Highly touted power forward Ira Lee committed to the Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team Thursday.
"Coach [Sean] Miller offered me as a freshman, so I have a very good relationship with him, and I like the way he runs his program," Lee said of his decision, according to Scout's Josh Gershon.
According to Scout, the 4-star prospect is the No. 10-ranked power forward and No. 80-ranked player overall in the 2017 recruiting class. Lee is set to join what was already the No. 1 class in the nation, per Scout:
|Arizona Wildcats' 2017 Class|
|Player||Position||Pos. Rank||Overall Rank|
|Brandon Randolph||Shooting Guard||6||38|
|Ira Lee||Power Forward||10||80|
|Alex Barcello||Point Guard||19||86|
The Santa Monica, California, native highlighted Miller's track record with power forwards when revealing why he thought the Wildcats were the best fit, per Gershon: "They said I'm their kind of guy. Aaron Gordon, Solomon Hill and Derrick Williams were all versatile forwards who could do a lot of things. I want to be that kind of guy for them."
Williams and Gordon are both strong comparisons for Lee in terms of playing style.
Lee doesn't boast much range. According to RealGM, he shot 1-of-4 from beyond the arc between the 2015 Adidas Nations and Nike Global Challenge. In 10 games with his AAU team, the Oakland Soldiers, last year, he was 1-of-7 from three-point range, per D1 Circuit.
Lee can still be a dynamic scorer because of his ability to get to the rim. He'll likely deliver at least a few highlight-reel dunks in his freshman season, and he has the touch to finish further away from the basket.
On the defensive end, Lee uses his athleticism and high motor to alter shots in the paint. While standing at only 6'7", his height won't be a major issue when he's playing the 4.
MaxPreps offered a look at Lee from the Fab 48 tournament in Las Vegas:
On his own, Lee would be a major addition for the Wildcats next season. Like Williams and Gordon were coming out of high school, he's a solid all-around forward who will help Arizona on both ends of the floor.
Throw Lee together with his fellow 2017 recruits, and Miller is building a strong squad for 2017-18—one that could finally get the Wildcats into the Final Four after falling short in the Elite Eight three times under Miller's watch.