Tarczewski to Arizona Makes them Final Four Contenders
The addition of Kaleb Tarczewski to Arizona’s 2012 recruiting class should make Sean Miller’s team a Final Four contender in the next couple of years.
The 7-footer from St. Mark’s (Mass.) joins a loaded 2012 class that includes Gabe York, Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley, all of whom were on campus two weekends ago.
“If they stay around long enough, they can be a contender for a national championship,” longtime New York recruiting expert Tom Konchalski told SNY.tv by phone.
“You never know, some of these kids think they can be one-and-done.”
Tarczewski, out of St. Mark’s (Mass.), chose the Wildcats over Kansas after visiting both schools in October.
“He has tremendous potential,” Konchalski said. “He has as good of a frame as any guy. He’s not quite as thick as Mitch McGary right now, but he has a great frame. His offense has improved. He uses his left pretty effectively around the basket and he has gotten better offensively. He still has work to do that way.”
The 2012 group will join the current freshmen core of Josiah Turner, Nick Johnson, Sidiki Johnson and Angelo Chol on campus next year, when Arizona will really be loaded going forward.
“Right now, they’re like Noah’s Ark, two of everything,” Konchalski said. “They have a full team. Josiah Turner can be an NBA lead guard. He has that type of potential. Nick Johnson is a classic scoring guard. Sidiki is a Karl Malone or a Charles Oakley type and now they have an aircraft carrier in the middle [in Tarczewski].
“Grant Jerrett is a skilled four man. He’s sort of a counter-point to Sidiki, who’s a lunchpail guy who’s physical. Right now, [Jerrett] is soft, there’s no question but he’s skilled. He had a disappointing summer, but he’s a very talented player.”
Despite all the individual talent, Konchalski warns that the team must jell — and that indeed will be Miller’s challenge going forward.
“If you get a cohesive team, and guys are on the same page and guys who care about winning and playing together for a team, if they have the right goal rather than their own self-aggrandizement, the sky’s the limit for this team,” he said.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.