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Arizona commit Alex Barcello (shown here with the Oakland Soldiers last month in Las Vegas) has a non-stop motor, relentless on the defensive end.
Arizona has a lineage of top players from the Phoenix area who opted to leave the Valley of Sun (ASU country) to play down the road at Tucson including Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Jerryd Bayless.
Add the name of four-star point guard Alex Barcello of Tempe Corona del Sol. Barcello committed to the Wildcats on Friday night during an official visit of the campus.
Sean Miller has his sights set for big man DeAndre Ayton of the Hillcrest Hoops Academy in this class and also five-star Class of 2018 center Marvin Bagley, a former teammate of Barcello’s at Tempe Corona del Sol, where they won the 2014-15 state title.
Other schools that heavily recruited Barcello included Virginia, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Baylor, Butler, Indiana and Michigan.
“I didn’t want to waste any coach’s time so I told myself, `When I know it’s right, I’m gonna commit,’ “ Barcello told Bruce Pascoe of The Arizona Daily Star. “I just felt like this was the perfect fit for me. With coach (Sean) Miller recruiting me to be their point guard, I felt like there was nowhere better to be.”
I wrote this last year and believe it to be true: Barcello can evolve into another T.J. McConnell with his all-out hustle and leadership skills at the point guard spot. Rated as the No. 86 prospect overall in his class by Scout.com, Barcello will no doubt have something to prove about to the prognosticators by the time his career is over at Arizona, which likely will last the full four years.
In addition to his moxie on the court, Barcello has an impressive offensive game of passing the ball and taking the ball to the hoop, as well as a good mid- to long-range jump shot.
“I’d say made big improvement just from a year ago, getting stronger and more physical, improving my shot, my ball-handling, my vision,” Barcello told me while in Las Vegas last month playing with the Oakland Soldiers. “I am more of a leader. I try to talk as much as I can because as a point guard you got to be able to talk to lead a team.”
Barcello, who played for Team Bayless last year, made it a point to transition a notch higher in AAU this season by joining the Oakland Soldiers, one of the more renowned organizations in youth basketball that has produced LeBron James, DeMarcus Cousins,Ivan Rabb, and former Wildcats Nick Johnson, Aaron Gordon, Brandon Ashley and Stanley Johnson.
During one game last month, Barcello sat next to Gordon and Johnson on the bench.
“They were great,” Barcello told me. “They don’t hesitate to tell you like it is. Nothing comes easy. You have to work hard for what you want.”
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.