By JOHN PAVIA
Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEW YORK — As many of the crucial players from top-tier schools have begun to make the decision whether to return to school or enter the NBA Draft, Stanley Johnson is busy prepping to contribute right away at Arizona next season.
After Wednesday’s practice for the Jordan Brand Classic, Johnson spoke to SNY.tv about how Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson departing from Arizona for the NBA Draft would affect the team for next year.
“That’s a really personal decision for them,” he said. “They feel like they can play in the To read more of this story, click here
Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon and junior guard Nick Johnson will declare for the NBA Draft during a press conference Tuesday at the school, sources told SNY.tv.
The 6-foot-9 Gordon is projected as the No. 8 pick by DraftExpress.com, while the 6-2 Johnson is projected at 48.
Gordon averaged 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds, while Johnson led the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game.
“Gordon is a great athlete,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “He’s not a 3, but an energy guy who needs to become a more skilled perimeter player. He has good upside and will be a backup to start his NBA career. To read more of this story, click here
Dusan Ristic, a 7-foot, 240-pound center originally from Novi Sad, Serbia, committed to Arizona as expected on Saturday.
Ristic, out of Sunrise Christian (KS), visited Arizona this past weekend and head coach Kyle Lindsted previously told SNY.tv, ”He’s Arizona’s to lose.”
Ristic is the fifth 2014 commit for head coach Sean Miller, joining point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, JUCO shooting guard Kadeem Allen, small forward Stanley Johnson and power forward Craig Victor.
Lindsted said Ristic came to the U.S. from Serbia to play with countryman Vasilije Pusica, a 6-4 combo guard from Belgrade, who is Ristic’s close friend. To read more of this story, click here
Dusan Ristic, a 7-foot, 240-pound center originally from Novi Sad, Serbia, will visit Arizona this weekend along with 2015 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman big man Chase Jeter.
“He came here because Arizona recruited him,” Sunrise Christian (KS) coach Kyle Lindsted told SNY.tv. “He’s Arizona’s to lose.”
Lindsted added that a “boatload [of schools] have contacted” him on Ristic.
Ristic’s visit to Arizona was previously reported by Scout.com. To read more of this story, click here
Arizona’s chances at a national championship may have taken a hit with the loss of sophomore forward Brandon Ashley for the season to a foot injury.
The 6-foot-10 forward was averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, while shooting 52.2 percent from the field.
“Brandon Ashley suffered a foot injury that will end his season,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said in a statement. “While we’re all disappointed, we are also aware that Brandon needs our support and positive energy surrounding him. Someone once told me, the hottest heat forges the strongest steel. This adversity will ultimately make Brandon and our team stronger moving forward.” To read more of this story, click here
No.1-ranked Arizona scored a major recruiting coup late Friday night when Tyler Dorsey verbally committed.
“Just committed to the University of Arizona
#BearDown” he Tweeted.
Arizona Coach Sean Miller was reportedly at Friday night’s St. John Bosco-JSerra game.
“They recruited him hard since the eighth grade,” Jerrid Dorsey, Tyler’s father, told SNY.tv. “Plus, he loves Sean Miller.” To read more of this story, click here
Arizona is loaded with future pros on the front line in Aaron Gordon, Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski, but they won’t be there forever.
With that in mind, the No. 1-ranked Wildcats are looking ahead and hosted 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman of Las Vegas Bishop Gorman on Thursday.
“It went very well,” Zimmerman told SNY.tv of his visit to Arizona Thursday. “Beautiful campus, coaches are very high on winning, training and preparing players for the next level. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — If guard play is the key to college basketball, then Arizona would appear to be poised for a potential deep run come March.
In an NIT Season Tip-Off event that featured future lottery picks Jabari Parker of Duke and Aaron Gordon of Arizona, it was Arizona guard Nick Johnson who won the Most Outstanding Player trophy after the No. 4 Wildcats beat the No. 6 Blue Devils, 72-66, at Madison Square Garden.
Johnson and teammate T.J. McConnell combined for 25 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds and 6 turnovers. To read more of this story, click here
NEW YORK — Jabari Parker is 0-1 this year in meetings against his fellow super-freshmen.
Now comes Round 2.
After losing to Andrew Wiggins and Kansas at the Champions Classic Nov. 12 in Chicago, Parker and No. 6 Duke will now face Aaron Gordon and No. 4 Arizona Friday in the Preseason NIT Championship at Madison Square Garden.
Coach K wonders whether the freshmen are being overhyped by ESPN, but everyone agrees this group is special. To read more of this story, click here
Stanley Johnson is staying on the West Coast.
The 6-foot-6 Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei wing became the latest member of the famed Oakland Soldiers AAU program to pick Arizona on Friday, choosing Sean Miller’s program over USC, Kentucky, Oregon and Florida.
“I’m going to the University of Arizona,” Johnson said on ESPNU as he held up two Arizona sneakers.
“Arizona’s a great school overall. What put me over the top for them is just the way they recruited me since freshman year. And Coach [Sean] Miller has been great for me, genuine, honest. His coaching staff has been totally up front with me from the beginning…And just the genuine nature of the coaches and the family feeling I got when I got on campus.
“I always tell people I want the feeling of family and when I got on campus, the two times I’ve been there with my family, they showed out the best.”
To read more of this story, click here