Arizona Basketball

Miller’s 5-star recruiting since hire with Arizona Wildcats only behind Calipari, Krzyzewski



Source: (compiled by NT-National titles. Note: Class of 2016 not complete until end of spring signing period.
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The verbal commitment Saturday of five-star guard Kobi Simmons continues to indicate Arizona coach Sean Miller is one of the top three recruiters in the nation, in the same category with Kentucky’s John Calipari and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

If Simmons signs at Arizona in the spring, as is expected, he will become Miller’s 12th five-star recruit based on’s evaluations to join the Wildcats since Miller’s hire in 2009. He joins fellow five-star recruit Lauri Markannen of Finland in the Class of 2016. Markannen is not ranked by because he does not play high school basketball in the U.S. but he is listed as a five-star recruit by Scout.

Arizona still has a good opportunity of signing five-star small forward Josh Jackson during the spring period.

Tallying the five-star recruits attracted since Miller’s hire at Arizona, only Calipari (29) and Krzyzewski (20) have more than Miller. UCLA, with the combination of Ben Howland and Steve Alford, is next with 10 followed by North Carolina, Kansas and Texas (each with eight).

Miller’s numbers are especially impressive inasmuch as he did not sign a five-star recruit in his first two seasons at Arizona. He has drawn the 12 five-star recruits, including this year’s class so far of Simmons and Markannen, in only six years. By contrast, in that same stretch, North Carolina’s Roy Williams has only five five-star recruits and Kansas’ Bill Self has tallied six.

From 2004 through 2010, towards the end of the Lute Olson era and the beginning of Miller’s tenure, Arizona recruited only four five-star recruits. One of them, Brandon Jennings in 2008, did not qualify and he opted to play professionally overseas instead before embarking on a successful NBA career.

Arizona remains among the bluebloods of college basketball — Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, North Carolina and Kansas — in terms of recruiting because of Miller’s efforts. A good question to ask is can the program sell itself like these other schools such as what Calipari has with Kentucky and Krzyzewski with Duke?

Miller had to overcome his lack of drawing five-star talent while at Xavier with the well running dry late in the Olson years. Given that situation, his ability to draw two five-star recruits a year over the last six years exemplifies his value of a recruiter compared to Calipari, Krzyzewski, Williams, Self, Rick Pitino, Tom Izzo, etc.


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Source: *-Never attended Arizona. **-Lute Olson on leave of absence.
[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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