A favorable showing on and off the court this weekend could help the Arizona Wildcats land the final piece of what would be a powerful 2011 recruiting class.
It's just that San Diego big man Angelo Chol won't tell them if he's coming until next month.
Contrary to the behavior of many top recruits, who often commit before their senior seasons and sometimes during or immediately after recruiting visits, Chol is taking a measured approach to his recruitment.
Chol has already made scheduled visits to Alabama, Kansas and North Carolina, and he is scheduled to visit UA this weekend and Washington on Feb. 11.
Then, at a news conference on Feb. 17, Chol will announce where he is headed. His coach at Hoover High School, Ollie Goulston, said Monday that he has told all five coaches under consideration that Chol will not be deciding before Feb. 17.
"That won't happen with him," Goulston said. "I've had a lot of experience with recruiting, and we try to let him control the process rather than it controlling him."
The later Chol decides, the better for Arizona, since the Wildcats are currently oversubscribed for scholarships by two for next season. But UA is likely to have room for its incoming class, because of early pro departures and other roster movement, and Goulston said Chol has been assured the Wildcats would have room for him.
It's easy to see why Arizona would want Chol.
Chol, a Sudanese refugee who has attained U.S. citizenship, is currently rated No. 43 in the class of 2011 by Scout.com and No. 76 by Rivals. Goulston said Chol should be rated higher but has played unselfishly for summer traveling teams and didn't always have gaudy statistics.
That's hardly the case at Hoover. Chol has averaged 25.0 points, 14.8 rebounds and a mind-numbing 8.4 blocks per game this season - and Goulston says his player's perimeter skills are vastly improved.
"He's very, very good both inside and out," Goulston said.
Arizona already has signed three top-100 players in the 2011 class: forward Sidiki Johnson, guard Nick Johnson and guard Josiah Turner.
UA drops from Top 25
Arizona dropped out of the ESPN/USA Today coaches Top 25 poll Monday, just a week after making its first appearance in it during the regular season in just over two years.
Arizona lost 85-68 at 18th-ranked Washington last Thursday and beat Washington State 65-63 on Saturday. The Cougars are not ranked but are No. 47 in the Sagarin ratings, indicating UA helped itself with that victory.
Arizona is the No. 27 vote-getter in both the coaches poll and the media poll. Utah State (18-2) now occupies the No. 25 spot in the USA Today/ESPN poll that the Wildcats held a week ago.
The Wildcats have not been ranked all season in The Associated Press Top 25 media poll.
• Thursday's UA-UCLA game will be shown on ESPN2, not ESPN, as UA's published schedules have listed. UA spokesman Richard Paige said ESPN was the listed carrier when UA schedules were printed in October.
• Washington's Isaiah Thomas was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Monday after he had 22 points and 10 assists against UA and 19 points and eight assists against ASU.
• What: UCLA at Arizona
• When: 7 p.m. Thursday
• TV: ESPN2
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)