The recent events going on at the University of Arizona have already affected the current team, but they will also be a problem for the future. Shareef O’Neal, son of Shaquille O’Neal, announced on Twitter Saturday that he is decommitting from Arizona.
Shareef O’Neal Decommits from Arizona
At this time I'm am opening up my recruitment due to the current events with the UofA Bball team.I would like to thank all the coaches for recruiting me. At the time my family and I think it's in my best interest to look at other options to assure my play in the NCAA next year.
— Shareef O’Neal (@SSJreef) February 24, 2018
O’Neal, whose father attended LSU, committed to the Wildcats back in April. He is the 29th ranked player in the class of 2018.
Arizona head coach Sean Miller was heard on an FBI wiretap Friday night discussing payment to current players. On the phone call, Miller was talking about paying star freshman DeAndre Ayton $100,000 to guarantee that he signed with the Wildcats.
Miller did not coach Saturday’s game, in which Arizona suffered a 98-93 overtime loss to Oregon. No further action has been taken on Miller or Ayton.
What does this mean for Arizona?
O’Neal is the second player in the top 30 to decommit from Arizona. Five-star point guard Jahvon Quinerly committed to Arizona back in August but rescinded his decision in October. Quinerly just recently decided to play for Villanova next season.
O’Neal has yet to decide his new school but with him and Quinerly out, the Wildcats have no more recruits in the top 30, and only one in the top 50. With Ayton surely leaving for the NBA after this season, this leaves the future of Arizona basketball very much in question.
Miller is in his ninth year as head coach at Arizona and has led his team to the NCAA tournament in all but one season. He has a record of 242-73 with the Wildcats that includes three regular season Pac-12 titles (one Pac-10) and two Pac-12 tournament wins. Despite Miller’s success, it seems like only a matter of time before Arizona will part ways with him.
Shareef O’Neal’s future
O’Neal is currently attending the Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. He is the second-ranked player in the state.
The 6’8″ senior is pegged as a long-armed forward with the ability to run in transition and finish over any defender. Before he chose the Wildcats, LSU looked to be the favorite to land O’Neal. With his recruiting open once again, O’Neal will draw interest from many schools.
O’Neal has received offers from Baylor, Cal, Georgetown, Kansas State, LSU, UCLA, and USC. He has not set a time for when his decision will be made.
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