Arizona lands five-star 2016 guard Rawle Alkins


Arizona hauled in another big five-star addition to its 2016 class on Monday night as guard Rawle Alkins committed to the Wildcats in a televised announcement. A native of New York, the 6-foot-4 Alkins is considered the No. 9 overall prospect in the Rivals Class of 2016 national rankings and he’s a monster grab for Arizona.

Together with five-star Georgia native Kobi Simmons, that gives Arizona one of the best Class of 2016 backcourts in the country. Now, the Wildcats will have plenty of backcourt depth next season as Kadeem Allen, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Allonzo Trier, Elliott Pitts and Justin Simon all have eligibility left. Even if Trier opts to leave and go pro, or if someone decides to transfer, head coach Sean Miller has a ton of options to use next season on the perimeter.

Arizona’s early 2016 recruiting efforts were slow, as the team only signed four-star Finnish big man Lauri Markkanen in the fall, but the additions of Alkins and Simmons have the Wildcats in position for another strong recruiting class.

Alkins also heavily considered St. John’s and UNLV as his other finalists. One of the best guards to come out of New York in years, Alkins is playing this season at Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, North Carolina.

A power guard who can attack off the dribble and punish as a scorer, Alkins should give the Wildcats an aggressive perimeter addition who can come in and play right away. While he’ll need to improve the consistency on his perimeter jumper, Alkins has a workable jumper and should develop into a well-rounded scorer.

During the spring and summer in the adidas Gauntlet, Alkins played 11 games with the New York Rens and averaged 23.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 47 percent from the field.

With Alkins in the fold, Arizona will turn its recruiting attention to five-star wing Josh Jackson, arguably the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2016. The 6-foot-7 Jackson, who is playing his senior season at Prolific Prep in California, is still considering Arizona, Kansas and staying in his native Michigan and playing for Michigan State.