Five-star point guard Kylan Boswell announced on Monday that he had chosen Arizona over Illinois and UNLV, giving UA freshman coach Tommy Lloyd his second commitment and a leader in the ground capable of running at a fast pace.
A 6-foot-1, 180-pound point guard who hails from Illinois and now plays for AZ Compass Prep, Boswell made his decision after making an official visit to Arizona over the weekend of Feb. 18-20, when he watched the Wildcats. 84-81 win over Oregon.
He then made his announcement on Monday afternoon via the CBS HQ website.
“I feel very, very excited,” Boswell said during his announcement. “I feel like I made the right decision. From day one, I felt like part of the family.”
Boswell said he was impressed with UA’s athletic performance program, citing athletic trainer Justin Kokoskie and strength coach Chris Rounds, and saw a good fit in Lloyd’s offense. Boswell not only visited UA for their Feb. 19 win over Oregon, but also made unofficial visits to watch UA’s red-blue game as well as home games against UCLA and Colorado.
“Coach Tommy Lloyd’s argument for me was that he felt I could fit into his system and he believed in me,” Boswell said on Monday. “He’s a quick transition attack with plenty of free space off the ball screens. He thinks it’s something I can thrive in and I agree.”
Boswell is the first player from the Class of 2023 to sign with the Wildcats, who have taken a selective recruiting approach under Lloyd. So far, UA is known to have only offered scholarships to six 2023 players: Boswell, Australia point guard Tyrese Proctor, Oregon striker Mookie Cook, Los Angeles area forward Matas Buzelis Chicago, Southern California shooter Dusty Stromer and El Paso guard KJ Lewis.
Boswell said last week that he and his family have not decided whether he will be reclassified in 2022, but it is possible. If so, he will join the Wildcats next season along with UA signee Dylan Anderson, a 2022 four-star center from Gilbert Perry High School.
But whenever he arrives, Boswell is expected to give the Wildcats a solid, team-oriented point guard who excels on both sides of the ball.
247 analyst Travis Branham said Boswell is an “ideal fit” for Arizona because he can play well with ball screens and make good decisions. If Kerr Kriisa is still there when Boswell arrives, the two could play together in the backcourt and further space the floor, Branham said.
“He’s going to have an immediate impact” either way, Branham said after the announcement. “He’s just an incredibly high IQ player who’s really competitive, he’s an elite defender and a great decision-maker. He plays well in contact and can score from playing with confidence.
Although Class of 2023 players couldn’t be heavily scouted during the 2020 schedule due to COVID restrictions, Boswell exploded last spring and summer. He led Corona (Calif.) Centennial to the Section 7 Championship in Phoenix last June, then led Team Why Not to the 16U title at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam in July.
Rivals analyst Rob Cassidy told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Boswell’s ability on both sides of the ball made him a top rookie. Rivals ranks Boswell No. 25 in the class of 2023, while 247 puts him at No. 13.
“He’s one of the best defensive guards in the country,” Cassidy said. “He’s pretty polished with that, his length – just the engine. I’ve seen him lock up kids who are in the top 50 quite regularly.
A native of the Champaign-Urbana area of Illinois, Boswell has made official visits to Illinois, Arizona and UNLV, whose coach Kevin Kruger lived in Champaign when his father coached the Illini . Other schools suing Boswell included Kansas, Michigan, Oregon, Texas Tech, UCLA and USC.
But Boswell has closely watched Lloyd’s first-team operation in Arizona, taking visits to watch the red-blue game as well as UA’s home wins over UCLA and Oregon.
“I will definitely be watching Tommy throughout the year, to see how he is with his point guards because that’s my position, and to see how the whole team is playing,” Boswell told The Star last week. “I love the transition attack. It’s really hard to keep. And Coach (Jack) Murphy, Coach ‘Rob’ (Steve Robinson), Coach Ricky (Fois) and all are great helpers. So watching this program grow over the years has been amazing.
After making his official visit to Arizona the weekend of Feb. 18-20, Boswell said it was “pretty nice” to see a big game for a change after watching teams blast the Wildcats on previous visits.
On the morning of the UA-Oregon game, Boswell sat down with Lloyd to watch “College GameDay” from the McKale Center, saying he also had the chance to meet ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, who played for Duke in the 1980s. Then he returned that night to watch Arizona pull off an 84-81 win over the Ducks in front of a sold-out crowd at McKale Center.
“The atmosphere at the U of A is crazy,” Boswell told The Star. “Having a crowded gym for a game like this is pretty wild. It’s something I really like.
Two days after returning from Tucson, Boswell had seen enough. He set an announcement date for Monday, deciding not to go anywhere else even though he is still technically only a high school student.
In fact, Boswell said he had seen it all about Arizona by then, having been given a good idea of the Wildcats’ style of play and how he would fit into it.
“I know what Coach Tommy would want me to do if I came here,” Boswell said last week. “I like how he really lets his point guards play and make decisions. He lets them be players and I really like that.