Arizona Basketball

ESPN’s Dave Telep surprised Jahlil Okafor considering Arizona Wildcats


The most significant takeaway from ESPNU’s telecast of the Adidas Nations Global championship game tonight was recruiting guru Dave Telep saying he was surprised that No. 1-rated Class of 2014 prospect Jahlil Okafor is considering Arizona.

Jahlil Okafor

Jahlil Okafor

Telep, serving as the on-court reporter, said he was surprised because Okafor and point guard prospect Tyus Jones, of Apple Valley (Minn.) High School, will supposedly attend college as a package deal. Telep mentioned that Baylor is one program that fits that description. Jones and Okafor, of Chicago Whitney Young High School, visit Baylor on Aug. 31.

Arizona already has a Class of 2014 point guard recruit — Parker Jackson-Cartwright, a 5-8 playmaker from Los Angeles Loyola who has verbally committed to Sean Miller.

ESPN rates Okafor, a 6-10, 270-pound center, the No. 1 Class of 2014 prospect. Jones is ranked No. 3. Jackson-Cartwright is No. 55.

Okafor has told numerous reporters, including me last week at Las Vegas, that he plans to officially visit Arizona. Okafor, who scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds Monday night, lists Arizona as one of his eight finalists. The others are Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State.

ESPN’s No. 2-rated prospect, power forward Cliff Alexander an AAU teammate of Okafor’s during the summer from Chicago Curie High School, also mentioned to me last week that he will officially visit Arizona in the fall. A date has not yet been determined.

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Class of 2014 wing prospect Stanley Johnson, of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, was impressive in the Adidas Nations championship with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Johnson, rated No. 12 in the Class of 2014 by ESPN, told Telep after the game that he still plans on officially visiting Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon, Kansas and Florida. He will also unofficially visit UCLA and USC and treat those trips like an official visit, including staying in a hotel room funded by his father, although he lives near those schools.

Other Class of 2014 prospects recruited by Miller and his staff who played in the Adidas Nations title game include shooting guard Justise Winslow of Houston St. John’s and power forward Craig Victor of Henderson (Nev.) Findlay Prep. Winslow had eight points and six rebounds and Victor finished with a point and two rebounds.

Johnson, who led the USA 2014 team in scoring, is slated to visit the UA campus during the weekend of the Red-Blue Scrimmage on Oct. 12. The UA produced the following video for that event: publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site


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