Assistant coach Jay John has been to Illinois, California, Nevada, back to Arizona and then to Texas in the last week.
Rodney Tention has traveled to California, Oregon and Washington, not once but twice, in the last week and half.
Tomorrow, Olson will leave for California where he'll make his last home-turf visit with Hassan Adams. Then he'll jump back on the plane and fly to Minneapolis where he'll try to strengthen an already great relationship with Kris Humphries, one of the nation's top power forwards from the Class of 2003.
During John's travels, he's had his in-home with Andre Iguodala in Springfield, Ill. and Adams in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, with air transportation grounded and the in-home with Adams postponed for a week, John got in a car and drove from LA to Reno, Nev. to watch David Padgett, a 6-11 center/forward, in a daily workout. The eight-hour drive so impressed Padgett and his father that Arizona is now the clear-cut leader.
Out of Reno, John caught a flight to Phoenix where he met with and watched three in-state players from the junior class workout. As if that weren't enough, after spending the weekend at home, John flew to Dallas and Houston for more of the same.
In Dallas he met with Jason Horton, a 6-0 sophomore point guard and brother of Daniel Horton from Cedar Hill (HS), Tex. In Houston, John attended a workout by Ndudi Ebi, 6-8 center, Houston (Westbury Christian), Tex.
Tention racked up his frequent flyer miles making two trips up and down the West Coast.
During his first journey, Tention and Olson were hosted by an in-home visit with Chris Rodgers. During that evening, Rodgers confirmed his solid commitment to the UA and expressed his excitement to become a part of the Wildcat backcourt tradition of sending players on to the NBA.
Olson and Tention went from Portland to Seattle where they were greeted with another in-home. This time it was Brandon Roy who welcomed the Wildcat duo.
Tention made a similar trek the last couple of days. Oct.1, he went to Los Angeles to watch Ebeke Ieekwe, a 6-9 power forward from Carson High School, and Harrison Schaen, a 6-8 combo-forward from Santa Ana (Mater Dei). Oct. 2 found Tention in Oakland watching Leon Powe, a 6-6 power forward from Oakland Tech.
The bottom line is this; after all the hard work, Arizona has Rodgers, a consensus top-20 player all but in uniform. The UA leads for Adams and Roy and could be in the enviable position of taking both if the coaching staff chooses to do so.
Iguodala is still in the mix and has committed to making an official UA campus visit during Midnight Madness Oct. 12. Rodgers and Adams will also be here to watch the celebration.
Add to this the fact that the Arizona coaching staff has established solid relationships with some of the best players from the Classes of '03 and '04.
This UA coaching staff continues to prove time and again they it will go the "extra mile" in it's quest to keep Arizona Basketball among the nation's elite.
Late breaking developments:
Andre Iguodala, the 6-5 wing from Springfield (Lamphier), Ill., who has been considering Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maryland and Boston College, has cancelled his planned trip to Maryland. Iguodala called UA Coach Lute Olson Oct. 2 to inform him of this latest development. Olson had spoken with Adams' mother earlier in the day. Althought the Terrapins are no longer a consideration, I still believe Arkansas is the team to beat.
Hassan Adams, the 6-4 two-guard from Los Angeles (Westchester), Calif., who has been considering Arizona, UCLA, Cal, Kansas, Tennessee and Boston College, has dropped Tennessee. Adams is leaning strongly in favor of Arizona and could commit to the Wildcats at any time.
Olson went to LA Oct. 3, visiting with Adams and to hopefully nudge him a little closer to making a commitment to the Wildcats.
Iguodala, Adams and Chris Rodgers will attend Midnight Madness the weekend of Oct. 12 as a part of their official campus visits. Rodgers, a 6-3 combo-guard from Portland (Woodrow Wilson), Ore., has already committed to the Wildcats.
Cat Tracks will tip off the opening of basketball season with it's own Midnight Madness Celebration. The festivities will be held from 9-11 p.m. (prior to tipoff at McKale) at the Varsity Club Hotel on the corner of Speedway and Alvernon. The first 100 fans through the door will be given a FREE 2001 Midnight Madness tee shirt compliments of Cat Tracks.
The new 2001-02 Wildcat Basketball Yearbook will be available. We'll have other Wildcat merchandise from the NCAA Final Four and memorabilia for sale.
Coaches from the Women's and Men's Basketball Departments will speak at the event. Josh Pastner will speak and we'll have a buffet of muchies. You are all invited.