The fall basketball recruiting season is scheduled to essentially kick off today for the Arizona Wildcats in a showdown with LSU over New Orleans forward Craig Victor.
The Top 25 prospect from the high school class of 2014 will announce his college choice today, according to his travel-ball coach, Greg Holmes. The Wildcats and his home-state Tigers are widely expected to be his top two choices.
While Victor told the Star last month that he was "loving Arizona right now," LSU may have gained steam in his recruitment thanks in large part to the presence of Tigers assistant coach Korey McCray. A former coach with the well-regarded Atlanta Celtics travel-ball team, McCray helped UCLA land Jordan Adams and Tony Parker before moving to LSU last spring.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune predicted Friday that Victor would choose the Tigers, noting that "McCray has helped to lead the push for Victor to attend LSU and it appears his hard work is paying off."
However, the UA staff has long had a good relationship with Victor, and UA associate head coach Joe Pasternack is the former head coach at the University of New Orleans.
"That might be where I'm headed," Victor said of UA while playing in Las Vegas last month. "I'm not too sure but it's looking pretty good over there."
Victor, who has not been reachable for comment recently, said last month that he would either announce early in August or take some recruiting visits this month before deciding. But Holmes said Victor, who is transferring from New Orleans St. Augustine High School to Findlay Prep for his senior season, did not schedule or take any visits before planning to announce his decision.
The Wildcats have one commitment so far for the 2014 class, point guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, and UA coach Sean Miller has said he expects to add five or six players between the fall and spring signing periods.
Hill 'ready' for NBA
NBA television analyst and former player Dennis Scott put former UA forward Solomon Hill No. 2 on his list of rookies who are ready to play in the NBA right away.
"I was very impressed with how he handled himself with interviews and, more importantly, on the floor," Scott said on NBA TV, after watching Hill at the NBA transition program for rookies.
GameDay appearance possible
Arizona's game at Colorado could be the showcase of ESPN's basketball GameDay on Feb. 22. The network is also considering UCLA's game at Stanford that day.
Both games are likely to have significant conference implications, and ESPN will choose the featured game about two weeks beforehand. The game that is chosen will be played at 7 p.m. MST on ESPN while the other game will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 at 4 p.m.