Cats eye Utah bigman

Arizona's 2005 recruiting class is all but finished, so now it is time to focus on 2006. Wildcat coaches have taken turns going out on the road to evaluate talent. One player who got a visit from the Wildcats is Utah big man Daniel Deane.

Daniel Deane is a big, strong power forward prospect who is deceptively athletic. He's a bull down low, who can also step out and knock down a jumper. He could accurately be described as a more athletic Michael Wright.

Although Deane is getting visits from college programs, the big man from Salt Lake City is very early in the recruiting process. It was very difficult to even get him talking about the process, but when he did he reveled a very early top-five.

"I am hearing from Marquette, UCLA, Arizona, Stanford and Utah just to name a few," Deane revealed. "I'm still neutral."

Wildcat assistant Rodney Tention was in Utah to watch him play and it was the first real meeting with the Wildcats.

"(Tuesday) was the first day I actually spoke with them 1-on-1," Deane said. "I mean it was the first lengthy conversation they've had with me. We're going to talk with Coach Olson next week and see where I stand with them."

One team that could be hard to beat is the hometown Utes. Daniel's' father played for Utah and his mom is a grad as well. Deane is very familiar with the Mountain West program.

"I've gone to games since I was a little kid," Deane said.

Don't expect their ties to be a slam-dunk for Utah, the parents will play a role in the recruiting but won't have the final say.

"They are pretty well involved," Daniel said of his parents. "They will tell me the ups and downs of each school, but they won't make the decision for me. In the end it is my decision."

Although Deane is still very open about schools, he does know what he wants from the program he ends up committing to.

"I would want to go in and be an impact player as a freshman," Deane stated. "I also want a school that has a chance for a national championship. I also want a school that is known for outstanding academics."

Deane admits that a lot can change. Right most of his schools are in the west, but he says that can change. Deane is in no hurry to pick a school.

"I'm wide open. I'm ready to do anything or go anywhere," said Deane. "I'm not going to make any quick decisions."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: Deane is one of the best big men in the west and the Cats could go hard after him. Expect him to be at the top of their wish list along with Spencer Hawes, James Keefe and Alex Stepheson.

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com


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