Sabino junior-to-be Kiya Dorroh has already been offered a scholarship by Arizona coach Adia Barnes. Another player from Tucson in Dorroh’s class — Sahuaro forward Alyssa Brown — may join her soon with a scholarship offer.
Brown, a 6-foot-2 player who in her two-year career has averaged 20 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game, is slated to take an unofficial recruiting visit to Arizona in mid-April. She already has 1,162 points in her career.
Brown, the All Sports Tucson 4A Player of the Year, also showed her versatility last season, leading the Cougars to a 25-4 record, by bringing the ball up the court against pressure despite her size.
To this point, Grand Canyon is the lone school to offer a scholarship, but the list should grow after this summer after she plays with AZ Supreme Hoops.
Other than Arizona, schools that have shown interest in Brown are Fresno State, West Virginia and Montclair State. With word of Barnes going after Brown with next month’s visit, expect the list to grow even by summer ball.
Adia Barnes Wants Best of Southern Arizona Recruits
Had the opportunity to ask Barnes during Tuesday’s press conference about her recruiting objective with local players.
She mentioned that Tucson has talent but it is not a “hotbed to recruit here.”
“There is some really good players, some good young players here, but they are a few classes away who us and everybody else is recruiting, but it’s not a hotbed to recruit here,” Barnes said. “You look at Las Vegas, you look Northern California, Southern Cal, you’ll have 10 to 15 players in the city.
“We’ll have one or two sprinkled here and there. My goal is to try to get a couple of those players.”
Tucson has some promising young recruits, including Brown, Dorroh and Dorroh’s Sabino teammates Kam’Ren Rhodes (who will be a sophomore next year) and junior-to-be Kamryn Doty. Brown’s teammate Lucky Franke (a junior-to-be) and Salpointe junior-to-be Jaya Nelson will be prospects as will seniors-to-be Loraya Rocha of Rincon and Bella Muscoreil of Marana.
Who will emerge as potential Division I recruits other than Dorroh and Brown remains to be seen. CDO senior Tianna Carter, who finished her career averaging 23.4 points and 11.4 rebounds this season, was signed by UNLV.
Barnes said her local recruiting focus is not only Tucson, but also the Phoenix area. She signed Bryce Nixon of Phoenix Arcadia of last year. Nixon is the only in-state player on the roster.
ASU coach Charli Turner-Thorne also has only one player from Arizona — fifth-year senior forward Courtney Ekmark of Phoenix St. Mary’s who played her first two seasons with UConn.
“I think Arizona and Arizona State, we have to try to keep good players home,” Barnes said. “That’s hard to do because a lot of Arizona kids don’t stay home. Charli and myself are working hard to keep the good players here.
“One of the reasons why the Pac-12 has improved so much is a lot of the players never stayed in the Pac-12 before and now they are starting to stay in the Pac-12. That’s why we’re the best conference and we will continue to get better because Stanford got a couple of players who normally would have gone to Notre Dame or UConn or Duke and now they’re staying here, so I think it’s making our league more competitive.”
Arizona among 14 finalists for Salpointe safety Lathan Ransom
Arizona has made Salpointe senior-to-be safety Lathan Ransom’s final 14 choices.
ASU and Michigan did not make the cut. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh traveled to Tucson a couple of months ago to visit Ransom and running back Bijan Robinson (who has not made his recruiting choices public).
Stanford is one of Ransom’s “Dream 14” as he calls it. The Cardinal have been in the picture for a while with former Arizona assistant Duanke Akina recruiting Ransom heavily.
Other Pac-12 schools in the hunt are Washington, UCLA, Oregon and Cal. Ransom obviously admires the SEC and what promise comes from playing in that conference with Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU on his list.
The rest of the 14 include Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
Robinson has been recruited heavily by UCLA, USC, Arizona, ASU, Texas and Ohio State, to name a few. He told 247Sports.com that new Arizona running back coach DeMarco Murray, a former NFL standout with the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans, “has been great” with his recruitment.
“I know he’s just starting out coaching but you can tell he knows a lot about the game and it’s not just from being in the NFL so long. Arizona is just a good program that I really like,” Robinson said.
Surprising leading scorer among Arizona players in pros
The leading scorer among former Arizona players playing professionally is not Lauri Markkanen, Deandre Ayton or Aaron Gordon, who are excelling in the NBA.
The top scorer is former graduate transfer Mark Tollefsen, who is averaging 20.6 points for a professional team in Israel.
Tollefsen is also averaging 5.6 rebounds a game for Maccabi Ashdod.
In a 95-89 win over Hapoel Tel Aviv on Monday, Tollefsen had 29 points and seven rebounds.
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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.