As a senior at San Diego's Hoover High School, Angelo Chol has added the kind of bulk and offensive skills that could help Arizona's basketball team next season.
He probably just won't be able to actually become a Wildcat until sometime after the monthlong spring signing period opens today.
Hoover coach Ollie Goulston said Chol will be delayed signing the letter of intent because he needs the signature of his father, Ajieny, who has returned to the family's native Sudan and isn't easily reached by telephone or fax.
"Logistically, it's a bit of a nightmare right now in terms of getting him the papers," Goulston said. "But Angelo's going to Arizona. It's just a matter of when he signs. It's just kind of out of our hands at this point."
Chol is still expected to arrive this summer for classes and workouts, and Goulston said Chol already has impressed UA coaches. During his recruiting visit in January, Goulston said, Chol weighed in at 212 pounds with 5 percent body fat.
"They were really excited about that," Goulston said.
UA coach Sean Miller won't be able to talk about Chol until his letter of intent is signed, but Chol also impressed La Verne Lutheran coach Eric Cooper, a former UA player.
Cooper, whose players Grant Jerrett (2012) and Eric Cooper Jr. (2013) have committed to Arizona, coached Chol and UA signee Nick Johnson in the Ballislife all-star game last week in Fullerton, Calif.
Chol had 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
"I was really impressed with Angelo and what he could do on the court, with his ability to dribble the length of the court, his ball-handling and shooting," Cooper said. "He does a little bit of everything. He's going to be a great asset to U of A."
Chol developed a reputation early in his high school career as a shot-blocker and, especially if the Wildcats lose Derrick Williams to the NBA, Arizona may need his defensive help inside immediately. But Goulston said Chol also has developed a strong three-pointer - he was among San Diego County's Top 10 in three-pointers - and other offensive skills that could eventually allow him to play elsewhere.
"I think one of the things that's going to stand out is his versatility," Goulston said. "He can do so much offensively and defensively. I think it gives the coach a lot of options."
Not surprisingly, Cooper said he was also impressed with Johnson, who had 13 points and three assists in the Ballislife game and is expected to become an acrobatic scorer at Arizona.
"He's a guy the public is just going to fall in love with because of his athleticism and toughness," Cooper said. "He has a combination of things that are going to make UA a really good, tough team. He can shoot it and get to the basket. He really can play, and he really understands how to play."
Miller loses FT final
As good as UA coach Sean Miller was in reaching the final of the "Shots from the Heart" free-throw competition this season, he wasn't perfect.
Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg was.
Miller missed just one of his 25 free throws while Hoiberg made all 25 of his, completing a stunning 150-for-150 performance over the course of the event, in results announced Tuesday.
"As I've said throughout this tournament, my slogan is 'Don't Miss' and today I did," Miller said in a UA statement. "One shot really matters, even in an event like this. You have to give Fred a ton of credit in winning this thing. He never missed a shot. I'll regroup and focus on coming back strong next year."
In six rounds of the tournament-style event, Miller shot 92.7percent, making 139 of 150 shots. His score improved in each of the first three rounds, and Miller recorded perfect scores in rounds four and five.
As a player at Pitt, Miller hit 88.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Under pressure again
The long and difficult coaching search that finally landed Miller at Arizona two years ago proved a valuable experience for former UA athletic director Jim Livengood.
Now doing the same job at UNLV, Livengood just finished choosing a head coach from between two former Rebel players, Dave Rice and Reggie Theus, each of whom had their supporters. Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian publicly backed Theus, too, though Livengood chose Rice.
"Everyone chimed in to all sorts of degrees," Livengood said in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "But you have to remember, I had to choose who would replace a Hall of Famer in Lute Olson at Arizona in a town where basketball matters like nothing else.
"I understand passion in these situations."