New big men on UA's radar screen

LAS VEGAS – Arizona coaches are on the prowl for big men at the Big Time. The unexpected exit of Ndudi Ebi and the anticipated departure of Channing Frye have seemingly made bigs a priority for the Wildcats. The coaches have spent their time in Sin City hopping from gym to gym to check out all the post possibilities.

Ideally the Wildcats would like to bring in a pair of post players to fill the void left by Ebi, possibly Frye and Dennis Latimore. One problem is that quality big men are scarce, so Josh Pastner and Jim Rosborough have been putting many miles on their rental cars. They'll canvas more of the city as Rodney Tention arrives from another AAU tournament in Florida.

One player the Cats went to see was Chris Miles of Timpview, Utah. The big man played poorly, but showed the skills he possesses. In many ways he's a poor man's Brian Butch. He's quick and athletic and can shoot it from the outside. Only time will tell if he showed enough for the Cats to get more involved. Coaches from Utah, Utah State and BYU were in hand and all three have offered. Gonzaga and UCLA have also been involved for awhile, so it will be interesting to see if the Wildcats can make any headway if they pursue him.

A player we liked at Nike has appeared on the Wildcats' radar screen. Magnum Rolle, the 6-11 player from the Bahamas, has a load of potential and Wildcat coaches have been on hand to see him play as well. He reminds us of Channing Frye at this stage and has almost as much upside. The most amazing thing about Rolle is that he has played the game for less than three years, so the sky could be the limit for his ability.

Rolle does not know very much about college basketball. We asked him what he knew about schools like Kansas, Kentucky and Indiana and he asked if they were the same as North Carolina and Duke. He knows quite a bit about Arizona after speaking with Andre Iguodala at the Nike Camp.

Noah Joann of Lawrenceville Prep likes the Cats as well. He has a list a mile long, but the son of tennis star Yanique Noah made sure that he included Arizona. He's another thin, athletic big man who has a ton of skills. He's a good defender and has some nice moves on offense. His stock is definitely on the rise.

C.J. Giles has the Cats in his top-five. The big man from Seattle may want to join his former high school teammates Roderick and Loderick Stewart at USC. Giles is in no rush to make a commitment, so his current leanings may not mean much when it's time to sign a Letter of Intent.

Randolph Morris is a legit seven-footer who has expressed some interest in Arizona. He and his Atlanta Celtics have been the talk of the tournament. Their frontline could rival most in college basketball.

The Cats are still looking at Shaun Pruitt, but his stock seems to be dropping. Rosborough's connections in Illinois could come into play if Arizona goes hard after the Aurora native.

Colorado's Hector Hernandez is likely destined to Mid-Majors or second-tier High-Majors, but a number of good teams are taking a look. The strong power forward needs to play inside more, but teams like Fresno State and Colorado are very interested and bigger programs may soon give him a look.

We've heard talk that Ra'Sean Dickey may look at Arizona as some of his favorites start landing big men. As of now he's eyeing teams in the ACC and SEC.

Jeremis Smith is not a pure post player, but he has good size and a nastiness that could bring the Texas combo-forward to a team like Arizona. He is tough and does the dirty work. His attitude reminds some of Gene Edgerson, despite having completely different playing styles.

The Cats are still keeping an eye on Robert Rothbart, Davis Nwankwo, Lorenzo Mata and others. However, if their evaluations are anything like outs, then Mohamed Tangara and Brian Johnson should be at the top of the wish list.

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