The 6’7″ 215 pound small forward from Chester High School in Pennsylvania has committed to play basketball next year at the University of Arizona. Jefferson is rated a five-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals, and Scout, so obviously this is a huge get for Arizona coach Sean Miller.
Considered the 16th best player in the entire 2013 class by Rivals.com, Jefferson’s biggest strength may be his superior ball handling skills. That talent is clearly evident in this highlight mix, one of the few I have ever seen that features more ball handling and passing than dunks and blocks.
July 13, 2012;Alexandria, VA USA;USA Midwest forward Rondae Jefferson (11) dunks the ball over USA West forward Justin Jackson (14) and guard Wayne Selden (10) during the Nike Global Challenge at Episcopal High School. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
This commitment continues a period of successful recruiting by Miller, who last year also managed to haul in four players ranked in the top-50 of the 2012 class, including three five-star athletes. Jefferson’s commitment is particularly impressive when his geographic location is considered. It is a testament to both Miller’s recruiting and the prestige of the Arizona basketball program as a whole that a player hailing from Pennsylvania would decide to play for a school so far from his home, especially considering how many other top programs are close by.
All these high profile players have Arizona in great shape for next season and the years beyond, and as far as the Huskies and their rivalry with the Wildcats are concerned, it isn’t great news. Nobody will be picking Washington to defeat Arizona when they face one another next season, and unless Coach Romar lands a few top recruits this year, players like Jefferson may very well keep it that way in the years to come.
It’s worth mentioning that Arizona is also in the running for Aaron Gordon, a player that Washington is actively recruiting. It’s obviously tough to tell if a high profile get like Jefferson will have any effect on Gordon’s decision making, but it certainly adds a bit to the intrigue.
As always, we will keep you informed on any new recruiting news. Thanks for reading.