Another Payne report, another UA omissionby Javier Morales on Oct. 28, 2009, under Sports
Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com, who has been accurate with his reports of UA basketball in the past, informed people through his Twitter page tonight that 5-star center prospect Adreian Payne will decide between Michigan State, Kentucky and West Virginia and make an announcement Thursday night.
Payne’s coach, Art Winston of Dayton (Ohio) Jefferson High School, informed Bruce Pascoe of The Arizona Daily Star and CatPause.com (Kentucky’s Rivals.com site) that his player still has Arizona on his list.
But rumors and reports such as that from Goodman suggest the UA is on the outside looking in at the highly-rated player.
My opinion is this: It says something about UA coach Sean Miller’s recruiting ability to have Payne remotely interested in the UA in the first place. Like many recruits far from Arizona, Payne likely has not watched the Wildcats play much and is not familiar with the Pac-10. His interest in Arizona is based solely on his relationship with Miller and the UA assistant coaches.
Losing out on these top recruits will not happen in future years, especially on the West coast, once Miller shows what he can do at Arizona. Recruits love familiarity. Look at what happened when the Lute Olson fiasco unfolded and he was forced to retire for health reasons. Recruits scattered. Once they become familiar with what Miller is trying to do, top-flight recruits like Payne will make Arizona a realistic finalist for their services.