Arizona landed perhaps the most important piece of its Class of 2018 recruiting haul on Tuesday night as five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly pledged to the Wildcats during the televised Steph Curry Select All-Star Game.
The 6-foot-2 Quinerly picked Arizona over his other finalist, Villanova, as Rivals has him as the No. 16 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 national rankings.
The pledge of Quinerly is important for head coach Sean Miller and Arizona. Not only is Quinerly the highest-rated player to commit to Arizona so far in this class, but he’s also possibly the most important player they could get in this entire recruiting class.
Others that Arizona might eventually land could be better during freshman season or be ranked higher in national rankings, but Quinerly gives Miller something he hasn’t had in years: a five-star, pass-first point guard who wants to make other players around him better.
While other recent five-star Arizona guards like Rawle Alkins, Allonzo Trier and Kobi Simmons are all immensely talented players, all three of those players have been more ball-dominant scoring types. Quinerly is the highest-rated pure point guard that Miller has recruited since taking over the program.
Things didn’t work out for Arizona with lead guards like Josiah Turner or Justin Simon and they’re hoping Quinerly can make more of an impact at point than Parker Jackson-Cartwright. If Quinerly can play at all like T.J. McConnell did during the height of his Arizona tenure, then Miller can finally rely on having a consistent coach-on-the-floor type of guard. That should make things a lot easier for Arizona’s offense as Miller shouldn’t have to worry too much with his new five-star guard running the show.
The commitment of Quinerly gives the Wildcats another five-star prospect as he joins five-star big man Shareef O’Neal, the son of Shaq, and four-star guard Brandon Williams in the Arizona Class of 2018 recruiting haul. The hope is that Quinerly can now help recruit more talented players with him to Arizona.
Many elite Class of 2018 players have expressed their approval of playing with Quinerly at camps and many of his Under Armour peers cited him as having the best handles of any player in the league. This is the type of commitment that other players will notice and it’ll be interesting to see if Quinerly can get more talent to come with him to Arizona.