Hoops Tid Bits

This time of year is always big in terms of recruiting, but it could get even more interesting with some players testing the waters and a number of transfers out there. Time to fire up the rumor mill because a lot is going on.

Marcus Williams to the NBA? It seems true. but that has some people puzzled. According to one source, he told several staffers on Monday that he was likely coming back. After news leaked out a number of opinions are out there. One source told me he would bet that he is back. A second said that a Marcus had been doing his homework and a declaration this late likely meant that he heard some news he liked. A final source put it at 50-50.

It sounds as if Mustafa Shakur may be gone regardless of where (if?) he is drafted. While no word has come out of his camp, we've heard the staff has started preparing for life after Shakur. Don't be shocked if Chase Budinger and Williams (if he returns) don't get an early look at point guard to back up J.P. Prince and Nic Wise.

Two transfers are floating out there and Wildcat fans have e-mailed me about their interest in Arizona. Eric Boateng, a 6-10 big man who is transferring from Duke, is not in the Wildcats plans. Boateng has to sit out a year and there are better prospects in the 2007 class.

The word out of Oklahoma is that Damion James, a 6-8 forward out of Texas, has asked for his release from the Sooners. James listed Arizona early in the recruiting process, so it is conceivable that they could again be a player. From what I can gather, the Sooners are still a major player, but other schools could get their crack. If Williams stays in the draft, there is a chance that the Cats could make a play, but it seems highly unlikely that James is a Wildcat.

Another player still out on the market is Dallas big man Darrell Arthur. The Cats are still pursuing the talented senior, but last we heard, LSU could be the new leader.

There has been some talk that Gary Johnson has downgraded the Wildcats, but that appears not to be the case. Johnson told me personally a week ago that the Cats were not only still on his list, but going to get another visit. A few sources close to the Houston Hoops say it is wide open, but that the Cats are still very much a player.

That also seems to be true about Kyle Singler. UCLA and Duke may be tough to beat but as of now he is still telling people that a visit to Tucson is a very real possibility.

Take Chase Stanback off the board. The talented wing was offered a scholarship by the Bruins earlier in the week and pledged to join the fold. The kid is good and has a lot of potential.

J.J. Hickson keeps listing the Cats and we're hearing that he will keep getting attention from Arizona. The Cats seemingly love Johnson, but they are actively scouting bigs. Lute Olson was front and center at the Kingwood Classic to watch Anthony Randolph and other big men.

With Williams looking like a two-year player at best, I expect the Cats to take a look at another wing to join Jamelle Horne in the '07 class. Singler may be the most talented option, but he's certainly not the only one. Darrington Hobson was once committed to Wyoming, but now lists the Wildcats as his leader. There are several other options out there and you can bet the coaches will be scouting like mad.


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