PHOENIX — The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei to Arizona pipeline is one of the features of the Wildcats’ successful program.
Alex Jacobson — remember “The Tree?” — also graduated from Mater Dei.
Could Class of 2021 combo guard prospect Devin Askew join that club?
Askew understands the rich history and he has seen it firsthand with Simon visiting Mater Dei.
“He comes back to Mater Dei a lot and he coaches me,” Askew said after he led the Monarchs to a 94-59 win over Goodyear Millennium on Friday night. “It’s always fun hearing from him. He coaches the whole team and then he gives me tips, so it’s really fun.”
Askew finished with 12 points and 12 assists. Most of his passes drawing “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd at Brophy Prep. He also had five rebounds and a steal.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound playmaker is rated a 4-star prospect by Rivals in his class. He is rated a 5-star recruit by 247Sports.
Arizona target Devin Askew of Mater Dei (2021 guard) has shown a deft passing ability in the first half against Millenium. pic.twitter.com/tlmvhWUMhM
He shares a past with Johnson, a former 5-star forward out of Gary McKnight’s program at Mater Dei who went on to the NBA after his freshman season at Arizona in 2014-15.
“Great player,” Askew said of Johnson. “I grew up training with him … really good guy. I looked up to him growing up, but even though we don’t play the same position, his mentality was great in high school.
“He did great at Arizona. They coached him really well at Arizona.”
Sean Miller is hoping to get the opportunity to coach Askew, who took an unofficial visit of Arizona’s campus on Thursday. Miller offered Askew a scholarship more than a month ago but they have shared a mutual respect longer than that dating to when Askew was entering high school.
Two of the top Class of 2021 prospects playing today at Brophy — Goodyear Millennium's DaRon Holmes (left) and Mater Dei's Devin Askew. Both on Arizona's radar. pic.twitter.com/gVzkxMobKo
Miller and new assistant Jack Murphy (the former NAU coach who was part of Arizona’s program when Lute Olson was coach) sat courtside during Askew’s game against Millennium, which features another Arizona target — Class of 2021 forward DaRon Holmes.
“I love the coaches and the environment there,” Askew said of his visit to Arizona. “It’s a basketball school, that’s what it is … Arizona is a school you can’t turn down.”
Askew said he also plans to visit Louisville, Villanova, Oregon and Texas, among others.
“I mean, there’s so many schools. I love them all,” he said. “If I could, I would go everywhere.”
The school he does pick in the fall of next year will get a guard who can shoot from long range, drive to the basket, find the open teammate or get the shot or the foul. His basketball IQ and confidence is impressive similar to Arizona’s incoming point guard phenom Nico Mannion.
“They’re getting a great player, a real smart PG, a knockdown shooter PG. He makes the right plays and makes his team better,” Askew said of Mannion, whom he played against last season.
“That’s my guy. I have a lot of respect for him.”
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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.