Arizona Basketball

Arizona signs four ‘love-the-game’ players in strong class

Ira Lee, Alex Barcello, Brandon Randolph, DeAndre Ayton (Photo via Arizona Athletics, on Twitter)

Ira Lee, Alex Barcello, Brandon Randolph, DeAndre Ayton (Photo via Arizona Athletics, on Twitter)

Sean Miller made a point to say this was his ninth recruiting class at Arizona.

“I think it has the makings of potentially being our best,” he said Thursday.

Miller also said he took a different approach this year, going after players who “have to love the game and have to be talented.”

It’s about how they fit into the program in what Miller said is a “high-pressure environment where expectations are very rampant to win.”

When the dust settles and the recruiting grades come in, Arizona could have the best recruiting class with the addition of another recruit in the spring. Miller did say he wants to add one, although it’s too early to say at which position.

As it stands now, this class is in the national top three, led by cornerstone DeAndre Ayton, the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country right now. He joins 6-8 forward Ira Lee, point guard Alex Barcello and guard/forward Brandon Randolph.

“They have all come to Arizona with the understanding that there is more to this than just playing the game,” Miller said. “There is more to this than just showing up and practicing; that there is additional responsibility to pursue your education and there is a bigger part in you being an NBA player.”

Miller stressed “love for the game” numerous times in Thursday’s press conference, saying everyone wants to get to the NBA but they won’t get there “unless they have a foundation that they love basketball.”

Arizona’s recruiting class

The national player rankings are from 247Sports, Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN and the 247Sports Composite, which weights the rankings from several major recruiting services.

CLICK ON THE NAMES FOR COMMENTS FROM MILLER, VIDEO AND ANALYSIS IN EACH PLAYER’S RECRUITING PROFILE ON ALLSPORTSTUCSON.COM

Signee 247 Rivals Scout ESPN 247C
DeAndre Ayton 2 1 1 1 1
Brandon Randolph 37 52 38 40 38
Ira Lee 32 59 80 69 58
Alex Barcello 102 103 86 94 80
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