Signing a five-star recruit may not always signal a national title, but it shows the value of the head coach as a recruiter.
Sean Miller’s five-star recruits number 15 through the Class of 2017 since he was hired at Arizona in 2009. The number does not include the Class of 2018, which is still shaping up.
In that same time frame, only Kentucky’s John Calipari (35 five-star signees) and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (24) have drawn more players of that ilk, according to Scout.com data.
Also since 2009, Calipari won a title with Kentucky in 2012 and Krzyzewski has won two championships, in 2010 and 2015.
Miller has yet to reach a Final Four but the value of drawing five-star talent can’t be discounted after the uncertainty the program went through after the Lute Olson retirement saga in 2007 and 2008 before Miller’s hire.
Miller never recruited a five-star talent to Xavier in his five years there and had no West Coast ties before his arrival in Tucson in 2009. Calipari and Krzyzewski are established Hall of Fame coaches.
Calipari did not win a title until his 20th season as a head coach, when Kentucky won it all in 2012.
It took Krzyzewski 15 years to win his first title as a head coach when Duke was champion in 1991.
Miller will enter his 14th season as a head coach in the 2017-18 season.
MOST FIVE-STAR RECRUITS SINCE SEAN MILLER HIRE IN 2009
Source: Scout.com (compiled by AllSportsTucson.com). NT-National titles. Note: Through the Class of 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.