clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2016 5-star PF TJ Leaf commits to Arizona; Sean Miller strikes again

After locking up three 5-star players (with one more possibly on the way) in his Class of 2015, Sean Miller turns his attention to 2016.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone talks about how John Calipari and Kentucky regularly get five-star recruits to come play for them. Maybe it's time to start calling Sean Miller and Arizona "Kentucky West". Miller struck gold yet again Tuesday when 2016 five-star power forward TJ Leaf announced he would be heading to Tucson for the 2016-2017 season. More on Leaf in minute, but lets get back to Sean Miller briefly. SB Nation's Chris Novak provides us with this staggering stat on Miller's recruiting.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>With T.J. Leaf going to Arizona, Sean Miller has now nabbed 12 5-star recruits and 7 4-star recruits since the Class of 2011.</p>&mdash; Christopher Novak (@ChrisNovakSBN) <a href="">November 19, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Calipari has a ridiculous 18 5-star players since 2011, but Miller isn't that far off. He needs to start getting more credit.

Back to TJ Leaf. According to 247Sports, Leaf is the 14th best player in the Class of 2016, and the third best power forward.  What should Arizona expect from the big man from El Cajon, California? Let's go to the video tape!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

The first thing that stands out is how good Leaf is at pretty much everything. Shooting off the dribble, going down low, rebounding, he's the total package. This video is from last season when he was a sophomore, so as the next two years go on he should only get better. It's also worth pointing out that he's six-foot-nine as a 17 year old. There is a decent chance he adds another couple inches before getting to Arizona, as scary as that is to think about for San Diego area players trying to guard him. Also if you look at what Sean Miller has done with other shooting power forwards like Aaron Gordon or Brandon Ashley, you can see how Leaf should continue to develop at the next level.

When asked why he chose Arizona over Florida and UCLA, the other finalists, Leaf told ESPN the following, ""For one, I have a great relationship with all the coaches there, including coach Miller. That's a big a plus. Their style of play, how they use their fours, interchangeable with their threes. That's what I want. And I have the opportunity to come in and make an impact as a freshman."