There is no slow start to this recruiting season for Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller.
Unlike last year, when he had only one signee — Lauri Markkanen — during the period, causing unwarranted anxiety among some UA fans, Miller and staff are already rolling and quickly looking for more.
Arizona on Wednesday morning secured the commitment of Brandon Randolph, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from the Westtown (Pa.) School. He is rated the 38th-best prospect in the nation in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
He joins the nation’s No. 1 recruit — 7-footer DeAndre Ayton — and four-star guard Alex Barcello, who is rated No. 80.
Arizona moved to No. 1 nationally in Rivals.com’ team rankings, while jumping to No. 2, behind Auburn, according to 247Sports.
“It’s just Sean Miller continuing to do what Sean Miller does,” Matt Moreno, the operator of goazcats.com on the Rivals network, said about the commitment of Randolph.
“He finds guys who fit into his system. Randolph fits the mold of a lot of guys they have been going after. He’s a shooter. He’s not quite Terrance Ferguson in the sense that he’s not going to be a 3-point guy you bring in just for that purpose.
“He does a lot of different things. Over the last year, what you have seen with him in different events is what the shot isn’t falling, he’s really taking advantage of being able to drive to the basket. He has some strength and toughness going to the basket and getting to the free throw line. That’s what Brandon Randolph does. It’s not that he just does one thing.”
(Ferguson signed with Arizona this spring but chose to play professionally in Australia over concerns of his potential ineligibility relating to his high school transcripts.)
Westtown coach Seth Berger told the New York Post in February that college coaches were impressed by how hard Randolph played defensively — to go along with that jump shot.
“He makes shots with his eyes closed, and he makes shots I can’t even imagine taking,” Berger said. “Brandon has the neon green light.”
Randolph also strongly considered Syracuse, Wake Forest and Oregon. He had all kinds of other offers, including Kansas, Louisville and North Carolina.
Randolph’s commitment comes after visiting the Arizona campus last weekend.
“I just love his coaching style and the way they play,” Randolph told Rivals.com about Miller. “They have had success with guys like me so I just felt that was the right fit for me. His coaching style and his personality, he’s a really nice guy so it’s a great fit.”
Randolph is originally from New York, which has been a strong recruiting area for Miller and assistant Book Richardson, dating to their days at Xavier. Arizona fans know the toughness Kevin Parrom brought to Arizona, and freshman wing Rawle Alkins is supposed to do the same this season.
“Randolph bring the toughness they look for,” Moreno said.
“He’s one of those guys who we really didn’t know a lot about because he kept his recruitment so quiet. And I think that’s what Sean likes — guys who just do what they do, handle business and come in ready for Sean to plug them in.”
Randolph’s commitment comes ahead of a huge recruiting weekend for the Wildcats, coinciding with the Red-Blue Game at McKale Center on Friday night, when the school will also hold a “jersey recognition” for Miles Simon and host a reunion of the 1997 championship team.
Ayton and Barcello are expected to be on visits, serving as extra recruiters for Class of 2017 prospects such as four-star power forward Ira Lee, five-star shooting guard Lonnie Walker and four-star point guard Daejon Davis. Arizona also will have several notable Class of 2018 recruits on campus.
Recruiting never stops.