Recruiting rewind: Arizona

22 Jul

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

Over the course of the summer, the National Hoops Report will look back at the six year recruiting record of the BCS conference schools. Who found success? Who missed the mark? Where did the school find the talent? Who emerged as a sleeper? Who fell short of the expectations? The NHR looks back at Arizona in today’s Recruiting Rewind.

Lute Olson, Kevin O’Neill, Russ Pennell and Sean Miller have all been the head coach of the Arizona program since 2005.

Yeah, that makes it a little tough to recruit. Because of the fragility of the head coaching position, the Wildcats missed the NCAA tournament in 2010. It was the first time the program didn’t dance since 1984. The ripple effect found its way to the recruiting platform and the Wildcats dealt with some difficult times with high school prospects.

For most schools, that kind of coaching turnover would paralyze the program. Not Arizona. The Wildcats overcame a rough two-year stretch (2007 and 2008) that saw four of the nine players signed transfer, one go to the NBA after a year (Jerryd Bayless), a bust (Jamelle Horne) and two players that any other year would not normally receive a scholarship offer from Arizona (Brendon Lavendar and Alex Jacobson).

The recipe for turning a program around came down to landing one of the biggest sleepers in the last decade.

Miller was able to swoop in on another fragile coaching situation and land Derrick Williams after he decided Southern Cal wasn’t the place for him when Tim Floyd left the Trojan program.

He asked for a release from his National Letter of Intent in June and Miller went after him. Miller admitted to Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports that he didn’t even know that Williams would be as good as he was.

“Out of our five incoming freshman, he was probably the least heralded,” Miller said. “You knew you had a player that had great ability and one day could be terrific, but it’s happened in far more quick fashion than we expected.”

Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, emerged as one of the nation’s top players and helped the Wildcats get to the 30-win plateau for the first time since 2005.

In turn, Arizona is back. Recruiting is as good as it was during the Olson heyday.


: 4
: 0
: 7
RECORD SINCE 2006: 126-76
: 5

BIGGEST STUD: Derrick Williams (2009)
: Fendi Onobun (2005)
: Derrick Williams (2009)
: Brandon Jennings (2008)


1. Derrick Williams (2009)
2. Jerryd Bayless (2007)
3. Chase Budinger (2006)
4. Jordan Hill (2006)
5. Marcus Williams (2005)
6. Nic Wise (2006)
7. Lamont Jones (2009)
8. Kyle Fogg (2008)
9. Solomon Hill (2009)
10. Kevin Parrom (2009)

Class of 2005
Player Position State Rank Notes
Fendi Onobun SF TX No. 27 Disappointing career, never played more than 10 minutes a game per year, obviously overranked in HS
J.P. Prince PG TN No. 21 Played 31 games in two seasons, transferred to Tennessee
Marcus Williams SF WA No. 76 Two good years at AZ before leaving for NBA early, scored 927 in career
Class of 2006
Player Position State Rank Notes
Chase Budinger SF CA No. 4 One of the most versatile players in school history, value was hurt in leiu of coaching changes
Jordan Hill PF NC 3-star Finished as the No. 6 school shot-blocker and top 10 rebounder in school history, developed into lottery pick
Nic Wise PG TX No. 120 Finished as one of the top 3-point shooters and in the top 10 steals in school history
Class of 2007
Player Position State Rank Notes
Jerryd Bayless SG AZ No. 13 Dazzling FR year, averaged 19.7 points a game, went pro after a season
Jamelle Horne SF CA No. 21 Big expecatations coming out of HS, struggled with coaching inconsistency, never found his groove
Alex Jacobson C CA 3-star Has barely played in 3 years at the school, redshirted his FR year
Zane Johnson SF AZ No. 143 Played two years before transferring to Hawaii where shined as a JR
Laval Lucas-Perry PG MI No. 138 Played one year before transferring to Oakland
Class of 2008
Player Position State Rank Notes
Kyle Fogg SG CA 3-star Considering he was a late addition to a fragile program, 85 starts later Fogg has been a steal
Garland Judkins PG TX 3-star Played two years before transferring to TX A&M-Corpus Christi
Brendon Lavender SG AZ 3-star Little used reserve, has been through a wild coaching career
Darnell Shumpert PF AZ NR Played two years before transferring to Cal State Bernardino
Class of 2009
Player Position State Rank Notes
Solomon Hill SF CA No. 27 Stats don’t shout success but his role is valuable, primed for a big JR year
Lamont Jones PG VA No. 68 Second leading scorer on the team as a SOPH, transferred to Iona
Kyryl Natyazhko C FL No. 81 Still raw after two years of small role as a bench player
Kevin Parrom SF CT No. 122 Important reserve, leader amongst the bench players, next 2 years are important
Derrick Williams PF CA 3-star Helped put the program back on the national map, one of the best single season in school history as a SOPH
Class of 2010
Player Position State Rank Notes
Daniel Bejarano SG AZ No. 75 Transferred after one season, barely used as a FR
Jordin Mayes SG CA No. 113 Played 15 minutes a game as a FR and was valuable in his time played
Jesse Perry PF IL JC 3-star Energy  guy off the bench, good rebounder in time on the court

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