The Arizona Wildcats have built their basketball program up from the ground without much help from the state they are located in. Since the days of Lute Olson in the 1980's, the UA seldom relied heavily on local Arizona kids to help win games for the program.
Sure, there were a few stars along the way in Steve Elliot, Mike Bibby and Channing Frye, but the Wildcats' rosters typically consisted of players from other states under Olson over the years.
Nothing has really changed since Sean Miller took over the program in early 2009. And given their recent success on the recruiting trail, it doesn't look like the coaching staff will be changing their philosophies any time soon.
Daniel Bejerano out of Phoenix signed with Arizona as the new coaching staff scrambled to assemble a roster, but he only lasted one season before transferring to a different program due to a lack of playing time. Nick Johnson is originally from the Phoenix area but transferred to Findlay Prep in Nevada before committing to the Wildcats.
Other than these two -- and incoming JuCo transfer Matt Korcheck -- the University of Arizona hasn't really used local players to help rebuild the program.
So when coach Miller offered a local kid this week, it was a bit surprising.
Jaron Hopkins, a three-star guard from Chandler, received a scholarship offer and tweeted the information.
Just got offered by U of A #HardworkPaysOff— Jaron Hopkins (@jaronfor3) April 26, 2012
It is believed that Hopkins is not a top-target for the 2013 class at this time, but coach Miller and his staff are likely doing their due diligence with any talented in-state prospects. Fans always love local players and it is always noteworthy when Arizona offers a local kid who isn't a no-brainer as far as recruiting goes. This will be something to keep an eye on in the coming months.
The Wildcats currently have one commit for the 2013 class, Eric Cooper Jr., who is the son of former UA standout Eric Cooper. They are involved with many of the nation's best prospects, including top-10 players such as Aaron Gordon and Keith Frazier.