- Joel Francisco
Here's a team-by-team breakdown of the Pac-12's 2012 recruiting classes.
Ben Howland's misfortunes on the recruiting trail have suddenly taken a revolutionary shift thanks to his hauling in the No. 1 recruiting class. It all starts with the No. 2 recruit in the country, 6-foot-5 small forward Shabazz Muhammad (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), who has the ability to be in the discussion for Pac-12 player of the year next season due to his scoring prowess. Next, Howland enticed No. 5 overall Kyle Anderson (Fairview, N.J./St. Anthony), the point forward type who dissects the defense with his precision passing. If anybody took in any of the Bruins' games last season, they were in dire need of a shooter, and they corralled one in smooth-shooting 6-5 guard Jordan Adams (Lawrenceville, Ga./Oak Hill Academy). Last, but certainly not least, Howland landed ultra-skilled 6-8 big man Tony Parker (Lithonia, GA./Miller Grove), who will put immediate pressure on current Bruins starter Josh Smith to perform at a higher level.
Sean Miller and his staff have scoped the entire country, and they have come up with a loaded class chock full of athleticism and skill. Miller and his Wildcats staff clawed their way to the likes of 6-9 power forward Grant Jerrett (La Verne, Calif./La Verne Lutheran), 6-8 power forward Brandon Ashley (Henderson, Nev./Findlay Prep), 7-0 center Kaleb Tarczewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Marks School) and 6-2 guard Gabe York (Orange, Calif./Orange Lutheran). Jerrett might turn out to be the best prospect out west due to his skill set inside and out, while Ashley is a diamond in the rough considering his length and blossoming skills. Meanwhile, Tarczewski is a much-improved 5-man who should provide a solid anchor in the paint area, while York can light up a score board from anywhere on the court. However, point guard is still a major issue going forward for a program noted for producing quality ones.
Not only are UCLA and Arizona among the top classes in the Pac-12, but they are among the top in the nation, writes Joel Francisco.