Arizona Class of 2014 recruiting targets Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow will take part in the Under Armour Elite 24 game tomorrow night at the Tabacco Warehouse in Brooklyn after competing in the dunk contest tonight.
Class of 2015 prospect Ivan Rabb is also participating in the Elite 24. The game will air at 4 p.m. Tucson time on ESPNU.
Johnson, a wing prospect from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei High School, is slated to officially visit Arizona’s campus Sept. 13 and 14. He originally planned to visit during the UA’s Red-Blue Scrimmage on Oct. 12. Reports suggest he may still do that as an unofficial visit.
Winslow, a shooting guard/small forward player from Houston St. John’s, has not scheduled official visits. Arizona is one of his eight finalists. He is expected to announce his final five next week.
Arizona coach Sean Miller and his staff are recruiting for the Class of 2014 with the intent to fill potential holes if (or more appropriately, when) Aaron Gordon, Nick Johnson, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski leave the program for the NBA after this season.
Gordon is a likely lottery pick and Johnson, Ashley and Tarczewski can play their way into the middle of the first round. Tarczewski may improve his stock by staying until his junior season, but anything can happen these days as the UA learned with Grant Jerrett jumping to the NBA after his nondescript freshman season.
Miller has already addressed needs in the 2014 class at point guard and power forward with the commitments of Parker Jackson-Cartwright and Craig Victor, respectively.
Jackson-Cartwright, of Los Angeles Loyola, will be the primary backup for T.J. McConnell at point guard. McConnell will be a senior in 2014-15.
With the probable departure of Gordon and Ashley, Victor, a five-star prospect from Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep, will experience immediate playing time.
The addition of Stanley Johnson and/or Winslow will bolster the UA’s perimeter if Nick Johnson has a stellar season and leaves for the NBA.
Finally, the recruitment of Chicago Whitney Young post player Jahlil Okafor or Chicago Curie power forward Cliff Alexander would more than adequately fill Tarczewski’s spot.
Okafor, one of the top prospects in the nation, will visit the UA for the Red-Blue Scrimmage. Alexander, also a five-star recruit, is scheduled to visit the UA campus at the same time as Johnson. The UA football team will host Texas-San Antonio that weekend (Sept. 14).
Long Beach Poly small forward Kameron Chatman, a Rivals.com four-star recruit, is scheduled to visit the UA campus Sept. 27-28.
If Johnson, Gordon, Tarczewski and Ashley are drafted next June that would be the first time at least four Wildcats were selected in the NBA Draft since four were taken in 2001. Richard Jefferson was a first-round choice while Gilbert Arenas, Michael Wright and Loren Woods were taken in the second round.
The most first-round picks in one year is two, accomplished twice. Sean Elliott and Anthony Cook were taken in the first round in 1989 and Mike Bibby and Michael Dickerson in 1998.
With Solomon Hill and Jerrett taken this year, the possibility exists that Arizona could have six NBA draft choices in two years.
The most in a two-year span is five in 1998 (Bibby, Dickerson and Miles Simon) and 1999 (Jason Terry and A.J. Bramlett).
Gordon added to his three consecutive San Jose Mercury News basketball player of the year honors by being selected the paper’s first boys athlete of the year this week.
Gordon, Arizona’s heralded freshman forward and former Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) High School star, led his teams to numerous titles: Four Central Coast Section, three West Catholic Athletic League, three Northern California and two state. He finished his career as the CCS’s career leader in points (2,386) and rebounds (1,666).
“I think he’s the best player ever from the CCS,” Mark Tennis, longtime editor of CalHiSports.com, told the Mercury News.
Others who have played in the section include Jeremy Lin, Mark McNamara, Kurt Rambis and Dennis Awtrey.
Gordon is already receiving preseason honors. The Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe reports that Gordon is a Sporting News second-team preseason All-American.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.