Arizona Coach Sean Miller is at it again, another top 10 recruiting class, another chance at reaching his first career Final Four.
Miller was able to once again pull in the highest rated class in the PAC-12. The centerpiece of this five man class figures to be small forward Stanley Johnson, ranked 7th overall in the class of 2014 by ESPN Recruiting Nation. The group is supplemented by ESPN 100 recruits PF Craig Victor and PG Parker Jackson-Cartwright and includes 7 foot C Dusan Ristic and junior college transfer SG Kadeem Allen.
The hype is both tangible and deserved surrounding Stanley Johnson, the 6'7 forward from Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA). He figures to be a big time contributor to the 2014-2015 campaign bringing major versatility to both ends of the floor. At 235 pounds, Johnson possesses a physically imposing body that he used to dominate the high school ranks. He is a kid that is very difficult to stop in the open floor, and uses his ball skills and tenacity to continually get to the rim. He is also able to score by backing down smaller defenders. In addition to this, Johnson also has nice shooting range, which can extend out to behind the three-point line. In addition to his offensive game, Johnson also has the ability to change games in many different ways. He has proven to be a very physical rebounder and is also an elite defender.
Scouts are describing Stanley Johnson as being one of the most NBA ready prospects in the 2014 class, and DraftExpress projects him as a potential lottery pick for next year's 2015 draft. Johnson, along with returners Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Gabe York will complement each other nicely at wing in Sean Miller's rotation.
Power forward Craig Victor, 37th on the ESPN 100, is an interesting prospect that is also going to be very exciting to watch play and develop. Victor is a player that does not have elite athleticism but has a very solid frame and is offensively advanced for a player his age. Victor is quite adept at finishing around the rim with either hand and around the mid post area. Victor brings in a lot of promise and it would be very valuable to the Wildcats if he can perform as a consistent third big man to accompany Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski in the upcoming campaign.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright, 57th on the ESPN 100, is a point guard who was capable of dominating a game on both ends of the floor at the high school level despite his 5'8 150 pound frame. He has shown the ability to to manage a game and know when to pick up his scoring. Obviously his size is a concern at the next level and he will need to add the necessary strength to adjust to the colliegate ranks. If he does so, he can make a run at being the backup to veteran point guard TJ McConell in his freshman season with the potential to become much more than that.
Kadeem Allen looks to be a do it all combo guard with a high basketball IQ and defensive mindset. He has potential to contribute to the Wildcats after posting 17.4 points 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game at Hutchison College (KS) last season.
Dusan Ristic rounds out this class and has a college ready frame and great size at 7 feet tall. He does figure to be a nice piece for Arizona and he will contribute some further depth on the interior. He has recently received high praise from ESPN's Fran Fraschilla.
The Wildcats will look to once again make a run at the national title with the contributions of this 2014 class.