2012 Pac-12 Recruiting Breakdown

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Mar 24, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonalds High School All American guard Shabazz Muhammad (15) poses during a photo shoot for the 35th McDonalds High School All American Game to be held at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Pac-12 had once again some impressive hauls for the Men’s Basketball 2012 recruiting class. Three of the teams even made the top 25 in recruiting rankings; UCLA, Arizona, Colorado.

I took the time to peruse through the classes, compared the classes, and am going to write my thoughts on how much of an impact each class will have on the team success. One thing I did not look into and possibly can in a future article is transfers into the program for 2012. For example, Washington had two transfers in Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx. Those players will not be included in this breakdown.

I ranked them in (my) order of top 2012 recruiting classes.

UCLA

In my opinion, it’s not even close. Arizona has a great class and you can read that below but UCLA’s is far and away the best in the conference and debatable for the best in the country.

  • Shabazz Muhammad is the second best player in the country behind Nerlens Noel. Some may even consider him the best prospect in the 2012 class. It is close. He will make a huge impact right away at UCLA and will look to the NBA lottery after the year is over. He can score at will, and just is an incredible slasher to the basket. He could easily be UCLA’s best scoring threat next season.
  • Kyle Anderson is another impressive 2012 recruit. He is a 5-star “point-forward”. He is really smart with the basketball, and makes good passes. However, he is 6-8 and isn’t quick enough nor does he have an amazing jumper to handle the ball as much as he did in college. My guess is that he takes about half to all of the season to get acclimated to college ball.
  • Tony Parker is a 5-star big man with a likeness to Josh Smith. He is a great scorer around the basket, can even play some solid defense. He isn’t going to be in shape right away. However, with Smith and Parker to rotate in and out when the opposite is tired could only help UCLA.
  • Jordan Adams is a 4-star shooter. He is mainly known for his ability to drop in shots from behind the 3-point line. He will have spot duty off the bench unless Coach Ben Howland can convince him to go with the red-shirt route. Not that he can’t play right away but there is a log-jam ahead of him.

Overall, UCLA’s class is the most impressive in the Pac-12. That being said, I think they still disappoint on the season. They may finish in the top 3 but I see team chemistry being another big factor for the Bruins. They will win some big games and lose some games they shouldn’t. Sound familiar?

Arizona

Arizona has another top 5 recruiting class. They added five players to their class and they all show great potential.

  • Brandon Ashley is the headliner in this class. One of the stars at Findlay Prep and an impressive scorer and defender from the post. He is a 5-star player and should have an immediate impact at Arizona. He may take a little to adjust but he will be starting out of the gate.
  • Kaleb Tarczewski is a big goofy 5-star Center. He is 7’0 player but mainly is rated so high because of his potential not current ability. Don’t get me wrong, he can play, but he won’t do anything impressive his first year at Arizona. He needs work but shows flashes of impressive ability.
  • Grant Jerrett Another 5-star Center. They probably hauled them both in because Jerrett is more polished and ready to go but Tarczewski projects better long-term. I could see Jerrett playing more minutes in the freshman campaign than Tarczewski.
  • Gabe York is a 4-star scorer. He can score by driving or shooting from deep. Husky fans should know his name because UW was in the mix for him before he chose Arizona. He is good but he reminds me of Josiah Turner in terms of what goes on mentally. York may need some time to adjust to college and the college game.
  • Matt Korcheck is a JC commit that I know nothing about. However, he is another big-man for Arizona.

Overall, Arizona did what it needed to do, improve in the post. They didn’t perform up to standards last season because of drama and lack of depth at the big-man positions. Jesse Perry had to be the catch-all down there. Angelo Chol should be better next season and Arizona may be the team to beat.

Colorado

The Buffaloes had one of their best recruiting classes to date. They were able to land some big time players.

  • Xavier Johnson is an athletic forward (4-star on Scout) that will help Colorado especially as a freshman on the defensive end.
  • Wesley Gordon and Josh Scott are big centers that Colorado was in desperate need of, especially at the talent level of these two. Both are in-state kids and both will need to get stronger before they are effective.
  • Chris Jenkins a long athletic forward from Michigan. Rated a 3-star by Scout.
  • Xavier Talton is an in-state PG who will help provide some depth at that position. (3-star)
  • Eli Stalzer is probably going to be a red-shirt. He is a shooting guard. (2-star)

Overall, Colorado had an impressive class. A class that will help them more in 2013-2014 than now. Almost all of their recruits will need some time to develop. However, this provides some good depth and some help on defense, which is what Colorado loves.

Stanford

The Cardinal has a slightly smaller class with only three commitments but they landed three that could be immediate impact guys.

  • Roscoe Allen is the guy with probably the most upside in this class. He is a guy that has an impressive ability to shoot from deep at his 6’9 forward size. If he can learn some more back to the basket moves, he will be a solid player for Stanford. (4-star)
  • Grant Verhoeven is another guy that Washington fans should recognize. He was being recruited by UW towards the end but decided to go to Stanford. He is a 6’9 Center that simply just doesn’t stop working. He is a guy that Stanford will use immediately because of how bad Verhoeven will want it and how hard he will work in practice.  (4-star)
  • Chris Sanders is the guy that may use o red-shirt. He is a 3-star shooting guard that could use a year to develop. However, if they decide to play him next year he can come in and play spot-duty.

Stanford had a decent class and they increased their team height a lot with this class. With more size they should be able to put up a few more wins. In my opinion, this class doesn’t put them in the top-5 in the Pac-12 but places them just outside of it.

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