited Arizona) include:
- Ray McCallum, a point guard from Detroit Country Day School
- Rob Loe, a center from New Zealand
With Miller already attracting two guards for the Class of 2010 — and his inside game needing reinforcements for Derrick Williams — his focus likely will be on signing either Perry or Jack. The first between Perry or Jack to commit should see significant playing time next season. Mayes’ commitment gives the UA an adequate ball handler if Selby and Lamb decide to go elsewhere.
By the same token, landing a player with the talent of a Selby or Lamb, will instantly be a landmark achievement for Miller. Both of the guards are Rivals.com 5-star players who are McDonald’s All-American selections.
Lamb is coming off a career game last Friday in the in Prime Time Shootout in Trenton, N.J. He had 49 points – second in tournament history to the 52 LeBron James put up in 2003 – and hit three 3-pointers in the final 17.5 seconds.
Selby this week eliminated Syracuse and Indiana from his list. Zagsblog.com has reported that Selby has narrowed his choices to Kansas and Arizona although he and his mother Maeshon Witherspoon have stated that UConn and Kentucky are also possibilities.
Selby and Witherspoon, who have already toured Arizona and Kansas, visit UConn on Feb. 28 and Kentucky on March 7. The spring signing period lasts from April 14 to May 19.