Recruiting round-up

The commitment of Mohamed Tangara broke a somewhat slow period in basketball recruiting. Now that school has begun, visits are being lined up and things are taking shape. The Wildcats coaches could have some decisions to make as they try to slot the best players into the remaining scholarship slots and try to decide which players to accept verbal commitments from.

The first thing the Cats have to decide on is the number of scholarships to offer. As of right now they can offer five, but one of those is likely being held for Chris Dunn in the event that he gets his academics in order. The dilemma is if the Cats want to offer a scholarship in the chance that a player either leaves the program or turns pro. As of now only Jason Ranne is a senior, but Channing Frye and Andre Iguodala look like they could have legitimate NBA aspirations at the end of the season.

The problem is that the Cats will not know if Dunn will return until late December, almost two months after the early signing period. It could be very tough to keep a player waiting until the spring signing period.

September 12th will be a busy weekend and could leave the Cats with some tough decisions. Three players visit that weekend, Isaiah Swann, Jeremis Smith and Davis Nwankwo.

Nwankwo has been offered a scholarship, but does the coaching staff push for a commitment? If they accept a commitment from Nwankwo, they lose C. J. Giles. The Cats seem to favor C.J. Giles and have some outside hope with Brian Johnson, who seems to favor Louisville and North Carolina over the Cats. Would they jeopardize landing one of those two in order to ensure that they get a big man in the class? Of course Nwankwo loves Stanford and you can never count Georgetown out. His coach was a player under John Thompson and his high school teammate has already committed to the Hoyas.

Swann is a similar dilemma for Arizona. Swann could commit on the trip, but that would effectively end the Cats' chances of landing No. 1 point guard recruit Shaun Livingston. Livingston will visit in October and it is doubtful that the Cats could hold off Swann until then.

Robert Rothbart, the seven-footer center from Sacramento (Natomas), Calif., will visit on October 10th. Rothbart has intrigued a number of coaches with his surprising athleticism and soft shot. He's a bit of a project and again the Cats could have to decide whether to take a verbal from him or wait on Giles.

Giles looks to be the Cats' top big man prospect now that Tangara is in the fold, but he could be tough to land. He will be here for Midnight Madness, but will visit Kansas three weeks earlier. His father played for the Jayhawks and it might be tough to say no if they put on a lot of pressure. Kansas already has a commitment from Darnell Jackson and are in the mix for Alexander Kaun. Giles has told some people that he favors the Cats, so it will be interesting to see what the coaches decide to do with three players making UA campus visits earlier.

Another player on the radar is Alex Galindo. Galindo is an up and coming wing from Puerto Rico and may be the best fit for the Wildcats. Galindo is a terrific rebounder from the small forward position and is very serious about his education. Of the wings and guards the Cats are looking at, he is the most likely to stay 3-4 years.

The Cats have stopped recruiting Maarty Leunen and Malik Hairston and are all but finished in the Rudy Gay sweepstakes. Leunen has dropped the Cats last week, but the Cats had backed off and never offered him a scholarship. At this time Gay has no plans to visit Tucson and Wildcat coaches are spending little time and energy on the exciting combo-forward.

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