DeAndre Ayton is the consensus top player in the 2017 college basketball recruiting class and on Tuesday he shocked some observers by committing to Arizona. Ayton had also been heavily pursued by both Kansas and Kentucky.
Ayton is a legit 7-foot center who has dominated his competition this summer. The 250-pounder is uber-athletic, runs the floor, is an elite, violent finisher at the rim while also possessing a soft touch from the outside and the handles to create his own shot. Meanwhile, he moves well on defense, is an aggressive rebounder and has the length to consistently alter shots. So yeah, basically he’s the perfect big man who can also stretch the floor.
Born and raised in the Bahamas, Ayton starred on the AAU circuit this summer. Last year he faced off against 2016 first-rounder Thon Maker and dropped 38 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and adding four blocks and three assists. He won’t be in college long, and is already being pegged as the top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Arizona head coach Sean Miller just scored his biggest recruiting during his tenure in Tucson. This could be the guy who finally leads the Wildcats back to the Final Four and beyond.
Ayton is in his junior year at Hillcrest Academy in Arizona, so he’ll wind up playing close to where he now makes his home. He’ll be fun to watch once he finally gets on campus.