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.
The No. 10 player in the country, IMG Academy (FL) 2019 five-star wing Josh Green (@josh_green6), will announce his college decision Thursday.
USC, Nova, Arizona, UNLV, UNC and Kansas are his final six.
Arizona currently leads in the CrystalBall with 67% of the votes.
— Chip Miller (@BLUEChip_Miller) October 3, 2018
Mannion, a friend and AAU teammate of Green’s, tweeted this response to a tweet that mentions the Tar Heels will land Green.
hmmmm… 🐻⬇️🤷🏼♂️ https://t.co/P84oJRfqWS
— niccolo (@niccolomannion) October 3, 2018
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.
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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.