Monday was a wild day on the recruiting front, but easily the biggest news involved Kaleb Tarczewski.
The talented seven-footer and the No. 8 player in the country according to our latest Consensus Recruiting Rankings chose Arizona over Kansas, filling out what is now the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for 2012, which also includes Brandon Ashley (6th), Grant Jerrett (29th) and Gabe York (32nd).
We’ve already talked at length about how Arizona is building themselves up to be a potential national title contender. That post came before Arizona got the commitment from Tarczewski, which should tell you something about how good this can be in the next couple of years.
There is more to this commitment than just Sean Miller continuing to clean up on the recruiting trail, however. Has any marquee head coach had less success on the recruiting trail than Bill Self the past two or three years? Xavier Henry and Josh Selby were both busts when you consider the amount of effort that went into recruiting them and the production they provided in their one season on campus. Since 2008, four players — Quintrell Thomas, Tyrone Appleton, Royce Wooldridge and CJ Henry — have transferred out of the program. That transfer list doesn’t include the three players — Ben McLemore, Jamari Traylor and Braedon Anderson — that failed to qualify in this year’s recruiting class.
And now Self has been beaten out for Tarczewski, a guy he focused on recruiting instead of local product Willie Cauley. (Cauley, ironically enough, also made his collegiate decision today, picking Kentucky over Kansas State.) Its not all bad for Kansas, however. They did earn a commitment from Perry Ellis, a top 50 recruit and Kansas native.
Cauley and Tarczewski were just the tip of the iceberg in what proved to be a busy day for the Pac-12.
Rosco Allen, a 6’9″ swingman out of Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas ranked 68th in our Consensus Recruiting Rankings, committed to Stanford over UNLV. Allen joins Christian Sanders and Grant Verhoeven in Johnny Dawkins’ class of 2012. With the amount of young talent currently on the Stanford roster, the future is bright in Palo Alto.
Also out on the west coast, Dominic Artis (56th), a 5’11” point guard out of Southern California, committed to Oregon. Artis was previously committed to UCLA, but he reneged when the Bruins landed Kyle Anderson. According to Neal Nieves of Coast 2 Coast Recruiting, it went down like this: Artis was unhappy when UCLA accepted a commitment from Anderson, who is considered a point guard despite being 6’8″. On the last day that in-home recruiting visits were allowed, Oregon visited with Artis, who promptly decommitted from the Bruins. Since UCLA wasn’t allowed to have another in-home visit, Oregon continued working Artis until they had the commitment.
I think its safe to say the Pac-12 won’t be the laughing stock of college hoops in the very near future.
And just imagine what happens if (when? …) Shabazz Muhammad commits to UCLA.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.