Recruiting update

The Arizona coaching staff has moved some its in-home visits and the results could be some quicker decisions by some of the nation's most soughtafter players.

Starting with a Monday evening (Sept. 9) in-home with Ndudi Ebi, the UA coaching staff will travel to Houston, Philadelphia and Appleton, Wis., then return in time to host an official on-campus visit with 6-3 point guard Mustafa Shakur at the end of the week. Ebi will get a presentation from Lute and assistant coach Josh Pastner. In Philly, Shakur will host Olson and assistant coach Rodney Tention. Olson will travel solo to Appleton for his in-home with Brian Butch.

Shakur's visit is of prime importance because three other point guards on the Wildcat's list – Gary Ervin (Miss. St.), Ayinde Ubaka (Cal) and Brandon Bell (Marquette) – have committee elsewhere. Shakur offers the last real hope for a top-notch point out of Class of 2003.

Shakur has said he will make one other visit before (North Carolina St.) before announcing his decision. His trip to NC State is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 4. You can bet the UA staff will pull out all the stops to make sure Shakur enjoys his stay in Tucson. They do not want to lose to NC State.

Ironically, the Wildcats are locked in another battle with NC State. Both schools are recruiting Dwight Brewington, a 6-6 point guard from Worchester (Academy), Mass., as possible backup should either lose the battle for Shakur.

Ubaka announcing for Cal and Bell's verbal to Marquette have actually freed up some time for another in-home, one that was getting a little difficult to schedule.

Originally, the staff wanted to make its in-home with Ekene Ibekwe on Sept. 15 just prior to a scheduled in-home with Ubaka. But Ibekwe is visiting Maryland that weekend and won't return to Carson, Calif. until the evening of the 15th.

Now, with Ubaka and Bell out of the picture, the staff has shifted to plan B.

Olson and Rod will instead of traveling to Grand Rapids for in-homes with Bell and Kirk Walters on the 15th and make the in-home with Ibekwe on the 15th.

"I don't have a favorite," Ibekwe said. "But I am excited about my (in-home) visit with coach Olson."

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