When Sean Miller and his young staff first got to Tucson, many questioned his ability to recruit the nation’s best players. After all, during all the success of his tenure at Xavier he never landed a five star player.
Anyone who placed much thought in that criticism should be ready for a healthy serving of crow.
Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson, and Sidiki Johnson signed their LOI’s to play for Arizona, and the coaching staff left no doubt that they think the sky is the limit for all three signees.
“I think if Josiah isn’t the best point guard in the country, he’s right up there,” Archie Miller said of Turner. “He’s going to make a huge impact. He’s a big point guard, he’s pass first, he has great size and those are all things you want. He’s exactly what we need in the engine that makes us go.”
“He can really pass and in a pick and roll situation, I’m not sure there’s any better than him,” Book Richardson remarked. “I really, really think the world of him. I think he has a chance to be really special. I think if things go right, and barring anything crazy, he has the chance to play in the NBA.”
The coaches were equally optimistic about Nick Johnson.
“I think he’s the best combo guard in the country,” Richardson said about Johnson. “There’s nothing I don’t like about him. I think he’s the most underrated guy in the class. I think what he does as an athlete, what he does as a competitor, when he gets to college, a lot of people will understand what they’ve missed out on. He’s incredible.”
Landing the most talented player in Arizona was essential, added Richardson.
“You have to take care of your home; you have to take care of your backyard. In Phoenix, Arizona State is doing a good job, so when you take Nick Johnson, you’re doing your job of getting guys that are like Richard Jefferson, like Mike Bibby, like Jerryd Bayless.”
“When we first got here, we identified him as one of the best players in the country,” said Miller, who was Johnson’s lead recruiter. “At that time he was in Gilbert and still hadn’t left for Findlay Prep and it’s really important we keep guys like him home.”
Arizona’s third piece to the 2011 class is big man Sidiki Johnson, who follows in the recent trend of New York players to commit to the Wildcats.
“Sidiki is a versatile forward who we are counting on to provide both size and rebounding to our frontcourt,” said Sean Miller. “He is a rugged, physical player who has played against tough competition his entire life and that has made him a great competitor. Sidiki will have an opportunity to contribute to our program at more than one position throughout his career and his addition gives us much-needed size.”
It cannot be said enough that adding the immensely talented trio of Johnson, Johnson, and Turner is a boon of epic proportions for the Arizona basketball program. The Wildcats are in position to have an absolutely loaded roster in only Miller’s third season in Tucson, and is a sign that Arizona is indeed on it’s way back to the pinnacle of national prominence.
For now though, we’ll call Arizona’s 2011 class a home run.