Breaking news from the West Coast. According to multiple sources, 2012 power forward Brandon Ashley has committed to the Arizona Wildcats. Ashley is from Oakland and is slated to play for Findlay Prep in Nevada next fall. He had previously released a final four of Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Kentucky.
Ashley's recruitment had been relatively quiet until this summer, although it appeared that Kentucky had reasons to be optimistic about recruiting Ashley from cross-country. But as more and more news surfaced regarding Ashley's recruitment, it seemed more and more likely he would stay on the West Coast for college. Although Kentucky made Ashley's final cut, it wasn't surprising that he decided to play ball in the Pac-12.
Arizona Head Coach Sean Miller is on absolute fire on the recruiting trail. After an Elite 8 appearance last year, the (other) Wildcats have built up a pretty stout 2012 recruiting class, and now have another headliner in Ashley. Ashley was ranked #4 overall by ESPNU, and Dave Telep got a choice quote from the new recruit
"I'm ready to commit to Arizona," Ashley said. "After all the time thinking about it and getting to know Coach Miller and having two great teammates, (fellow 2012 commits Grant Jerrett and Gabe York) I knew it was the right choice for me."
Miller has certainly made Tuscon a destination for basketballers. Garrett Tucker (BluegrassHoops.com/Rivals.com) is certainly impressed. He tweeted:
As I said last week, Arizona could have the #1 class in 2012. Sean Miller's staff is doing work. Great get with Brandon Ashley
But don't count Kentucky out of that #1 spot just yet! Despite losing Ashley to Arizona, Kentucky has multiple offers out to top-flight power forwards. They are still pursuing Mitch McGary, Anthony Bennett, Robert Carter, and Perry Ellis, and have a solid chance to land at least one of those four.
For a list of prospects, check out the latest Recruiting Big Board and for the latest Kentucky recruiting news, follow me at @JC_at_M2M.