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Sean Miller discusses Arizona’s recruiting class
Here’s how Arizona coach Sean Miller broke down his fall recruiting class, while speaking publicly about his three signees for the first time Friday:
K.J. Simpson, combo guard, 6-2, 175, Northridge, Calif. (Chaminade HS)
“K.J. is the type of player that we’re really targeting right now in that he loves the game. Arizona (is) a big stage with a lot of bright lights, there’s a lot of eyes on our program, we’re in a high expectation environment — and it just doesn’t fit somebody who likes basketball. You have to love it. I mean, you have to just be consumed by it, and you have to be willing to put the work in. K.J. is that type of person and player. He loves the game.
“He’s not just a point guard. We could play him in a three-guard lineup as a combo guard with another point guard or I think he could be the one and only guy out there to handle the ball. He’s very athletic, can be a two-way player. Guys that understand that defense is important and have ability to play our man to man, I think those guys enjoy our program, perhaps more than somebody who struggles on that side of the ball. So we want to get a balanced type of player.
“And he comes from an incredible family, played for some really good high school coaches and a high school program that people really respect. We’re excited to have him.”
Shane Nowell, wing, 6-5, 190, Renton, Wash. (Eastside Catholic HS)
“Shane comes from a great family. He lost his father early in his lifetime, which I think really motivates him as a basketball player. But if you watched Jaylen Nowell (Shane’s older brother, who was the Pac-12 Player of the Year at Washington in 2018-19), his career got better, he improved as he got older.
“I think Shane is in many ways a diamond in the rough as we evaluate him. He’s taller than K.J. Simpson, 6-foot-4, 6-foot-5, but somebody who has the ability to dribble the ball pass the ball, play in transition. (He’s a) two-way player, a guy that can play our version of defense in somebody and doesn’t like the game of basketball, but really loves it, wants to do great things. K.J. and Shane again, they come from winning programs, both their travel teams they play with and also with their with their high school. Very, very well coached there as well.”
Shane Dezonie, shooting guard, 6-4, 190, Tobyhanna, Pa. (Brewster Academy, N.H.)
“Maybe we connected with him a little bit later (in his recruitment) than the first two but the things that stand out in our recruitment of him is he’s been in a very highly competitive setting, at the high schools that he’s been at, plays on one of the best travel teams in our country, and he has been well coached.
“Everybody talks about his motor and what a great competitor he is. Again, he’s someone who loves the game of basketball, and can play both offense and defense. We’re lucky right now, because he’s at a prep school, Brewster Academy where there’s been a ton of great talent that’s developed. He’s in kind of a highly competitive environment right now, which is really unique, because there’s a lot of high schools, as we know, that aren’t even having a high school season.
“A lot like Shane Nowell, we can’t pigeonhole Shane at just one position. He can play multiple positions. We love the fact that he can play defense and offense. A great competitor from the East that we’re excited to have.”