Arizona Basketball

DeAndre Ayton is keeping a close eye on Lauri Markkanen

Arizona Wildcats basketball signee DeAndre Ayton — the nation’s No. 1 recruit — has been following coach Sean Miller’s team, of course, and he has a particular thought about what he’s seeing.

“That dude from Finland is amazing,” Ayton told’s Evan Daniels on Tuesday. “He’s amazing.”

Hard to argue.

Freshman 7-footer Lauri Markkanen is a versatile, floor-stretching threat who leads Arizona with 16.3 points per game and is shooting 46.3 percent from 3 point range (25 of 54).

“That’s the type of player I’d like to just model my game after as well,” said Ayton, about 7-feet and 250 pounds. “Just come to Arizona and be a stretch big as him. That’s about it. Stretch the floor.”

Asked what he is working on as a senior, Ayton said: “The word is that I have no motor, so I guess get in condition, get in shape, I guess. Just posting up more. That’s about it.”

Ayton has more to say in the video about his recruitment and wanting to make history at Arizona. Daniels Daniels has more at the link from Ayton and his Hillcrest Academy team’s game Tuesday in a tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.

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