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Arizona basketball adds a preferred walk-on guard from Los Angeles

The Arizona Wildcats basketball roster continues to change in the offseason, this time with the news Sunday that guard Jacob Hazzard will join the team as a preferred walk-on.

While Hazzard, from Los Angeles Loyola High School, won’t use UA’s last available scholarship for next season, he isn’t the usual walk-on practice fodder, either. The “preferred” part of the walk-on status is a signal that he was scouted and recruited by the school (as opposed to just showing up at a tryout) and could be in line for a scholarship down the road.

Hazzard was known as one of the top shooters in Southern California last season, averaging 12.3 points and making 80 of 197 3-point attempts (40.6 percent).

ESPN.com wrote that Hazzard, who visited the UA campus last week, had scholarship offers from some Division III schools.

“Jacob is one of the more underrated guards in Southern California,” ESPN recruiting analyst Joel Francisco said in February. “He’s undersized but can play Division I ball because of his shooting prowess and ability to guard ones. He’s ready for a step up in competition.”

Hazzard is the grandson of former UCLA coach Walt Hazzard.

Hazzard tweeted this Sunday night:

Hazzard (5-11, 155 pounds) gives Arizona needed depth in the backcourt after the graduation of Kyle Fogg and Brendon Lavender, and point guard Josiah Turner’s decision last week to transfer.

The scholarship guards for next season are junior point guard Jordin Mayes, sophomore combo guard Nick Johnson and incoming freshman Gabe York. Senior wing Kevin Parrom could see plenty of time at shooting guard.

In the past week or so, the Cats have lost Turner and junior center Kyryl Natyazhko (left to pursue professional ball), while adding junior college transfer forward Matt Korcheck and Duquesne transfer point guard T.J. McConnell.

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