Recruiting Breakdown: Pac-12
Arizona, UCLA lead with top classes
Wih the early signing period coming to a close, we have a clearer picture on how many of your favorite college team's recruiting classes are shaping up. Over the course of the week, we will take a look at each power conference and break down some of the early winners and losers on the 2012 recruiting trail. Today, we take a look at the Pac-12. How's your school's next team shaping up?
Arizona: Not only have the Wildcats assembled the top recruiting class in the conference but many believe they are the best in the nation. Five-Star rated standouts Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski joins combo guard Gabe York and Grant Jerrett in the standout class. In high school competition, Ashley and Jerrett both play the 4 position. Considering their current roster, it seems like there will be a glut at the spot but apparently Sean Miller will play Ashley at the 3. Ashley does have developing perimeter skills. His ability to become more comfortable at the spot before he heads to Tucson will be key.
UCLA: UCLA-signee Kyle Anderson has earned early comparisons to Magic Johnson. His ability to play point guard at 6-9 should prove to make a huge difference in Westwood.
6-5 scorer Jordan Adams is a stud and should benefit even more from the presence of Anderson. Dominic Artis originally picked UCLA but ended up at Oregon. The loss isn’t enough to give the Bruins’ coup praise.
Oregon: Coach Dana Altman has reeled in three recruits that should have an impact on campus. Artis should play at important role at point upon arrival. SF Damyean Dotson’s versatility should have Duck fans excited. Ben Carter can prove to be the most impactful recruit of them all. At 6-8 he brings a mixture of size, skills and intelligence that can give defenses headaches. Now if only Altman can keep Jabari Brown bought in to the program before the class arrives.
Arizona State: Grabbing players the likes of James Harden seem like a long time ago. Coach Herb Sendek put bids out to several west coast studs and flopped on all of them. Grant Jerrett, Rosco Allen, Xavier Johnson and Alex Caruso all chose against the Sun Devils. Nabbing even one would have kept them off this list.
Washington: Their 2011 recruiting class is worth mention, headlined by Tony Wroten Jr. The six-player class doesn’t require too much work in 2012. At the same time, you can’t miss out on recruits to your rival and that’s exactly happened here. The Huskies and Washington State both offered Richard Peters and Demarquise Johnson and both chose to go to the latter.
WORK LEFT TO DO
USC: La Jolla Prep swingman Strahinja Gavrilovic doesn’t get a lot of the spotlight but he can play. His length and scoring knack should help out the Trojans. However, there is one recruit that can change the program around – Shabazz Muhammad. The Las Vegas, Nevada native is considered the best player in the class and a potential one-and-done candidate at the small forward position. His father, Ronald Holmes, played college ball at USC so they do have a shot. With Kentucky, UCLA, Duke and others working to get him, it will be a tough job.
Shabazz Muhammad: The impact that Muhammad can have on certain schools cannot be overstated. His game even had Kenny Smith applauding. If he heads over to Westwood, they could have the best class in the nation with two Top-5 players. Anderson and Muhammad have entertained the thought of playing with each other in the blue and yellow. The USC program hasn’t been in the national spotlight since OJ Mayo – that can change with Muhammad. The Trojans have a shot with Muhammad’s father being an alumnus.