McCallum not the only potential recruit on campus this weekendby Javier Morales on Oct. 30, 2009, under Sports
Detroit Country Day School point guard Ray McCallum and his father, Detroit Mercy coach Ray McCallum Sr., will be on the UA campus starting tonight through Sunday for an official visit.
All things considered, McCallum Jr. can be the cornerstone recruit of UA coach Sean Miller’s early tenure in Tucson.
As important as McCallum Jr. is to Miller’s Class of 2010 efforts (more on that in a bit), future prospects will weigh heavily on the coaching staff’s mind this weekend during Sunday’s Red-Blue scrimmage. According to Josh Gershon of GOAZCATS.com, the Wildcat coaching staff will have at least three other potential future recruits on campus visiting unofficially. They are:
- Torren Jones, 6-foot-7, 200-pound Chandler (Ariz.) Basha Class of 2013 forward. According to Gershon, the UA has offered a scholarship along with USC and Oregon State. UA coaches watched him work out last week at his school.
- Maurice Kirby, 6-foot-8, 215-pound Flagstaff (Ariz.) High School Class of 2013 center. Only a freshman, but it’s good to start on them young. Remember, Nic Wise reportedly committed to the UA when he was in middle school.
- Larry Lews, 6-foot-1, 160-pound Phoenix Arcadia Class of 2012 shooting guard. Richard Obert of The Arizona Republic offered recently an informative rundown of Jones and Lewis and other prospects in the state.
Interesting to note that Obert lists forward George Matthews of Phoenix St. Mary’s as a potential recruit for the Class of 2010. Matthew’s name has not come up in the recruiting information I’ve gathered.
UA commit Daniel Bejarano of Phoenix North will also be in attendance at the Red-Blue game. He told me at the time of his commitment last month that he wants to attract more in-state talent to Tucson. Therefore, his presence will be vital on Sunday.
“Players like me and Nick (Johnson, formerly of Gilbert and now playing in Henderson, NV) should stay in-state and represent our state,” Bejarano said. “I hope by me staying in-state will show that the best players this state has to offer do not have to go somewhere else.”
Angel Nunez, a 6-7 shooting guard formerly from the Bronx and now at Winchendon Prep in Massachusetts, told me this afternoon that he will not be in attendance Sunday. He plans to visit Tucson soon unofficially with teammate Khem Birch, a sophomore power forward who is 6-foot-9 and 180 pounds. Nunez indicated that his mentor Eric Martinez is trying to set up the visit.
“(UA assistant) Book (Richardson) needs to to talk to Eric and pick a good weekend when I’m free,” Nunez said.
Add McCallum: The reason why he can be the cornerstone recruit for Miller is that the UA coaches have been in on him from Day One, literally. Miller and assistant coach James Whitford share a coaching past with McCallum Sr. and they’ve known the younger McCallum since he was a pre-schooler.
To date, the UA coaches have signed two players they have recruited from the start — Kyryl Natyazhko and Kevin Parrom, both of whom were recruited by Miller’s staff first at Xavier. Derrick Williams, Solomon Hill, Lamont Jones and Bejarano each picked Arizona after either committing or signing elsewhere. McCallum can be Miller’s first recruit his staff has concentrated on from the start to have him be a Wildcat.
With McCallum’s elite stature as a 4-star point guard per Rivals.com and Scout.com — some like me think he’s worthy of 5-star consideration — the chances were that Miller would not have tried to get him to attend Xavier.
One last, but very important note, Wesley Saunders, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound Class of 2011 shooting guard from Los Angeles Windward unofficially visited the UA campus last weekend when the Wildcats played UCLA in football. It might come down to Arizona and USC for Saunders next year, with Stanford as a possibility as well.