Arizona has scored a huge commitment in the class of 2016 with forward Lauri Markkanen. The 6-10 Helsinki, Finland native is a skilled player that will provide immediate help for the Wildcats and bolster their future frontcourt as well.
Markkanen was in Tucson for an official visit, and apparently he saw enough to pull the trigger on his commitment. The forward has been long pursued by Arizona and Sean Miller, who prioritized him as one of the essential recruits in the 2016 class.
Of all the factors that went into his decision, Markkanen identified the coaching staff’s ability to develop players as one of the top reasons he committed to play for Arizona.
“Coach Miller is a great coach, and the staff knows how to get their guys to the next level,” Markkanen told PGU.
“There were a lot of good schools recruiting me, I want to thank all of them,” Markkanen said. “But at the end of the day Arizona was the best place for me.”
Markkanen also said that the campus atmosphere and rich basketball tradition were big reasons why the Wildcats landed him.
“Everybody loves basketball in Tucson, it’s a great place to be a basketball player,” he added.
He was also pursued by schools like North Carolina and Utah, but ultimately Arizona was where he felt most comfortable.
“I went with the college that I felt most comfortable, and where I think I can accomplish my goals,” he said.
At 6-10, Markkanen has great size for the college game. But what separates him from others is his shooting ability. A deft shooter, Markkanen is a legitimate threat to stretch the floor and cause mismatches with his ability to step away from the basket and score.
“I’m looking forward to it, to starting my college career at Arizona,” he said. “I think I can make an impact and really contribute to the team.”