Dylan Anderson is the kind of person who stands out in a crowd. At seven feet tall, he’s kind of hard to miss.
The college recruiters in Tucson didn’t have any trouble spotting the towering teen playing basketball at Perry High School in Gilbert, and now the junior is making plans to play for the University of Arizona basketball team when he graduates next year.
Anderson became one of the first to commit to play for the new Wildcats’ head coach, Tommy Lloyd, making the announcement 11 days ago on social media. He’s the first one to sign on in the 2022 Class. While Lloyd will have to wait a year to get him on the floor, Anderson becomes a building block for the future of the program.
That year’s delay may turn out to benefit Anderson. The UofA program is still facing potential penalties from the NCAA after the school received a Notice of Allegations that included five Level 1 violations, stemming from a years-long investigation into corruption in college recruiting — which resulted in the firing of Lloyd’s predecessor, Sean Miller.
Anderson will have a chance to let things play out and give him time to opt out of his commitment, should things get really nasty.
But, in the meantime, Lloyd is looking forward to having a center who has the flexibility of a guard, the shooting touch of a perimeter player, and the toughness in a 230-pound frame to grind it out under the boards.
The big guy helped Perry to a 15-3 overall record and just one conference loss last season. The No. 3-seeded Pumas advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament before being upset by No. 6 Mountain Pointe HS
The Arizona Republic ranked Anderson as the No. 1 player in the state last season. The No. 72 prospect in the country, Anderson is considered one of the top centers on the West Coast.
His early commitment to the Arizona program is important, for a number of reasons. It gives some credence to Lloyd’s plans to recruit locally; Anderson was a huge catch who could have had his pick of a number of major college offers that included elite programs like Kansas and North Carolina. The fact that Lloyd also snatched him away from rival Arizona State was iciing on the cake.
And it gives the new head coach a start on building for the future. The addition of a top-rated recruit generally has a ripple effect, encouraging other talented players to take a look at the Arizona program.
But first, Anderson has a senior year of high school ball to play. His more immediate goal will be to bring Perry HS a state championship.
And then Lloyd and his staff can begin molding him into a dominating force in the college game.