Arizona's critical spring basketball recruiting efforts will accelerate this week when the Wildcats host top targets for 2010 and 2011.
Angel Nuñez, a 6-foot-8-inch top-50 forward from New York via Winchendon (Mass.) Prep, is scheduled to arrive tonight for a two-day visit. On Saturday, 6-8 junior college forward Jesse Perry will begin an official visit.
Nuñez, a friend of committed 2011 UA recruit Sidiki Johnson and current Wildcats Kevin Parrom and MoMo Jones, tried to visit last fall but will instead arrive during his spring break.
Nuñez has unofficially visited West Virginia, Syracuse and Providence.
"He has good friends at the school, so that helps," said Eric Martinez, Nuñez's mentor and family friend. "He's looking forward to seeing the school, speaking to the coaches and seeing the whole environment, not just basketball."
Although Nuñez is rated No.47 by Rivals.com and No. 59 by Scout.com, he will not play college basketball until 2011-12.
Perry could impact the Wildcats as a junior next season, after improving his game, strength and academics during two seasons at John A. Logan Community College in Carterville, Ill.
Logan assistant coach Kyle Smithpeters said Tuesday that Perry entered the junior college before last season at 179 pounds but is up to 210 and has developed a solid three-point shooting stroke.
"It's his work ethic," Smithpeters said. "He's made a 180 since he got here - he really gets after it because he plays so hard. Whoever is lucky enough to get him will be getting a good player."
In between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Perry also was impressive while playing in Jerry Mullen's well-regarded Top 120 camp for junior college players.
"He's a very skilled, long-armed kind of four (power forward) player," Mullen said. "He can shoot the three and is pretty skilled."
Perry didn't get the attention of Arizona until assistant coach Archie Miller watched Logan point guard Lazeric Jones last fall. While Jones wound up committing to UCLA, Perry jumped out at Miller, Smithpeters said, and the Wildcats have been recruiting him ever since.
Perry has sensed a potential mutual fit at the UA, Smithpeters said.
"That was the biggest catch for a lot of places," Smithpeters said. "It's hard for junior college guys to come in and make an impact. But with Jesse's size and versatility, he could likely make an impact there. His shooting ability is going to carry him."
Perry originally had a visit scheduled to South Carolina last weekend, but, Smithpeters said, the Gamecocks canceled the visit because of scheduling issues. Perry has not rescheduled with South Carolina and is also unsure about whether to visit UCLA, Smithpeters said.
Already, Smithpeters said, Perry has indicated less interest in other suitors such as Oklahoma State, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas and Marquette.
"He wants to take a visit and then see if he wants to take any more," Smithpeters said.
The Wildcats have one scholarship to offer in the class of 2010, having already secured a letter of intent from Phoenix guard Daniel Bejarano and a verbal commitment from Los Angeles guard Jordin Mayes, who will help lead Westchester High School in the California state championship against Newark Memorial on Saturday in Bakersfield.
Arizona doesn't have a scholarship, as of now, to offer any 2011 players, having offered to cut one scholarship for 2011-12 during its February response to NCAA allegations.
But the Wildcats could add scholarships if players transfer or leave early for professional basketball.
"Arizona made it a priority that they would try to do anything they could to get a commitment from Angel," Martinez said. "They are showing the enthusiasm."