A little more than a month after decommitting from Alabama, Terrance Ferguson has committed to a different school. The five-star small forward announced on Wednesday that he will attend Arizona. Ferguson chose the Wildcats over Kansas, Baylor and North Carolina, among other programs.
Ferguson verbally pledged himself to the Crimson Tide last August but never signed a National Letter of Intent. In March, he reopened his recruitment, and Ferguson’s high school coach then said Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Kansas and Maryland were in consideration, according to ESPN’s Paul Biancardi. But Ferguson’s lone official visit since the decommitment was to Arizona.
A top-flight athlete whose shooting range extends beyond the three-point line, Ferguson is regarded as one of the best wings in the class of 2016. “In addition to a jumper that can become scorching hot from deep, he’s a very good athlete,” Scout.com’s analysis of him notes. “With his quickness and length, he should be able to defend shooting guards or wing forwards at the next level.”
The 6’6", 180-pound Ferguson was one of four high school seniors (small forward Jayson Tatum, small forward Josh Jackson and power forward Harry Giles were the others) chosen to play with Team USA in the FIBA U19 World Championship in Greece last summer, and he’s won three gold medals overall with USA Basketball.
Ferguson previously attended Prime Prep Academy, a charter school co-founded by Deion Sanders that was shut down last year, and is now at Advanced Preparatory International in Dallas. The school also features Mark Vital, a four-star power forward in the class of 2016; and two five-star prospects in the class of 2017, point guard Trevon Duval and power forward Billy Preston.
The latest version of the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, a composite ranking that incorporates data from several services, pegs Ferguson No. 12 in the class of 2016. He participated in both the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Nike Hoop Summit earlier this month, setting an event record with seven three-point shots.
Ferguson’s decision should come as a huge relief to Wildcats fans after they watched another 5-star wing in the class of 2016, No. 2 overall recruit Josh Jackson, pick Kansas instead of Arizona on Monday. While Ferguson is not as highly regarded as Jackson, he should be able to help the Wildcats right away with his long-range shooting and perimeter defense.
Ferguson is just the latest elite talent to join Arizona’s 2016 recruiting class. They’ve already landed five-star power forward Lauri Markkanen, five-star point guard Kobi Simmons and five-star shooting guard Rawle Alkins. Arizona could use a major influx of talent, too, as it’s set to lose three of its top four scorers: Forward Ryan Anderson, guard Gabe York and center Kaleb Tarczewski.
Simmons, Alkins and Ferguson all project as high-impact players right away, and they'll join a perimeter rotation that brings back sophomore Allonzo Trier, senior Kadeem Allen and junior Parker Jackson-Cartwright (Last month Arizona announced that sophomore guard Justin Simon would transfer, and senior guard Elliott Pitts stepped away from the team in February for personal reasons.)
The Wildcats recorded their lowest win total in four seasons and were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2014-15, but expect coach Sean Miller’s team to bounce back this season. Arizona’s 2016 recruiting class already rated out as one of the nation’s best before Ferguson’s announcement. Now it’s even better.