ESPN has confirmed that St. Mark's center Kaleb Tarczewski, the nation's No. 6 overall player in the Class of 2012, has verbally committed to the University of Arizona for the 2012-13 season.
"Everything just felt right at Arizona," Tarczewski told ESPN's Adam Finkelstein this afternoon. "From the coaches, to the current players, to the incoming recruits."
At the time of his commitment, Tarczewski was also heavily considering the University of Kansas, which he visited two weekends ago, and the two together were the heavy frontrunners for his services.
The 7-foot Claremont, N.H. native is the best available center in the Class of 2012, and has helped lead the Lions to three straight NEPSAC championship games, including the Class C title in 2009. Last March, the Lions lost to Tilton (N.H.) in the Class AA title game.
Finkelstein has more on the commitment here.
Tarczewski's latest evaluation from Scouts Inc. reads as follows:
Tarczewski is a true center with great size and tremendous upside. He runs the floor extremely well and has good mobility for a 7 footer. He has excellent hands and finishes drop off passes and clear paths above the rim. He has become an explosive and powerful finisher with both hands around the basket and his good hands allow him to catch tough passes and turn them into baskets. He has a good left shoulder hook with a high release and is gradually developing his right shoulder as well. He is a excellent area rebounder especially on the offensive end and is also a decent on ball shot blocker. Physically he is becoming more and more immovable in the paint as his frame continues to fill out. Tarczewski is also a big man who takes to coaching and has shown great improvement over the course of his career as a result.
While Tarczewski has gradually developed the jump hook into his go-to move, he needs to add dependable counters. His low post productivity is dependent on how deep he catches the ball so he needs both become more consistent carving out deep real estate and also become more effective from the mid-post area as a passer. Defensively, a player of his size and mobility should be able to improve his shot-blocking presence. Tarczewski also has a bit of a temper that can be both a blessing and a curse. When he harnesses it he is dominant, but when it gets the better of him he can get taken out of the game mentally.
There may not be another big man that has improved more in the last 18 months than Tarczewski. His body and low post skills have developed at a rapid rate and with no signs of that changing he is one of the top prospects in the class of 2012.