Arizona has found its stretch power forward of the future following the decommitment of T.J. Leaf in August. Lauri Markkanen, a sweet shooting 6'10 forward from Finland, chose Arizona over North Carolina and Utah on Friday. Markkanen is now Arizona's first commitment for the class of 2016.
Markkanen averaged 18.2 points and 6.3 rebound playing for Finland in the FIBA U18 European Championships this summer. Scout's Evan Daniels said Markkanen is the equivalent of a five-star recruit.
Arizona coach Sean Miller was in the market for a stretch four following Leaf's decision to reopen his recruitment. Leaf is now considering UCLA, San Diego State and Oregon.
The commitment of Markkanen follows Arizona's strong 2015 recruiting class, which is led by five-star shooting guard Allonzo Trier and four-star Ray Smith.
Arizona replaces four starters from last season's Elite Eight team. The Wildcats checked in at No. 16 in our preseason top 25 countdown.