Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats recruiting: UA keeps its edge with commit of 2015 post prospect Comanche



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Chance Comanche committed to Arizona a week after visiting ASU's campus (YouTube video capture)

Chance Comanche committed to Arizona a week after visiting ASU’s campus (YouTube video capture)

The commitment today of Chance Comanche is an example of why opposing Pac-12 coaches, and those at Kansas for that matter, cringe when Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller hosts a recruit on an official visit.

Miller, a young, aggressive, passionate coach who touches a chord with prospects and their parents, reeled in another high-profile catch in Comanche, a four-star talent from Beverly Hills (Calif.) High School who visited Tucson over the weekend.

“I’ve thought long and hard about this but I’ve finally decided where I’m going next year,” Comanche, a 6’11” senior post player, tweeted this morning. “I’ve decided that I’m going to the University of Arizona.”

Comanche’s tweet after visiting ASU last weekend forecast his feelings about the Sun Devils after his time in Tempe.

“Finally headed home,” Comanche tweeted. “But I had a great time at ASU and I’m gonna keep them in mind when I make my decision.”

Finally headed home … If a recruit had a tremendous visit, such as Comanche apparently had this weekend at Arizona, the words “Finally headed home” do not enter the vocabulary. Moreover, a recruit keeping ASU in mind when making a decision is like somebody applying for a job and being told their information will be kept on file.


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*Boston College transfer. **Duquesne transfer. Note: Some players committed to Arizona before taking their official visit of the campus.
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ASU coach Herb Sendek reportedly visited Comanche in Beverly Hills last week to make one more effort before Comanche headed to Tucson.

“I feel comfortable around the (Arizona) coaches and players,” Comanche told about his decision. “They make me feel like I can get what I want out of life there.

“Coach Miller and (Joe) Pasternack are great guys. They’re great people that I know I’ll be able to talk to and trust even after I return from college. The players are great people who have welcomed me with open arms; they’re treating me like I’m part of the family already.”

The addition of Comanche gives Arizona presently the No. 1 recruiting class for 2015, according to He joins three five-star players. They are point guard Justin Simon of Temecula (Calif.) Valley High School, shooting guard Allonzo Trier of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep and small forward Ray Smith of Las Vegas High School.


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When ASU beats Arizona on the court, as it did last season in Tempe, the inevitable is spoken in the Phoenix-area: The Sun Devils are closing the gap.

The divide in reality is like the Grand Canyon with Arizona’s national title in 1997, four Final Four appearances and 13 Pac-12 titles. The recruitment by Arizona of Comanche follows other recent players who chose the Wildcats over ASU, including Phoenix product Daniel Bejarano (who has since transferred to Colorado State) and former Pac-12 Player of the Year Derrick Williams.

Many of Phoenix’s top players have left that valley for Tucson since Lute Olson became Arizona’s coach in 1983: Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, Jerryd Bayless and Nick Johnson (originally from Gilbert).

Arizona’s current roster does not have a player recruited by ASU, but four players opted for Miller’s program after officially visiting other programs. That list includes Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson (also visited Iowa State), Stanley Johnson (Florida, USC and Kentucky), T.J. McConnell (Virginia) and Kaleb Tarczewski (Kansas).

Those who committed to Arizona after officially visiting the campus did so in a short period of time other than Stanley Johnson, who committed to the Wildcats a little more than a month after officially visiting Oct. 13, 2013.

Anderson committed a day after visiting in May. Kadeem Allen took only three days after visiting Oct. 25 of last year. Matt Korcheck committed a day after visiting in April 2012. McConnell took only three days the same week Korcheck decided. Dusan Ristic took only a week to decide in March. Tarczewski made his decision 10 days after visiting Tucson in October 2011.

What’s it going to take for a program like ASU to actually close the gap?

Magic. Appeal. The Beatles had that internationally in the 1960s and remain the preeminent rock and roll band to this day. Arizona basketball has that same classification as a basketball program in the state.

Arizona was blessed with magic and appeal after Olson came to Tucson and Sean Elliott happened to be at Cholla High School. How can it be explained that Arizona’s best basketball coach and top player in school history met in Tucson (not exactly a hotbed of hoops prospects)?

Today’s athletes are all about what’s in vogue (i.e. Oregon football and those multiple uniforms). Arizona’s basketball program is certainly that way bridging the brilliance from Olson’s years to Miller’s promise.

ASU has to produce 30 years worth of magic and luster to close that gap.

Miller, feisty at 45, recruiting and coaching that way, shows no indication of allowing that divide between Arizona and ASU and other programs regionally from closing any time soon.

Source: *-Never attended Arizona. **-Lute Olson on leave of absence. ***-Verbal commitments, not yet signed
[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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