Adding Kaleb Tarczewski to an already top rated class of Gabe York, Grant Jerrett, and Brandon Ashley makes Arizona appear absolutely loaded for 2012. Arizona had already received a great deal of publicity with the addition of Ashley, and adding Tarczewski just cements the state of the Arizona recruiting. Here’s a look at the pieces:
Kaleb Tarczewski (7’0, 220 pounds, St. Marks High School) is a true center who looks to catch the ball close to the basket and power his way to the rim. Tarczewski is able to take up space in the post, and while not yet a prolific shot blocker, he certainly contests and alters shots around the basket. Tarczewski has been developing a hook shot, and needs to add a few more moves to his offensive arsenal. Tarczewski already runs the floor well and will fit in with Arizona’s system. Tarczewski has all the attributes you want in a big man from footwork to basketball IQ to work ethic. Working with Chris Rounds should dramatically improve Tarczewski’s game as he adjusts to the size and strength of centers at the college level. Tarczewski joins a frontcourt that will already have Kyryl Natyazkho, Sidiki Johnson, and Angelo Chol. Both Johnson and Chol will benefit from having a 7 footer alongside them in the paint.
Gabe York (6’1, 170 pounds, Orange Lutheran High School) is a pure scorer. Known for his shooting ability, York has proven that he can get in the lane and finish with a variety of floaters. Add to that impressive athleticism that regularly leads to highlight reel dunks, and York can score in every way. This summer, York has shown the ability to distribute the ball, although it is an area he will need to continue to work on. At 6’1, York will likely play both guard positions, as he is too good a scorer to only be a point guard. York creates most of his shots off the dribble, and will need to add the ability and toughness to come off screens. York will join a backcourt that will have Jordin Mayes, Nick Johnson, and possibly Josiah Turner. Initially, York will provide scoring off the bench and then will have the opportunity to grow into a starting scoring guard. In order to effectively play the 2, York will need to adapt to guarding bigger, stronger players. In order to play the 1, York will need to improve his ability to create for others. York will also have to make the adjustment to knowing when to score and when to distribute.
Grant Jerrett (6’10, 220 pounds, La Verne Lutheran High School) was Sean Miller’s first commitment of the 2012 class. Jerrett has grown enough to play the center position, but with the addition of Tarczweski he will be able to play his natural position, power forward. Jerrett has already shown exceptional footwork for his age. Jerrett has broad shoulders, and should be able to add to his frame. Jerrett has displayed quickness and a first step that will be a matchup nightmare for opposing power forwards. Add to that his laid back off the court demeanor and his tremendous work ethic, and Jerrett has the makings of the perfect Wildcat. The power forward position will be loaded with Sidiki Johnson and Chol, so Jerrett will likely play some center when Tarczewski is not on the court. Jerrett has shown a shooting touch out to 15 feet, although it is not something he needs to do often. If Jerrett can work on his handles and improve his face up game, to go with his already developed post moves, he will be a threat to score from anywhere on the court. Jerrett being on the weak side with Tarczewski manning the paint could create a frontcourt tandem unlike any Wildcat fans have seen before.
Brandon Ashley (6’8, 215 pounds, Findlay Prep) is Sean Miller’s most heralded commitment. A combo forward that has the skills to play in the post, Ashley hopes to play on the wing as well. Playing alongside Jerrett and Tarczewski gives Ashley the perfect chance to showcase his perimeter skills. Ashley has a polished game, and this summer elevated his reputation greatly. Ashley was dominant on the AAU circuit, and has the high flying game Arizona fans have come to expect from their small forwards. Ashley’s size will be a clear problem for opposing small forwards. Ashley’s post game is refined, and he uses his positioning to make difficult shots. And of course, Ashley excels in transition, where he is simply too quick for players his size. Coach Miller identified Ashley very early in the recruiting process, which speaks to how well he fits the system Miller runs. Having a front court of Ashley, Jerrett, and Tarczewski would give Sean Miller more size than he has ever had in the post.