Arizona has landed its first commitment from the class of 2014, and filled a potential future hole at point guard, by landing Los Angeles Loyola guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright today.
Loyola coach Jamal Adams said that Jackson-Cartwright offered a commitment this afternoon after taking a last-minute official visit to the Wildcats over the weekend. Loyola lost to Long Beach Poly on Friday and Jackson-Cartwright decided on Saturday morning to take the visit.
Jackson-Cartwright, rated No. 22 overall by Scout and No. 30 by ESPNU, chose the Wildcats over UCLA, Adams said, though Gonzaga also made a late push.
Arizona “has been recruiting him very hard for a long time and coach (Sean) Miller has a great relationship with his family,” Adams said. “He’s a wonderful kid, a confident point guard in terms of being a pass-first floor general and really is excellent at understanding teammates’ strengths. He’s got great vision and all of the things you’d want in a point guard.”
Jackson-Cartwright had a foot injury that cost him part of the 2012 summer circuit as well as some of his senior season but averaged 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds per game – with an 8 to 1 assist-turnover ratio, Adams said.
Jackson-Cartwright also played travel ball with the California Supreme program coached by former Wildcat standout Miles Simon.
Josh Gershon, a Southern California-based analyst for Scout who has seen Jackson-Cartwright often, said the player is a “coaches’ dream point guard” with the way he plays.
“He has a terrific basketball IQ, he makes the right pass almost every single time and he’s tough for a defender to stay in front of,” Gershon said. “One he gets by you he can pass or finish with either hand. Defensively, he’s very difficult to get by in that he’s so quick and has quick hands. He’s almost like a (football) cornerback in that he intercepts so many passes. He’s the kind of player you want to build your program around.”
The first UA recruit from the class of 2014, Jackson-Cartwright will likely play along with or behind T.J. McConnell in McConnell’s final season of 2014-15.
While I have not yet been able to reach Jackson-Cartwright today, I talked to him last summer in Las Vegas for this story about about him.