The Arizona Wildcats started their 2016 recruiting class off with a bang, landed a verbal commitment from a player expected to be one of the top international talents in the class, 6′-10″ post Lauri Markkanen of Finland.
The commitment was first reported by Scout.com, and came after Markkanen seriously considered North Carolina and Utah.
With three senior big men on the 2015-2016 roster, it was highly important for the Wildcats to strike with Markkanen, as he reportedly has the tools to make an impact as a freshman.
Markkanen served notice in last summer’s European U18 championships by averaging 18 points and 6 rebounds per game. He also torched the nets by hitting 41% from 3-point range, showing his versatility.
Already listed on DraftExpress as a potential early entry candidate, Markkanen may have a short stay in Tucson, though he’s clearly going to be an important piece next season for the Wildcats. Arizona previously held a pledge from T.J. Leaf in the 2016 recruiting cycle, a top 25 prospect in his own right, but adding Markkanen may lead fans to forget losing Leaf down the line.
Arizona Scholarship Grid
|Kobi Simmons||6'-6"||PG||St. Francis (GA)||HS||Signed|
|Rawle Alkins||6'-5"||SG||Word of God (NC)||HS||Signed|
|Terrance Ferguson||6'-7"||SG||API (TX)||HS||Signed|
|Keanu Pinder||6'-8"||PF||Hutchinson CC (KS)||JC||Signed|