Since the Pac-10 announced it would add Utah next summer, the recruiting net of Utes basketball coach Jim Boylen has broadened.
That doesn't mean his job is any easier, however.
"I know we're involved with more kids that the Pac-10 is important to," Boylen said Thursday. "They're excited we're going to get there. It's opened the door wider for us and hopefully we can get a couple of those guys.
"But now I go somewhere (to recruit) and Sean (Miller, UA coach) is there and (UCLA coach) Ben Howland is there. It's kind of a different recruiting dynamic. We've been kind of national, and we haven't butted heads much in our conference."
On the court, Boylen will get an early look at his future competition Saturday when the Utes travel to Tucson to face the UA in a private scrimmage that is closed to the public and to the media.
Boylen said he and Miller, who have a relationship that dates to their playing days, had agreed to a home-and-home "series" that would have sent Arizona to Salt Lake City next fall. But they opted to cancel that because they will be conference opponents next season.
With Pac-12 play a year away, Boylen said he wasn't concerned about losing any competitive secrets to the Wildcats this time.
"I think we're so heavily scouted anyway, the focus has to be on your team and if you can get challenges," Boylen said. "They're going to have a very good team."
Just in case Miller's sit-downs with senior forward Jamelle Horne last spring weren't enough, junior college transfer Jesse Perry is providing some live reinforcement.
Horne and Perry tied for the team's rebounding lead at nine during the Red-Blue Game last weekend, and practice competition has been equally intense.
"I love Jesse," Horne said. "The guy just plays hard, and I think to have a great team, it starts in practice. When each of us has a guy we know is going to compete against us, it's definitely going to translate into the game, and that's what Jesse does.
"He plays hard as hell and that's just who he is. He's just a hard-nosed kid and he's definitely going to help us out a lot - on the boards, in transition, on defense."
Johnson enjoys visit
Making his second visit to campus last weekend, Oak Hill (Va.) forward Sidiki Johnson arrived alone this time for an official (paid) weekend. He attended the UA football game and the basketball Red-Blue Game.
"It was just time for him to go and have a great time," said Bernard Bowen, Johnson's mentor. "He saw his future teammates, watched a practice and had a great time. I thought it was good for him to go."
Johnson is expected to sign a binding letter of intent next month along with Sacramento, Calif., guard Josiah Turner and Gilbert guard Nick Johnson.
• Ten former Wildcats were on NBA opening day rosters, with only Mustafa Shakur (New Orleans) failing to make their teams out of training camp. Arizona is tied for sixth among college teams for the number of former players in the NBA. UCLA leads with 14.
• The Pac-10 will hold its annual media day today in Los Angeles, and the league's official media poll will be released. The UA is expected to be selected to finish second or third behind likely top pick Washington.