Recruiting round-up June 5th

Arizona basketball recruiting is going very well. The Cats are in on numerous players in the top-100 and the July camps have not even started yet. Although Lute Olson and his staff have done a great job on the recruiting trail, two snags could hurt them just a bit.

First and foremost is the number of scholarships the Wildcats have to offer. With the commitment of Chukwuma Okwandu the Wildcats officially have just two scholarships for the 2005 class. It seems as if the Wildcats are recruiting as if they feel Hassan Adams is going to go pro.

The Wildcats have never accepted more commitments than they have available scholarships, but in this day an age of early NBA departures and players transferring left and right, the Wildcats don't want to be caught short.

With the verbal commitment of Fendi Onobun the Cats have just one scholarship available if no one else leaves. Ideally the Wildcats will want a big wing, a combo guard and possibly a big man, but they may have to pare down the list.

The second problem is that the Wildcats can only bring in one player to visit until the school year starts. Every team gets just 12 visits in a year and the Cats have had 11 already since last school year started. Players for both the 2004 and 2005 class count against the 12.

Jawann McClellan, Mohamed Tangara, Robert Rothbart, Davis Nwankwo, Isaiah Swann, Shaun Livingston, Daniel Dillon, Jesus Verdejo, Mario Chalmers, Fendi Onobun and Jeremis Smith all visited since last August.

Nwankwo, Swann, Smith, Livingston, McClellan and Rothbart all visited in September and October, while Tangara, Dillon and Chalmers visited during the season. Verdejo and Onobun visited during the spring.

The Wildcats have to be extra careful with who they bring in. If they bring in one player but not another, they risk losing out on the player they try to hold off while they hope the player who visits commits.

Most likely the Cats will try to push all of the recruits back until fall. Most players want to wait until after the July camps to visit anyway, so it should not be a huge deal.

About the only way the Wildcats will bring in a player is if they know he wants to commit and even then they would have to be very careful so they don't alienate other recruits.

As it stands the Wildcats are doing very well on the recruiting trail. The sheer talent the Wildcats are in on is amazing. The Cats will pull a great recruiting class, but it just won't be as easy as it could be.

Other News

Olson has recently met with Martel Webster, Jon Brockman and youngster Spencer Halls. Webster still favors Arizona and is probably the team's top wing recruit. Brockman is a bit of a mystery. The big man has visited UCLA but won't make a decision until the fall.

Don't be shocked if the Wildcats evaluate Darren Collison and D'Andre Bell some more. Both players have made huge strides in the spring and are getting a lot of looks from top programs, and the Wildcats may be one of those teams.

We've heard that Marcus Williams and Terrence Williams (no relation) have contacted the coaching staff about visiting, possibly together. Both players have mentioned that they'd like to decide early, but the Wildcats won't be able to host them if that is the case.

As of now the Wildcats are on the outside looking in with big man Jordan Wilkes. Wilkes is listing Stanford, Washington, Cal and UCLA as his current favorites, but has not ruled out other programs.


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