What elite guard Josh Green will bring to Arizona

ByPAUL BIANCARDI via <a href="http://espn.go.com/" title="ESPN" class="espn_sc_byline">ESPN </a>
October 04, 2018, 5:16 PM

Five-star shooting guard Josh Green made it official Thursday, selecting Arizona over North Carolina, Villanova, USC, UNLV and Kansas. He is the No. 8-ranked player in the ESPN 100 for 2019.

Why he committed: Green has had a strong relationship with the Arizona staff for quite some time. The Australian moved to the United States four years ago from Sydney and played with former Arizona star Deandre Ayton at Phoenix Hillcrest Prep Academy in 2016-2017. Green's family also now lives in Phoenix. Recently he was named as a member of the 24-man Australian national team.

"I have a great relationship with the staff and the players," Green told ESPN. "I have been there several times, so I am comfortable. They play a style that fits my abilities. My family and I trust Sean Miller." Green has been on campus several times and has experienced the program up close living in Phoenix. "The fan base is amazing, and they have everything I need to succeed," he said. "They have had great success as a program and especially with guards.

"Location did not matter in this process. I am at IMG [Florida], but a big benefit of going to Arizona is that I can see and follow my younger brother and sister as they play basketball, too."

What he brings: Green is a true versatile guard who is equally strong at scoring or facilitating. Physically he is a high-level athlete who owns a burst of straight-line speed in the open floor and an explosive vertical jump. Green is most dangerous on the open floor. He will initiate the break and can easily finish or find an open teammate. In the half-court game from the scoring guard spot, he scores the ball at all three levels with confidence and, because of his hard drive game, creates fouls. His size becomes a problem versus small guards, as he will make a basket cut and play inside when needed. His defense does not get enough recognition, as Green is willing and able to guard talented offensive players. The biggest part of his game that needs to improve is his outside shot against set defense. When he goes from a good shooter to a great one, his impact on the game will expand.

How he fits: Arizona prides itself on playing a fast pace offensively with quick hitters and random ball screens. Green can truly play anywhere on the perimeter. The Wildcats want to play a high-possession game; they scored 80 points per game last season and finished first in field goal percentage (50 percent) and scoring margin (plus-8). It's a young roster this upcoming season for the Wildcats and the type of program where players depart for the NBA, so when Green arrives, he will have his chance to make an impact. Miller can use Green's skills in balls screens as the ball handler and off the ball, which makes him a valuable piece of any roster. The ability to defend big or small will certainly be an asset in Arizona's man-to-man defense.

Who he reminds us of: He has similarities to former Wildcat Nick Johnson (San Antonio Spurs), who had a strong career at Arizona. Green is bigger, but both are all-around guards on the perimeter with scoring on their minds. Zach LaVine also comes to mind. Green is not as explosive, but he has that type of burst and finish ability in transition.

How the class is shaping up: ESPN No. 11 Nico Mannion already committed and will be his running mate. They are grassroots teammates for West Coast Elite, and that could prove very valuable in their development. "We did not plan to go to school together; it just worked out that way. We have real good chemistry together; it will be fun with Nico," Green said. Arizona also has a commitment from developing 7-footer Christian Koloko. The Wildcats are zeroing in on ESPN 100 prospects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Zeke Nnaji, who will be taking official visits with Green for the Blue vs. Red scrimmage Oct. 13-15. Arizona is also targeting ESPN 100 Boogie Ellis, who made a huge climb up the charts after his play this summer.

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