Originally published October 31, 2011 at 2:08 p.m., updated November 1, 2011 at midnight
Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-foot, 220-pound senior center from St. Mark’s High School in Southborough, Mass., on Monday orally committed to play basketball at Arizona.
Tarczewski, Rivals.com’s No. 20-rated player nationally, chose the Wildcats over finalist Kansas University — the school that had recruited him the hardest and the longest. He also seriously considered North Carolina and Kentucky.
“It was a pretty tough decision,” Tarczewski told the Arizona Daily Star. “They (KU, U of A) were both great schools. Both had a great history, great coaching staffs, great present and great future. It really came down to a gut feeling. It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been recruiting you. It matters how you feel.”
KU has two commitments thus far in the Class of 2012 — No. 24-rated Perry Ellis of Wichita Heights and No. 144-Zach Peters of Prestonwood Christian High in Plano, Texas.
The Jayhawks are awaiting word from No. 56 Andrew White, a 6-6 small forward from Miller School in Chester, Va., who has visited KU, West Virginia, Louisville and Texas and might take an additional visit. KU is also pursuing No. 1 Shabazz Muhammad, 6-6 from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas.
The Jayhawks have been on the losing end of some high-profile recruiting battles the past couple years, including DeAndre Daniels (UConn), LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State), Josiah Turner (Arizona), Angelo Chol (Arizona) and Marcus Smart (Okie State).
In other recruiting news Monday, Willie Cauley, a 7-foot center from Olathe Northwest, committed to Kentucky over Kansas State, Alabama and Florida.