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April 10, 2012
After a few days of waiting with bated breath, the wait for Wildcat fans finally came to an end Tuesday as Arizona added yet another piece to its 2012 recruiting haul. This player didn't come in the form of a high school recruit or JUCO transfer, however, as former Duquesne point guard T.J. McConnell has decided to join head coach Sean Miller's squad.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pa., was third in the nation in steals last season and will now provide some stability at the point guard position when he is eligible to play. Per NCAA transfer rules, McConnell will have to sit out one season - meaning he won't see the McKale Center floor until the 2013-14 season - the same year Cochise College transfer Matt Korcheck is expected to suit up for the 'Cats.
In his first season (2010-11) McConnell earned Atlantic-10 Freshman of the Year honors.
Last year he averaged 11.4 points, 5.5 assists and 4.4 rebounds for the Dukes.
The McConnell family had an existing relationship with Miller as, of course, the Wildcats' head coach grew up in the Pittsburgh area.
UA used its last remaining scholarship for the 2012 class yesterday when the Cochise College big man Korcheck announced his intention to join the Wildcats as a JUCO transfer. With that being said, the 'Cats will have to make room for McConnell in some fashion going forward.
McConnell chose the Wildcats over Virginia, and by all accounts the talented point guard had a very good trip to Charlottesville. However, his last trip - which his father had previously said had to be a "grand slam" - belonged to Miller and the 'Cats, and it appears that visit sealed the deal for McConnell.
The 'Cats are familiar with McConnell after facing the Dukes last season in a 67-59 home win. In that contest, the sophomore point guard finished with nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Leading up to that game, Miller knew the kind of things McConnell was capable of.
"I'm very familiar with (McConnell)," Miller said in the days before the two teams met. "He's the consummate point guard. He makes his team better."
Now that consummate point guard will be wearing a Wildcat uniform, and will be trying to help the program achieve its goal of getting to the Final Four and beyond.
GOAZCATS.com Senior Recruiting Editor
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