What do the Arizona Wildcats and the Washington Huskies men’s basketball programs have in common outside of both being in the Pac-12 conference?
Well, they were both recently listed on the ZagsBlog “12 Schools in Good Shape Heading Into Late July.” The list is composed of programs that Adam Zagoria thinks are ahead of the crowd when it comes to 2013 recruiting at this point in time.
Not only are the Wildcats and Huskies both on that list, but they also share two of the same potential recruits (Aaron Gordon and Jabari Bird), as Zagoria’s reason for their inclusion.
On the recruiting trail, Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was at the Super 64 AAU tournament watching the Dream Vision vs. New Heights NYC game last night. It can be assumed Romar was there along with several other coaches (including UCLA’s Ben Howland) to check out 2013 recruit Isaac Hamilton. Hamilton is currently Rivals’ No. 12 overall recruit in the 2013 class.
Hamilton’s Dream Vision team lost the game, 67-40, and adding insult to injury, his first shot attempt was a three-pointer air ball (h/t Las Vegas Sun). Following the loss, AAU coach Clayton Williams reportedly told his Dream Vision team, “You’re on center stage!...You’re not as good as you think.”
While the AAU team will have other chances to make up for the loss today, the clock is winding down for Hamilton, who recently tweeted, “Last tournament of the year, I’m going to miss AAU”.
Recruiting doesn’t end with Hamilton for Washington, as the program is after several elite recruits in the 2013 class. One of those recruits, Gordon, that both Arizona and Washington have been pursuing, recently had this to say about Romar (via CBSSports' Jeff Borzello):
Romar is one of those coaches that talks with me. He's a floor general. When he was a player, he was a point guard, so he saw two or three plays ahead. I love that in a coach. He has a high basketball IQ. He will adjust his system to his players.
With regard to Arizona coach Sean Miller, Gordon had this to say (h/t Seattle Times’ Percy Allen, via Scout.com’s Michael Luke), “I like Arizona for many of the same reasons I like Washington. Coach Miller is a very good coach and also plays an up-tempo style. Arizona has better facilities, though.”
Both of these programs are competing with last season’s NCAA tournament champion, Kentucky, among others for this top recruit, who likely won’t make a decision until the spring. With Rupp Arena and everything else, the Kentucky Wildcats aren’t hurting for facilities either.
While it can be a little bit of an arms race, Washington’s facilities could use an upgrade. The Seattle Times’ Allen recently quoted Washington’s athletic director as having this to say on the matter:
We're always reviewing our options and trying to make the best possible use of how we source and what we do with Alaska Airlines Arena. It's the whole arena and not just Hec Ed...We're looking at sourcing the whole arena and making it as efficient as possible. We're in the process of looking at that and looking at what are our options going forward, but it's premature to say we're doing anything. What I would say is we're early planning and looking at our options.
It’s becoming an exciting summer in recruiting for both Pac-12 teams, Arizona and Washington. It’s tough to say where these programs will end up once all the dust settles on the 2013 recruit class, but both appear to be in a pretty good position as things currently stand.