The University of Arizona coaches put together a little inter-sport teamwork to snag a really BIG catch for the basketball program.
Tim Kish‘s football team got the ball rolling with a major celebration on Oct. 20, when the Cats rolled over UCLA in a 36-point victory to break a four-game losing streak. That was on a Thursday. On the following Saturday, Sean Miller‘s hoops squad put on a rockin’ performance in front of a sold-out Red-Blue scrimmage in McKale Center to kick off the new season.
The overflow of excitement pulsating through the Wildcat Nation must have been enough to turn the head of a visiting seven-foot youngster from New Hampshire. Kaleb Tarczewski, the No. 6 overall prospect in the Class of 2012, turned away from his consideration of the Kansas program and opted to commit to play for Arizona when his senior year is over.
It was down to the Wildcats and the Jayhawks, who had been pursuing the coveted center even longer than Arizona. He made a visit to Kansas on Oct. 15 and then to the Tucson campus on Oct. 22, to watch the annual Red-Blue game, before making his final decision.
A week later, he pulled the trigger. In an ESPN interview, he said, “Everything just felt right at Arizona. From the coaches, to the current players, to the incoming recruits.”
So now he’ll finish out his prep career at St. Mark’s High School in Massachusetts, where he has played a major role in helping that school to three consecutive state championship games and a Class C title in 2009.
And Miller, in just his third year as the Arizona head coach, had already locked up a talented recruiting class for 2012, one which ESPN.com called the best in the nation. The addition of Tarczewski, who is ranked by Rivals as the No. 1 prospect at center, will put expectations through the roof.
After the dust settles on this latest acquisition, Arizona’s 2012 Class should become a unanimous choice for No. 1 in the nation.
Tarczewski joins a trio of top-50 players, including forwards Brandon Ashley and Grant Jerrett, and guard Gabe York.
The youngster is still developing, but has enormous potential. He has good mobility for someone who is 7-feet tall, can run the floor, and is a powerful finisher. He will also bring a rebounding presence the Cats will likely need next year, and is also an efficient shot blocker.
Things got off to a shaky start this season, as Arizona was upset in its opener, losing an exhibition game to Division II Seattle Pacific.
So the Cats can use this kind of good news right now. The future is bright ahead.