The spring signing period opens today, but pardon Sean Miller if he doesn't notice a difference.
Since he took over the Arizona basketball program just over a year ago, just about every day has been about recruiting.
Miller pulled in five recruits last spring, then signed one (Phoenix's Daniel Bejarano) in the fall and has received verbal commitments since then from St. Louis juco forward Jesse Perry and Los Angeles guard Jordin Mayes, both of whom are expected to sign letters of intent today.
In addition, Miller said he expects another player for the 2010 class, and the UA is believed to be pursuing New York forward Kadeem Jack, a trio of All-America guards and other prospects.
"In a little over 12 months, we've signed nine players," Miller said. "That's really hard to do. I like the ones we have, but it's taken an amazing amount of energy to do it. But that part is behind us. Hopefully, a year from now, we can all agree we're in a better place moving forward."
Indeed, Miller is aiming to top off his current recruiting class with a player who could launch the Wildcats into the Top 25 of 2010 classes (currently, the UA's 2010 class is not rated in the Top 25 of Scout.com or Rivals.com, but is No. 41 in HoopScoop).
Thanks to the UA's self-sanctioning of a scholarship loss in 2011-12, the Wildcats are already full for that season, although the staff is still recruiting several players since change is always possible.
"In 2011, we just don't have a lot of scholarships, but we have enough for what we want to accomplish," Miller said. "It will work itself out."
So now, much of the staff's energy is being poured into the 2012 class, which coincidentally, is strong regionally, according to Miller.
"The class of 2012, in the West, is amazing," Miller said. "There's so many incredible players. … The timing of us coming out here was very odd in that '09, '10 and '11, especially '10, wasn't as deep as it usually is. I'm looking forward to that changing back, as is everybody in our conference."
Outgoing UA guard Nic Wise didn't post outstanding numbers at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament last week, but for a point guard, he didn't need to do so.
"If you're playing the game the right way there, it's hard to get good numbers," said David Griffin, the Suns' senior VP of basketball operations. "In these (pre-draft games) whoever brings the ball across tends to shoot it immediately, and Nic did a nice job of actually distributing the ball. I was very pleasantly surprised."
In three games at Portsmouth, Wise averaged 8.0 points with 7-for-19 shooting from the field and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. He also averaged 3.3 assists and 2.0 turnovers while his Tidewater Sealants team went 2-1.
Wise is not projected as an NBA draft pick, but Griffin, who attended the pre-draft camp, said Wise's performance last week will bring more opportunity.
"He'll get workouts and should get a chance to go to camp with somebody," Griffin said. "He showed a lot of what people wanted him to do. Unfortunately (for him), it's just a really deep draft."
UA basketball players won't be standing around watching each other power lift inside the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium's newly planned weight room.
They'll be moving quickly. Both Miller and UA performance enhancement coach Chris Rounds said the new facility will be customized to their philosophy.
"Being in the weight room for hours and taking their time isn't necessarily the best for our program," Miller said. "Pace is the big part of what we try to instill. … We don't really do anything with a bar above our head. Everything is machine-oriented. Flexibility is also really big. To make a player really big physically, and not allow him to be flexible, isn't really smart."
• Miller said he plans to be in Indianapolis on Saturday, when Arizona will present its response to the NCAA allegations, noting that UA self-sanctions of a scholarship loss and reduced on-road recruiting time have been felt. "I wish we had the additional 10 days," Miller said. "The silver lining is we'll spend more time with our players on our campus in April. Sometimes I feel even better about that, because we have a chance to really get off to a great start this spring."
• The NCAA ruled Tuesday it will allow coaches to hold recruiting conversations during summer camps and clinics on campus, though they will not be able to take recruits on campus tours or otherwise offer benefits of official visits.
UA facility upgrade details
• Location: East end of Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, along Campbell Avenue.
• Size: Two levels consisting of 1,223 square feet each, with the upper level extended out another 10 feet.
• Features: Cardio machines on lower level, weight machines on upper level. Glass wall enclosure will allow rehabilitating athletes to ride bike or treadmill while watching practice. Full sound system, separate heating/cooling unit.
• Accompanying projects:
1. Locker room renovations to include the tearing down of a wall near the entrance to create a more open look, plus new lockers and new furniture.
2. Wall graphics for hallways near the offices and locker room, updating the current look outside the men's basketball offices.
• Estimated completion for entire project: Between October and December.
• Sources: Chris Rounds, UA performance enhancement director, and Steve Kozachik, UA associate AD for capital projects.
UA's 2010 recruiting chart
Player Ht./wt. Hometown Rivals Scout Hoopscoop
Signed in fall
G Daniel Bejarano 6-5/200 Phoenix 57 43 66
Expected to sign today
F Jesse Perry 6-8/210 St. Louis 75* NA NA
G Jordin Mayes 6-1/170 Los Angeles 106 NR 87
F Kadeem Jack 6-8/210 New York NR NR 230
G Josh Selby 6-2/183 Baltimore 4 10 6
G Doron Lamb 6-5/175 Queens, N.Y. 21 26 13
G Ray McCallum 6-1/180 Detroit 60 23 33
* In junior college top 150, by Rivals' jucojunction.com
Expected to sign letters of intent:
Jesse Perry, F, 6-8/210, St. Louis
Jordin Mayes, G, 6-1/170, Los Angeles