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.
UCLA received a nice surprise on Monday as rappers Kanye West and 2 Chainz showed up and played at practice.
Both multi-platinum recording artists have made numerous references to basketball over the years, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to see both West and 2 Chainz want to play with one of the premier college programs in the country. 2 Chainz even played Division I ball at Alabama State during his freshman year during the 1996-97 season before eventually graduating from Virginia State.
The Bruins seemed pretty excited to have the two superstars spend some time with them, and former UCLA guard Bryce Alford also got a funny shot in at his dad, head coach Steve Alford, for his picture with Kanye.
A strong recruiting week for USC continued on Friday as the Trojans landed four-star forward Taeshon Cherry in the Class of 2018.
After landing a commitment from fellow Class of 2018 four-star forward J’Raan Brooks earlier this week, the Trojans have now recruited their potential future frontcourt as both players could step in and make an immediate impact.
The 6-foot-9 Cherry is especially intriguing for USC because he possesses the potential to play either the three or the four. Rivals considers him as the No. 30 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 national rankings. With wing skills like perimeter shooting and passing, Cherry can add some unique things to the Trojans while also still being able to rebound against bigger opponents. Ideally, Cherry should be a suitable replacement for Bennie Boatwright in time.
Cherry still has to figure out some stuff regarding which position he’s most comfortable at, but he has a world of upside that has given him five-star status in some respected national rankings.
Now that USC has landed Brooks and Cherry, they can spend July trying to figure out which other players to pursue in the Class of 2018.
Washington and new head coach Mike Hopkins snagged another talented piece on Saturday as four-star forward Hameir Wright committed to the Huskies.
The reigning New York State Gatorade Player of the Year, Wright had was originally supposed to be a member of the Class of 2018, but he will skip his scheduled season at Brewster Academy to join Washington for the 2017-18 season.
The 6-foot-7 Wright was being pursued by a solid list of high-major programs this summer as Washington was able to land another talented player from upstate New York for next season. Wright joins wing Naz Carter, the nephew of Jay Z, as recent commits who can come in and play next season for the Huskies.
Hopkins has used his former connections as a Syracuse assistant to get his roster two immediate pieces that could be four-year players. It’s a really positive start for the first-year head coach as he has a lot of holes to fill on the Washington roster.
Nahziah Carter, a Class of 2017 wing and the nephew of rap superstar Jay Z, committed to Washington late Friday night.
The 6-foot-5 Carter is considered a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, as he made a late pledge to the Huskies after playing this spring with the City Rocks in the Nike EYBL. Carter was originally committed to Dayton but he decided to re-open his recruitment this spring once head coach Archie Miller left to take the Indiana job.
The Huskies are getting an athletic, late-blooming wing who had a solid spring with the City Rocks as Carter was a consistent double-figure scorer in the EYBL.
Carter joins four-star guard Jaylen Nowell in Washington’s Class of 2017 recruiting efforts. With a lot of roster turnover with new head coach Mike Hopkins, Carter could get a chance at some solid minutes right away.
San Diego State picked up a graduate transfer big man for next season late this week when Cal center Kameron Rooks committed to the Aztecs.
The 7-foot-1 Rooks is the first recruit of the Brian Dutcher era for the San Diego State as he will be immediately eligible this season.
Rooks was injured during a good chunk of his time at Cal as he missed one season with an ACL injury, had surgery on his foot last summer, and then had surgery on the same knee again last season. A reserve big man at Cal the past two seasons, Rooks averaged a little over 17 minutes per game each of the last two seasons.
During the 2016-17 season, Rooks averaged 4.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and just less than a block per game. If healthy, Rooks gives San Diego State an experienced post presence who should be able to be a solid rotation piece for next season.