Posted by AMurawa on June 22nd, 2012
- UCLA head coach Ben Howland’s recruiting success with the 2012 class went a long way towards re-establishing the thriving program we had come to expect after his first few seasons in Westwood, but questions remained about what he could do in the future. Some of those questions were answered this past week when Howland earned a commitment from 2013 guard Zach LaVine, a four-star player out of Bothell, Washington. LaVine has the reputation of a point guard prospect, but has enough size and scoring ability that he could play either position at the next level. Aside from getting UCLA’s 2013 class off to a strong start, it also shows Howland’s ability to go into other states and steal local kids from his Pac-12 opponents, as Washington, for one, certainly considered themselves a strong candidate to land LaVine.
- Speaking of Washington, head coach Lorenzo Romar confirmed this week that they are “pretty much done” with the 2012 recruiting class. Assuming no last minute surprises emerge, the new class for the Huskies is made up of just junior college transfer Mark McLaughlin and San Francisco transfer Perry Blackwell, who will not be eligible until 2013-14. However, Ben Knibbe of the UW Dawg Pound tells UW fans not to worry, because Romar has designs on a monster 2013 class, with his staff hot in pursuit of #1 overall recruit Jabari Parker as well as three other top-15 recruits: Aaron Gordon, Jabari Bird and Isaac Hamilton.
- Also on the Lorenzo Romar front, he is the latest Pac-12 coach to hop aboard the Twitter express, signing up for the social media platform this week as @CoachRomar. With Arizona head coach Sean Miller buying in last week, now more than half of the league’s coaches have a Twitter feed, some of which are used more than others. However, if you California fans out there are waiting for Mike Montgomery to start tweeting, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
- Sean Miller, meanwhile, had plenty to be happy about, as he inked a contract extension with Arizona in the last week that will keep him prowling the sidelines (and, likewise, will keep the Wildcats very relevant nationally) through at least 2016-17. In his three seasons in Tucson, he has posted a 69-35 record with a Coach of the Year award and an Elite Eight mixed in, despite missing the NCAA Tournament twice over that span. While missing NCAA Tournaments is definitely not something that Wildcats fans are used to, most understand that Miller has done an excellent job keeping this program chugging along, especially considering his top three national recruiting class this past offseason.
- Lastly, David Piper of Addicted to Quack writes that this 2012 Oregon recruiting class will determine whether the Dana Altman era in Eugene will ultimately be considered a success or not. With 12 of the 16 most-recent Duck recruits having transferred out of the program, Altman needs to show that he can not only bring in quality recruits, but that he can keep them and use them to get Oregon back into the NCAA Tournament. Four-star point guard Dominic Artis heads the 2012 class, and he could be a key cog over the next four years, provided of course that he remains in the program.