Tangara's visit to Tucson goes 'very well'

It doesn't often happen that a player takes his official visit <B>after</B> he signs his letter of intent, but that is exactly what happened in the case of Mohamed Tangara. The big man signed with the Cats in November, but came to campus this weekend.

Tangara had already taken an unofficial visit to Tucson and that trip is what sold him on the Wildcats. This time it was on the program's dime and he was able to do a lot more with the coaches and players. One big difference between and official and an unofficial visit is that when you are on the official visit the staff can do things with the player off campus. In the case of Tangara they took him out to dinner and showed him a little bit of the town.

Tangara was still en route to Durham, NC where he plays high school ball for Mt. Zion, but we did talk to assistant coach Josh Pastner about the visit. It is a rare occasion that a coach can talk about a recruit's visit, but since Tangara is a signed player, it is okay to discuss how things went.

"The visit went very well," Pastner said. "He was able to see a game and he hung with the fellas."

Tangara played pick-up games against the team when he visited in late August, but did not get the benefit of witnessing a Lute Olson practice. Not only did he see a practice, but he got to experience the team's blowout win over Oregon.

The best part of the weekend for the big man was a chance to hang out with the team. He was in team huddles during the practice sessions and was there in the locker room to celebrate the win over the Ducks. It was a great chance to bond with his future teammates.

"He already feels like a part of the team," Pastner said. "He was hugging guys after the game and pumping them up in huddles. He'll be a great addition to this team."

Pastner indicated the Tangara has bonded with Channing Frye, so now the question is whether or not the junior big man will be on campus when Tangara gets on campus.

There was some speculation that Tangara may have trouble qualifying because of his academic status, but Pastner assured me that there were no problems. Not only is Tangara making great progress, but he's having a great year academically.

"He's in great shape," Pastner confessed. "In fact he plans on coming here for summer school in June."

Tangara will make a great addition to the team next season. He's a tenacious rebounder who is not afraid to mix it up inside. He's not the most polished scorer, but points don't seem to be a problem for the Cats. They need a banger and Tangara should bring that added dimension to the team.

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