Two-sport star eyes the Cats

Arizona's crazy recruiting class could be taking another unexpected turn. The Wildcats really want to add two big men, and don't necessarily want to wait on Davis Nwankwo and Robert Rothbart to pull the trigger. With those two in a holding pattern, the team is looking to Ohio for a prospect and Andy Lopez may just thank them in the end.

Andrew Brackman, a 6-7 power forward from Cincinnati, is a two-sport star who has failed to garner the attention that he deserves. A top-100 player (Insiders' No. 78) he is surprisingly lacking offers as a basketball player. Brackman is a great prep pitcher and many teams fear that he will go straight to the minor leagues, bypassing college.

North Carolina State is the only basketball visit Brackman has set up, but that could change.

"Arizona basketball wants to get back involved," Brackman said. "NC State and Georgia Tech are the two I had it narrowed down to until Arizona got involved."

The Cats were on Brackman early, but backed off to pursue other players. With Nwankwo and Rothbart possibly waiting until the spring, the Cats are turning their attention to the inside-outside player.

Although Ohio State is involved, the Wolf Pack and Georgia Tech are the two favorites.

"I kind of want to get away," Brackman confessed.

The Wolf Pack may have the inside edge due to the fact that they will allow him to play both sports. Brackman will travel to Raleigh this weekend and a lot of what happens next will hinge upon how much he likes his visit.

The Wildcats have not offered, but Brackman feels that by the tone of his conversations an offer could come shortly. The Cats could be waiting to see what transpires this weekend before officially offering the scholarship.

Georgia Tech is involved, but as of now there is no basketball scholarship. According to Brackman the basketball coaches told him they do not have a scholarship for him in this class but would invite him to join the team in '05.

"They said I could just play baseball my freshman year and that they would have a spot for me my sophomore year," said Brackman.

Despite the team not having a place for him right away, Brackman insists that the Yellow Jackets are still very much involved. Brackman took a baseball visit to Georgia Tech, but did not meet with the basketball staff on that visit. He has had numerous conversations with Paul Hewitt's staff.

Despite making a late run at the forward, Brackman is very interested in Arizona. He has been in contact with the baseball staff for some time, but had dropped them off his list, desiring to play both sports. Since the basketball team got back involved, Arizona has jumped back up the list.

"They (Arizona basketball) watched me a lot this summer at the Peach Jam but kind of fell off the radar," Brackman said. "The baseball end of the school was still talking to me, but the basketball team just made contact."

Other recruiting notes:
*Big man Robert Rothbart may not make a decision until the spring. He has been indicating that a December decision may be what he is leaning towards, but now it looks like it could be later.

*The Cats are indeed making a run at elite wing Malik Hairston. Hairston has all but eliminated Kansas and UCLA and Ohio State is currently in the lead. Both the Wildcats and Michigan State are trying to make a late push and supplant the Buckeyes.

*No word on Jeremis Smith, the Texas forward who visited Tucson this past weekend. Sources indicate that it was an up and down visit. Smith did have his mother buy him an Arizona cap during the Wildcats' scrimmage on Saturday.

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