It’s Signing Day for football, but on the basketball side recruiting is heating up.
San Diego star forward Angelo Chol made a brief visit to Arizona over the weekend and he told the Arizona Daily Star “he enjoyed the UA-USC game and its atmosphere on Saturday and seeing the campus.”
Chol’s next stop: Washington on Feb. 12. He’s visited Alabama, North Carolina, Kansas and Arizona. He’s expected to make a decision Feb. 19.
The Huskies could seriously use someone like Chol, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound senior at Hoover High. He’s considered a four-star recruit and the No. 67 player overall by ESPN.com. Rivals.com has him as at No. 76 on its top 100 and Scout.com rates him as the No. 10 power forward.
All three recruiting services consider Chol the top uncommitted recruit in the 2011 class.
Washington signed four recruits (G Tony Wroten, G Hikeem Stewart, F Jernard Jarreau and G Andrew Andrews) in the early signing period.
At the moment, the Huskies are expected to return eight scholarship players and appear to have one and possibly two scholarships available if Andrews delays enrollment and attends a prep school. Washington desperately needs a low-post player next season to replace senior Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
Chol could immediately compete for minutes and possibly a starting assignment with junior Darnell Gant, redshirt freshman Desmond Simmons and possibly Jarreau, who may need a year before he’s ready to make a significant contribution.
It remains to be seen how Arizona would fit Chol on the roster because the Wildcats appear to be over the NCAA limit of 13 scholarship players for the 2011-12 season.
“I just want to go and be able to play,” Chol said told the Daily Star. “Arizona’s style of play works for me because I run the floor and I’m kind of a four-out man.”
WEDNESDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Bud Withers takes a look at the Pac-10 at the midpoint of the season. He says Isaiah Thomas is the league’s MVP.
— The Huskies lead the conference race with a 7-2 record and that’s okay with them.
— Bryan-Amaning received a little love from UCLA coach Ben Howland who said the UW big man is one of three favorites to win the Pac-10 Player of the Year award. Howland also mentioned Thomas and Arizona’s Derrick Williams while excluding Washington State star Klay Thompson.
— Oregon State has lost six of the last seven games, however, junior reserve forward and team captain Kevin McShane told the Oregonian the Beavers are “on the brink of becoming a great team.” He said: “We’re falling into a hole that we don’t want to go (into) but I think we’re real close to taking that next step to becoming a team that can finish in the top half (of the league).”
— The word that’s being bandied around this week in Corvallis, Ore. is “urgency.”
— Nice story in the Register-Guard about Oregon guard Malcolm Armstead who is leaning on his religious faith, which he credits for helping him play better recently.
— WSU coach Ken Bone said it will be a challenge this week to avoid a letdown after Sunday’s big win against Washington.
— Great story in the Los Angeles Times by Ben Bolch who examines UCLA’s recruiting the past few years. Howland admits he made mistakes not offering scholarships to Arizona’s Williams and San Diego State’s Kawhi Leonard who starred in high school in LA. Former UCLA star Kevin Love gave a lukewarm endorsement on Howland’s offensive system, which many believes turns away recruits.
— Bolch also asks the question: Can dating someone from your rival school get a little uncomfortable?
— USC coach Kevin O’Neill is moving junior Jio Fontan to point guard and freshman Maurice Jones to shooting guard in an effort to take pressure off Jones.
— In his weekly Best of the West rankings, Jack Curtis at the San Francisco Chronicle, placed Washington fourth and Arizona fifth.
— Husky-in-waiting Tony Wroten scored 46 points last night in his final home regular-season game at Garfield.