Sean Miller and his Arizona staff have received a commitment from the No.2 player (No.1 NBA prospect) in the senior class, 7-1 DeAndre Ayton from Phoenix, AZ Hillcrest Prep.
He made his announcement on ESPN.
“Arizona’s home, going to Hillcrest, and my Mom and my family can come and see my games,” DeAndre Ayton said at his announcement. “I know that Coach Miller and his staff can do what it takes to get me ready for the next level!”
He chose Arizona over Kentucky and Kansas.
He made it clear to ESPN that he is attending college, not going overseas as some have suggested.
“College is a must,” he said. “My family wants me to go to college. It’s important for me and my mom. I want to go to Arizona and win a national championship. Arizona won its only national title 20 years ago — and I’d like to help bring another one to Tucson.”
The 7-foot-1, 245-pound Ayton is a native of the Bahamas who attends Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix, but it has been his ability to play both facing the basket, as well as on the blocks where he is a dominant player. He would have been our No.1 if he stayed in the 10-feet to the rim circle…he dominates there! But, he just missed out on that honor when he was outplayed by our current No.1 Michael Porter in championship play at the Nike Peach Jam Summer Championships. But, we won’t be surprised if after one year under Coach Miller’s tutelage that he will be the No.1 pick in the 2018 NBA draft.
It will depend on whether he can continue to develop his face-up skills to approach the game that his idol, Kevin Garnett has. If not, he can earn that honor because of his low post ability where he dominates on both ends, is an excellent passer off the double or triple team, and has the ability to clean boards with best in recent years. If he continues to work hard and emulate his idol Garnett’s fierce intensity, then he will take over the top spot and it will be a no-brainer for him to e the number one pick!
He averaged 20.1 points and 11.9 rebounds on the Nike EYBL circuit this past season. He had dominant moments on the circuit including his 25 point and 12 board game versus the No.4 prospect in the class 6-10 power forward Wendell Carter at the Peach Jam. He will also have a chance to show he belongs at the top of the NBA draft board as he and Porter will go head to head in two games in the Pac 12 as freshmen, as Porter has chosen Washington. A couple games that all the NBA scouts will be watching for sure!
He joins tough, hard-nosed point guard, 6-2 Alex Barcello, in the Wildcats Class of 2017!