The recruiting rich just got richer again on Monday.
Rawle Alkins, a five-star recruit from New York currently attending Word of God Christian Academy in North Carolina, has verbally committed to attend Arizona.
Alkins, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, is currently rated as the No. 17 player in the 2016 class according to 247Sports’ composite ranking. He chose Arizona over St. John’s, North Carolina , NC State, and UNLV. He’s a classic NYC shooting guard: a tough, physical slasher who can finish through contact and rise above the rim for a seemingly effortless slam. At 210 pounds, he’ll be ready from Day 1 to deal with the upgrade in physicality in college basketball and thrive with his strength on the wing. His jump shooting could use a bit of work, but he’s at the very least a capable 3-point shooter that needs to be defended from beyond the arc. That’s what makes him such a dangerous offensive weapon.
Defensively is where he could make a major impact for Arizona and continue to really improve under Sean Miller. Alkins has all of the tools necessary to be an awesome defensive player because of his high motor, good length and terrific athleticism. Look for Miller to really take advantage of that next season and make Alkins a really strong player on the defensive end. With some development and a strong year next season, Alkins is the kind of talent who could be a one-and-done at Arizona.
Alkins joins Kobi Simmons and Lauri Markkanen, two other five-star talents, in Arizona’s recruiting class next season. His commitment gives Arizona what is currently a top-10 class for 2016, which is a bit of a surprise given where the Wildcats were in October. Following the de-commitment of T.J. Leaf, Arizona had zero players in its recruiting class. But things turned around, as Markannen committed in the fall, followed by Simmons in the winter and now Alkins. The lesson here is to never doubt the recruiting abilities of Miller and this staff, as this is now the sixth straight season Miller has been able to bring in a top-10 class, according to 247Sports.
It’s worth noting that this commitment does create a bit of a glut in Arizona’s backcourt. The Wildcats return Kadeem Allen, Allonzo Trier, Justin Simon and Parker Jackson-Cartwright in the backcourt. That, along with Simmons and Alkins, is a pretty big glut of players. It could be slightly cleared up if Trier decides to turn pro — a possibility — or if there is a transfer, but right now that is a lot of guards who will be vying for playing time.
Alkins is arguably the most talented of that group, so it’s hard to imagine that he won’t get on the floor. Plus, given that group’s size and length outside of Jackson-Cartwright, it would be easy to envision a circumstance where three of these guys play together at once. But still, given that playing time will be at a premium, I would guess we haven’t heard the last of it as far as player movement in the backcourt for Arizona this season.
We also probably haven’t heard the last of it in recruiting with the Wildcats, either, be it on the high school or on the transfer market. Arizona still has either two or three scholarships — depending on if Elliott Pitts returns next season — to use for next season, and is considered one of the favorites for Josh Jackson, widely considered to be one of the best players in the country and a future top-five pick.
Even if Jackson does not end up at Arizona, it seems like there will be a couple of other players out there spending their season in Tucson next year — that we currently don’t know yet.