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Forward T.J. Leaf has backed off his verbal pledge from Arizona, decommitting from Sean Miller’s Wildcats on Thursday night. Leaf, who originally committed to Arizona in November, will reopen his recruitment and immediately become one of the most coveted players in the class of 2016.
Leaf, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Foothills Christian in El Cajon, California, originally pledged to the Wildcats in November. At the time, he chose Arizona over Florida, UCLA, Duke and Michigan.
“The school and staff of Arizona have been great to me and I have nothing but respect for Coach [Sean] Miller and the entire staff and wish them nothing but the best. But at this point in my life I know it is best to explore my options and pursue other basketball opportunities,” Leaf wrote on Twitter.
Ranked No. 9 in the ESPN 100, Leaf presents a matchup problem for opponents because of his ability to score in the post or by facing up from the perimeter. He can make shots from the outside and is also capable of beating slower defenders off the dribble.
“This is definitely one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I have decided to decommit from Arizona and reopen my recruitment,” the tweet read.
Leaf spent the past couple of weeks playing for the Israeli national team during the U18 European Championships, winning MVP honors after averaging 16.1 points and 8.4 rebounds in nine games.
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