Arizona’s reigning azcentral sports’ Boys Basketball Player of the Year has evidently found a new home in Florida, where he will begin his college career after graduating in May from Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix.
Michael Bibby will reportedly sign with the University of South Florida this week. The 6’2″ point guard, the son of NBA veteran Mike Bibby, led Shadow Mountain to two state titles and capped his prep career with a senior season in which he averaged 19 points and five assists per game.
It was just one more top player from the Arizona talent pool that won’t be playing for an in-state college.
But next year could be a different story. Alex Barcello is still considering the University of Arizona program as he prepares for his senior season at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe.
Barcello, who was named the Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year as a sophomore, played a key role in Corona’s dominating four-year state title run. Also a 6’2″ point guard, Barcello helped the Aztecs to two of those titles as a freshman and sophomore and was part of the program’s winning streak of 70 consecutive games against in-state opponents.
Bibby didn’t have the options that should be available to Barcello when he graduates because Bibby’s recruiting fell off after he underwent two knee surgeries during his junior year. South Florida plays in the American Athletic Conference and will be trying to recover from an 8-25 season.
But there hasn’t been any scarcity of suitors for Barcello. He made news last week when he announced he had narrowed his list of finalists to five teams. The Arizona Wildcats are the only in-state school on the list, so it could be assumed the Cats have a home-court advantage.
There is one other Pac-12 school, Stanford, included on the list. The other three high-major programs being considered are Indiana, Virginia, and Butler.
Corona del Sol went into the state tournament last season as the No. 1 seed, but lost in the quarterfinal round to eighth-seeded Sunnyslope High School. Barcello tried putting the team on his back to avoid the upset, scoring a game-high 29 points, but it wasn’t enough to keep hopes for a fifth straight title alive.
Barcello will be going into his senior season generally considered the top college prospect in the state. He is ranked No. 82 in the 247Sports Composite.
Butler was the first on the list to get an official visit, with Arizona’s turn hopefully coming down the line. However, Barcello says he has no timeline as to when he will commit – which also means he could pull the trigger before he gets to all five.
But in the meantime, Arizona coach Sean Miller will be keeping a light in the window.