Central Florida lands four-star 2015 forward Alex Owens

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Central Florida is making the move to the American this season, but the Knights  also have something to look forward to in 2015 with the arrival of its latest recruit, Oak Ridge High (Fla.) power forward Alex Owens.

The 6-foot-8 Owens committed to UCF on Tuesday, according to ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman.

“I wanted to stay close to home and be near my family,” Owens told Goodman. “I really like coach (Donnie) Jones, their staff and how they are with the players. I just felt different about them than the other schools.”

This is an impressive commit for Central Florida. Owens is ranked as the No. 71 overall player in the Class of 2015 according to Rivals. Despite only entering his junior season, the Orlando, Fla. native held offers from Cincinnati, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Missouri, N.C. State and Providence.

This summer, Owens played in the Nike EYBL with the eventual Peach Jam champion Each 1 Teach 1 (Fla.). During the Peach Jam in July, Owens saw an increase in his production. He averaged 9.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He played alongside Duke commit Grayson Allen, North Carolina bound Joel Berry and D’Angelo Russell, who is committed to Ohio State.

He also also averaged 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game for USA South in the Nike Global Challenge. He ended the four-game showcase with back-to-back double doubles (14 points, 11 rebounds; 17 points, 10 rebounds) against USA Midwest and USA West.

Owens is the second commit UCF has received this summer. In August, Boone High (Fla.) point guard B.J. Taylor became the lone commit in its Class of 2014.

Clemson lands 2017 guard

Brad Brownell
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Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.

The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.

Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.

Arizona’s Tarczewski out 4-to-6 weeks

Kaleb Tarczewski, Sean Miller
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Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.

The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.

Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.