Wildcats sign four top recruits
Arizona coach Sean Miller signed a stellar class that included Derrick Williams two years ago. Last year, he brought in four heralded freshmen.
Miller may have outdone even himself this year, signing a four-player recruiting class ranked by numerous services as the best in the nation.
The class announced Monday includes three players from California: Brandon Ashley, a 6-foot-8 forward from Oakland; Grant Jerrett, a 6-10 forward from La Verne; and 6-1 guard Gabe York from Orange. Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-foot center from Claremont, N.H., rounds out the class that Scout.com, Rivals.com and ESPN.com rated the best in the nation.
The four are expected to enroll in July.
''To say the least, we're very, very excited,'' Miller said. ''We've addressed certain things from a program perspective that you covet, the gift of size, players that are really big for their position that add length and size and depth to your current team.''
Miller added that his recruiting efforts were helped the Wildcats' run to the regional final of last season's NCAA Tournament and Williams, the No. 2 pick in this year's NBA draft.
Ashley, currently playing at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds as a junior at Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland. He led the school to California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Division 3 titles in 2010 and 2011.
''If you think about his size, 6-8 small forward, it'll remind you a little bit of some of the old Arizona teams with a guy like Richard Jefferson at that position, but he can play the four as well,'' Miller said.
Jerrett, who plays at La Verne Lutheran High School, committed to Arizona in November 2010 and is a strong rebounder with good hands and long arms. He averaged 18 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots as a junior.
Jerrett signed on Monday to complete the class after the other three had signed previously.
''Someone with the stature of Grant committing as early as he did continues to give us credibility,'' Miller said. ''Grant did that long before we ever went to an Elite Eight.''
Tarczewski, from St. Mark's School in Southborough, Mass., is a physical player who also has good hands. He averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds as a junior.
''Very seldom is it possible to get a 7-footer,'' Miller said. ''There just aren't a lot of guys like that with that size out there.''
York, who plays at Orange Lutheran High School, is an explosive scorer who can shoot 3-pointers and play some point guard. He averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 steals as a junior.
''Gabe will be, especially once he gets bigger and stronger, a really gifted scorer for us in the backcourt,'' Miller said.