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Stellar international talent Lauri Markkanen picks Arizona

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, 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

NameHeightPositionSchool (State)TypeStatus
Lauri Markkanen6'-10"PFFinlandInternationalSigned
Kobi Simmons6'-6"PGSt. Francis (GA)HSSigned
Rawle Alkins6'-5"SGWord of God (NC)HSSigned
Terrance Ferguson6'-7"SGAPI (TX)HSSigned
Keanu Pinder6'-8"PFHutchinson CC (KS)JCSigned

About K.J. Hassenstab

K.J. Hassenstab is the publisher of the College Basketball Newcomers Guide book and He founded in 2009, and has contributed to SlamOnline, Dime Magazine's, and, along with other publications in the past. Hassenstab has covered grassroots, high school and basketball recruiting for over a decade. Follow on Twitter, @Hoopniks.

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