Lute Olson and Rodney Tention will make the in-home visit with Shakur on Sept. 11 and then spend the following weekend with him in Tucson. It should give the coaches ample time make the best pitch possible to push Shakur to a commitment. However, it's more likely Shakur will visit North Carolina State before making a decision.
Shakur is not the only point guard being recruited by the Wildcats.
Ayide Ubaka, a 6-2 point from Oakland (HS), Calif., has been very high on the Wildcats list since last summer. But Ubaka is probably leaning in the direction of Cal since his buddy Leon Powe gave the Golden Bears a verbal a month ago.
Ironically, immediately after Shakur leaves Tucson Sunday morning Sept. 15, Olson and Tention will leave for the Bay Area. Ubaka has scheduled an in-home with the two coaches that evening. Ubaka is scheduled to make his official UA campus visit the weekend of Midnight Madness in October. That is, if he hasn't already committed to Cal.
Now here's a surprise.
After leaving Oakland, Olson and Tention will fly to Michigan for an in-home with Brandon Bell, a 5-11 point from Flint (Southwestern Academy), Mich. That comes on Sept. 16, the day after Ubaka's visit. Bell has not yet set a UA campus visit, but if Shakur shuns the Wildcats for NC State, it's likely he'll make the trip to Tucson in October.
I watched Bell play at the July camps the last two summers. Last year, he was impatient on offense and looked to create his own shot much too often. This last summer Bell was still offensive minded but he proved he could run the show and get his teammates involved.
Bell plays aggressively and exuded a confidence in those around him as well. He always seems in total control and he is never afraid to take a game-turning shot. At 5-11 and possessing a bulldog mentality, Bell is almost a mirror image of Jason Gardner. They are winners!!!
Marquette and Pittsburgh are thought to be the leaders for Bell, but that could change if Arizona turns up the heat.
Note: Tention and Olson will also visit Kirk Walters, a 6-9 center/power forward from Grand Rapids (South Christian), Mich., on the 16th.