Arizona Basketball

He’s Back: Arizona Wildcats Coach Sean Miller Recruiting 5-Star Talent After Difficult Year


Sean Miller has resumed being a top recruiter of five-star talent after Arizona fell under the scrutiny of the FBI’s fraud and corruption charges last year involving college basketball.

With the federal court hearing underway, the dirty money handling is again in the news involving college basketball coaches who allegedly took payments from prospective financial advisers who wanted players as their clients once they turned pro.

Miller did not walk away after an ESPN report last February implicated him with allegedly conversing with an agent’s runner on an FBI wiretap trying to secure the recruitment of Deandre Ayton by giving Ayton a $1 million payment.

Not only has Miller stuck around, the 10-year Arizona coach — who has vehemently denied wrongdoing — is sticking it to those who thought his days were over in Tucson. Evidently, his recruiting effort is as vibrant as ever.

Last month, five-star guard Nico Mannion of Pinnacle High School committed to Miller and Arizona after reclassifying to being a senior this season.

Next up — five-star wing Josh Green, one of the nation’s prized recruits from the Class of 2019. The Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 6’6″ wing is set to announce his college choice tomorrow at 11 a.m., Tucson time.

Many recruiting pundits believe Green will make Arizona his choice over blueblood North Carolina, among others.

Mannion, a friend and AAU teammate of Green’s, tweeted this response to a tweet that mentions the Tar Heels will land Green.

Miller has signed 15 five-star recruits (as rated by recruiting services such as Rivals and 247Sports) since his hire in 2009. If Mannion honors his commitment in November and Green follows him to Arizona, that would give Miller 17.

He did not draw a five-star recruit in the Class of 2018 — the first time that has happened since his second season in Tucson — largely because of the cloud over the program last year.

The sun apparently is breaking through those clouds.

Now, to make Arizona a champion with those five-star recruits …

ARIZONA’S BASKETBALL RECRUITS 2002-2016 RATING
Source: 247Sports. **-Lute Olson on leave of absence.

Year Coach 5* 5-Star Players 4* 3* 2*
2002 Lute Olson 2 PG Chris Rodgers/SG Hassan Adams 1 1 0
2003 Olson 2 PG Mustafa Shakur/PF Ndubi Edi* 1 0 0
2004 Olson 1 SG Juwann McClellan 1 2 1
2005 Olson 0 3 0 0
2006 Olson 1 SF Chase Budinger 2 0 0
2007 Olson** 1 SG Jerryd Bayless 1 3 0
2008 Olson** 0 1 2 0
2009 Sean Miller 0 4 1 0
2010 Miller 0 1 2 0
2011 Miller 1 PG Josiah Turner 3 0 0
2012 Miller 3 C Kaleb Tarczewski/PF Brandon Ashley/PF Grant Jerrett 1 0 0
2013 Miller 2 PF Aaron Gordon/SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 1 0 0
2014 Miller 1 SG Stanley Johnson 3 0 0
2015 Miller 3 SF Ray Smith/SG Justin Simon/SG Allonzo Trier 1 0 0
2016 Miller 3 PF Lauri Markkanen/PG-SG Kobi Simmons/SG-SF Rawle Alkins 0 0 0
2017 Miller 2 C Deandre Ayton/F Emmanuel Akot 3 0 0
2018 Miller 0 2 1 0


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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.

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