Full-court press installed by Arizona to land Turnerby Javier Morales on Aug. 27, 2010, under Sports
Who says strategy only occurs on the court when it comes to college basketball?
Arizona coach Sean Miller and his staff just implemented what amounts to a full-court press in their attempt to recruit Rivals.com 5-star Class of 2011 point guard Josiah Turner of Sacramento.
Turner, a 6-foot-3 playmaker who is also a solid defender, was originally slated to visit Arizona on the weekend of Oct. 22-23 at the same time the Cats play their Red-Blue Scrimmage at McKale Center. That was to come a week after Turner visited Kansas at its Midnight Madness event, “Late Night in the Phog,” in Lawrence.
Turner told me Thursday night the switch with the Arizona trip occurred in part because his good friend and former AAU teammate Nick Johnson is also officially visiting the UA campus the weekend of Sept. 17-18. Johnson verbally committed to Arizona last week.
Arizona’s coaches also welcome the move likely with the hope that Turner will be so overwhelmed by the visit that he will want to commit almost a full month before he is supposed to visit Kansas. What will Turner experience that weekend in Tucson (a veritable full-court press to sway the high-profile point guard)?
- Johnson’s convincing recruiting pitch that weekend for Turner to join him at Arizona next year. How many times will Turner be reminded that weekend that Johnson will become a Wildcat?
- The festive atmosphere around campus of Iowa’s ranked football team playing Arizona at Arizona Stadium that weekend. The Red-Blue Scrimmage at McKale Center would have been a good showcase for Turner, but the event rarely draws a sellout crowd. And it would have occurred a week after Turner attended Kansas’ festive Late Night in the Phog.
- The thought that fellow Class of 2011 point guard prospect Quinn Cook of Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy is tentatively scheduled to visit Tucson the week after. Chances are Turner and his mother Doris Ward will enjoy their trip to Tucson (I’ve yet to hear a recruit say that he disliked his visit to Tucson, quite the opposite, actually). Turner will realize that if he does not commit after visiting Arizona that Cook could experience the same type of visit the following week and that Cook could commit.
This full-court maneuver is an indication of how coveted of a recruit Turner is to Miller and his staff. It appears the respect is mutual.
“I really like their coaching staff. We have a good relationship going,” Turner said.
Turner can not only become Miller’s first 5-star recruit, he can impact the UA roster for at least a couple of seasons.
It’s obvious that Miller is gearing his focus toward frontcourt help in the Class of 2012. Signing a player of Turner’s ability this year will allow the UA coaches to concentrate next year on forwards and centers, such as Brandon Ashley, a teammate of Johnson and Turner’s with the Drew Gooden Soldiers this summer.
With all these factors in play for the weekend of Turner’s visit to Arizona, if he does not commit afterward, it’s difficult to imagine that he ever will.