Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd might get a chance to coach recruiting targets for USA Basketball

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One reason four-star 2025 wing Hudson Greer says he’s interested in Arizona is the way coach Tommy Lloyd deployed Pelle Larsson.

It was “the way he ran the floor and also coming off ball screens as their three guard,” Greer says, “just really letting him fill in a role of just doing everything on the floor.”

Greer may get a chance to test-drive himself in that same role under Lloyd this summer. The 6-6 standout from Austin, Texas, is among the high school players expected to receive an invitation to try out for USA Basketball’s U18 team, which Lloyd is scheduled to coach later this spring.

During a USA Basketball junior minicamp in Phoenix last weekend, Greer said Arizona is “pretty high on the list,” though he hasn’t yet cut down his potential college choices. He said he already has visited hometown Texas, as well as Creighton and Arizona for the Red-Blue Showcase last October.

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“It was a great experience,” he said.

A chance to play for USA’s U18 team in the FIBA AmeriCup in Argentina not only would put Greer under Lloyd but also might help make up for a frustrating junior season at Austin’s Lake Travis High School. Greer said missed six weeks in midseason after fracturing his wrist during a game in early January and didn’t return until the high school playoffs.

He then participated in USA Basketball’s minicamp around the Final Four. The camp included 65 players from the high school classes of 2025, 2026 and 2027, some of whom will be invited to try out for USA’s U17 and U18 teams this summer.

That means in-state Arizona target Koa Peat of Gilbert Perry has a choice to make. He didn’t turn 17 until January, making him eligible for both the U17 and U18 teams, and would no doubt be valued on either team. Peat was named USA Basketball’s 2023 Male Player of the Year, and has already won two gold medals with USA teams.

“He can do whatever he wants,” said Perry coach Sam Duane, who assisted in the USA minicamp. “He’s such high character.”

While playing for USA Basketball’s U18 team would put Peat against older players, the AmeriCup is only for countries in the Americas, while the U17 team this summer will participate in the FIBA U17 World Cup in Turkey against the best U17 teams in the world.

“I don’t know yet but it will definitely be something I want to talk to my parents about and see what I want to do,” said Peat, who became a two-time Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year after leading Perry to the state open division title last month. “I think probably (the choice is the U17) World Cup because of the competition.”

The USA camp came just over a month after Perry beat Goodyear Millennium for the state open division title, but Peat was already back in the gym. Duane said he was hoping Peat would at least take a week off, but he didn’t.

“I took a couple of days off after the state championship,” Peat said, “but went straight back to work because I have really big goals and I’m just trying to get better.”

The weeks since the Perry-Millennium game have also been pretty busy for Millennium standout Cameron Holmes, a 2026 UA recruiting target.

The younger brother of Dayton star DaRon Holmes, Cameron said he went to Brooklyn to watch the Flyers in the Atlantic 10 Tournament — and then to Salt Lake City, where he watched Dayton make a memorable comeback to beat Nevada in the first round but lose to Arizona in the second.

As a UA recruit from the Phoenix area, Cameron had mixed feelings watching the Wildcats pull out their 78-68 win over his brother’s team.

“I think he played great,” Cameron said of DaRon. “At the end of the day, he tried his hardest, but Arizona has just had a better team and better players. And Lloyd’s is a great coach — Dayton has a great coach and Arizona has a great coach.

“Seeing him lose hurt me because he was kind of down after the game but to see Arizona win. that’s the state I live in, so I was kind of proud.”

Holmes, who said he is hoping to make USA’s U17 team this summer, said he’s been talking to Arizona through his coach but it remains early in his recruitment. He said he just picked up an offer from Stanford, among others.

Peat said he planned to narrow his list of colleges down after the summer. He’s already extremely familiar with UA, having visited multiple times, while also taking in the Wildcats’ games with Alabama at Phoenix and at ASU this season.

Whatever he decides for college, Peat said there’s no decision to be made for his senior year of high school. Even though Peat has already led Perry to three straight state titles, he said he plans to come back to the Gilbert school for his senior year.

“There’s no place better to do it but at home,” Peat said. “That’s been my whole decision — staying at Perry with coach Duane.”

Rim shots

Arizona is one of many high-major schools in contact with transferring Oakland (Mich.) power forward Trey Townsend, along with Louisville, Michigan State, Michigan and UCLA and Tennessee, according to the Detroit News. The 6-6 Townsend was given the Lou Henson Award as the top mid-major player in college basketball.

All three analysts posting to 247’s Crystal Ball predicted departing UA guard Kylan Boswell will choose Illinois, his hometown school.

Departing center Oumar Ballo is the No. 1 player in the transfer portal, according to 247, while put Ballo second behind Stanford center Maxime Raynaud — who announced Friday he will stay with the Cardinal under new coach Kyle Smith.

Departing Oregon State guard Jordan Pope has heard from a long list of high-major programs, including Arizona and North Carolina, according to The Athletic, though UA’s needs remain uncertain at guard until Caleb Love makes a decision. Pope hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift OSU over Arizona on Jan. 25 at Corvallis.

Arizona basketball shot 18% from 3-point range and fell to Clemson in the Sweet 16. What’s next for the Wildcats after a disappointing finish in the NCAA Tournament? The Star’s Justin Spears, Michael Lev and UA basketball insider Bruce Pascoe reflect on the Wildcats’ season and what’s next for Tommy Lloyd’s club.

Justin Spears

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