Five-star Class of 2018 small forward recruit Emmanuel Akot of Mount Pleasant (Utah) Wasatch Academy has verbally committed to Arizona, per Scout.com, making him the first out of that class to make a pledge.
“I’m going to Arizona and I picked them because when I went there it was a family atmosphere,” Akot told Scout.
“My parents and I got a real good feel for the university and the coaching staff. Their style of player fits me. I can do what I do well. They put players in the NBA and that’s where I want to go and that’s why I’m picking Arizona.”
Verbal commitments are non-binding and it’s still eight months until the November signing period, but if Akot follows through on his commitment, it will be a vital addition to the wing position for Sean Miller.
If Rawle Alkins returns for his sophomore, chances are he will test the NBA waters after next season. Allonzo Trier mostly likely will be off to the pro ranks by 2018-19.
Kobi Simmons and Class of 2017 recruit Brandon Randolph are pegged more as shooting guards than wing players.
Here are some social media reactions concerning Akot’s commitment:
Brad Allis of WildcatSportsReport.com provides his analysis of Akot’s commitment on this podcast:
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Looks like Akot will be the next Arizona player to wear No. 14 with Dusan Ristic exhausting his eligibility after next season.
Blessed to announce… pic.twitter.com/VD2pR9RYIA
— Emman (@emman_akot) March 9, 2017
A Players’ Program a Five-Star Program?
When he becomes a five-star and signs, Emmanuel Akot will be the 16th five-star recruit to sign with the Wildcats under Sean Miller
— Matt Moreno (@MattGOAZCATS) March 9, 2017
Feather in Miller’s cap to top Pac-12 rivals Oregon and Utah for Akot’s commitment.
— AZ Wildcat Country (@Wildcat_Country) March 9, 2017
Akot in action:
ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Bianciardi had this to write about who Akot reminds him of: “Being a skilled power wing who is effective off the bounce and as a passer, he reminds of former Duke forward Luol Deng. The frame and athletic ability are the same at this stage as well as the skill set and the defensive upside. Akot is a better passer at this stage. Down the road Akot could turn into a multiple position switch defender with no problem.”
— ESPN RN Hoops (@ESPNRNHoops) March 9, 2017
Akot hails from Winnipeg, hence the Canada jersey.
— Campus Insiders (@CampusInsiders) February 23, 2017
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.