7′-0″ center DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 prospect in the 2017 class, made a surprise college announcement on Tuesday on ESPN. The supremely talented native of the Bahamas made his intention to attend Arizona, over Kentucky and Kansas, known.
Ayton was widely considered a lean to Kansas, and Kentucky had plenty of buzz as Ayton’s announcement time became known. In the end, Ayton is headed to play for head coach Sean Miller and the Wildcats.
Ayton is a potential No. 1 draft pick in the 2018 class due to his size, length, athleticism, and overall prowess. The big question with his potential for playing in college has always centered around Hillcrest Hoops (AZ), a basketball team associated with another school in Arizona, and whether its course requirements pass NCAA muster. For fans in Tucson, there’s certainly plenty of promise and hope Ayton is able to play without too much NCAA static.
If Ayton is able to play next season, there’s no other player like him in the college ranks. He has a grown man’s offensive game in the paint with the ability to immediately score and rebound. While most certainly a one-and-done player barring an unforeseen event, Ayton could boost Arizona into a legitimate NCAA championship contender next year, assuming the rest of the roster remains in place.
Ayton joins in-state guard Alex Barcello in the class for the Wildcats.
Arizona Scholarship Grid
|Point Guards||Parker Jackson-Cartwright (Jr)||Parker Jackson-Cartwright (Sr)||Kobi Simmons (Jr)||Kobi Simmons (Sr)|
|Kobi Simmons (Fr)||Kobi Simmons (So)||Alex Barcello (So)||Alex Barcello (Jr)|
|Alex Barcello (Fr)|
|Wings||Kadeem Allen (Sr)||Allonzo Trier (Jr)||Allonzo Trier (Sr)||Ray Smith (Sr)|
|Talbott Denny (Sr)||Ray Smith (So)||Ray Smith (Jr)||Dylan Smith (Sr)|
|Allonzo Trier (So)||Dylan Smith (So)||Dylan Smith (Jr)||Rawle Alkins (Sr)|
|Dylan Smith (Tr)||Rawle Alkins (So)||Rawle Alkins (Jr)|
|Ray Smith (Fr)|
|Rawle Alkins (Fr)|
|Posts||Dusan Ristic (Jr)||Dusan Ristic (Sr)||Chance Comanche (Sr)||Lauri Markkanen (Sr)|
|Keanu Pinder (Jr)||Keanu Pinder (Sr)||Lauri Markkanen (Jr)||DeAndre Ayton (Jr)|
|Chance Comanche (So)||Chance Comanche (Jr)||DeAndre Ayton (So)|
|Lauri Markkanen (Fr)||Lauri Markkanen (So)|
|DeAndre Ayton (Fr)|