Arizona coach Sean Miller said Wednesday he wasn't sure the Wildcats are ready for a 2010-11 season opener that was only four days away.
But he was downright bubbly about the possibilities in 2011-12 and beyond.
Arizona officially announced its well-regarded, three-man 2011 recruiting class, which will bring the Wildcats a top-25 backcourt of point guard Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson along with rugged top-75 big man Sidiki Johnson of New York.
Although Miller could not discuss the three signees during his weekly news conference Wednesday because their letters had not yet been received, UA issued statements from Miller later in the day once they were faxed over.
The 6-foot-3-inch Turner is the highest-rated player Miller has signed, ranking No. 10 in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com, and he is expected to make a significant impact immediately at point guard.
"Josiah is a pure point guard who makes the game easier for his teammates because he is unselfish, has great vision and knows how to play the game," Miller said in a statement. "He is blessed with great size for a point guard, which makes him an ideal fit for us defensively as well. I am confident that Josiah will carry on the great tradition of point-guard play at Arizona."
Turner signed his letter of intent before friends, family and media at Sacramento High School.
"He said he was happy to get (the letter) to Arizona," Sacramento coach Derek Swafford said. "He's looking forward to it. It's an emotional time. Your last three months of high school basketball are in front of you."
Turner played with Nick Johnson last summer on the Oakland/Drew Gooden Soldiers traveling team and the two are likely to play together often in the UA backcourt, too.
"Nick is a special player who will have an immediate impact on our program," Miller said. "He has the ability to play both guard positions, is a superior athlete on both ends of the floor and is really becoming an excellent shooter and explosive athlete. Nick is a fantastic kid, and we are ecstatic to have him as a part of our program."
Sidiki Johnson, meanwhile, has stuck firmly to a commitment he gave Miller back in August 2009, in part because of longtime family ties with UA assistant coach Book Richardson.
"He's certified now," said Bernard Bowen, Johnson's mentor. "He wanted to go to Arizona and be a Wildcat."
Now playing at Oak Hill Academy, Johnson recently suffered a hairline fracture in his foot, but Bowen said he would return within two weeks.
By the time he gets to Arizona, the 6-8 Johnson will provide versatility and toughness, Miller said.
"He is a rugged, physical player who has played against tough competition his entire life, and that has made him a great competitor," Miller said. "Sidiki will have an opportunity to contribute to our program at more than one position throughout his career, and his addition gives us much-needed size."
Sophomore center Kyryl Natyazhko was cleared to return to practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion in practice last week.
Combined with the recent returns of Kevin Parrom (concussion) and Alex Jacobson (back issues), the Wildcats could be as healthy as ever entering their opener Sunday against Idaho State.
"I don't know if we're ready right now, but I really think we have a great opportunity over the next four days to get a lot better from where we were on Sunday" in an exhibition against Augustana, Miller said. "One of the things I'm anxious about is to get Kyryl back to practice. Up until now, either Alex has missed because of his back or Kyryl has missed because of his concussion. I'm hopeful in the next four days we can have our entire team in practice."
No-no for MoMo
Miller said guard MoMo Jones would be the first person to admit that his effort against Augustana (0-for-6 shooting, one assist, two rebounds) was lacking - and he was right.
"Didn't like it," Jones said of his game. "I didn't push the ball enough."
But Miller indicated Jones needs time after taking over point guard full time from Nic Wise this season.
"It's going to be easy right now for myself or anybody to cast doubt towards MoMo because he didn't play well the other night," Miller said. "It's like that college quarterback that hasn't played that position full time. To me, there's a transition period. You have to just understand it's part of the equation."
Freshman guard Daniel Bejarano was the only recruited scholarship player not to enter the Augustana exhibition, and that probably won't change Sunday, the way Miller described it.
"There's a gap and he's gotta close that gap," Miller said.
Miller said it was doubtful he would redshirt Bejarano and that his progress in the near future will determine whether he will earn minutes.
"You know, Daniel is a fantastic kid," Miller said. "But not everybody gets to play, and the reason he didn't play has nothing to do with his demeanor or attitude, it's just that in practice he's not been able to have three weeks of practice worthy of playing. … Improvement really happens to freshmen, so it will be interesting to watch him over the next month."
• What: Idaho State at Arizona
• When: 3 p.m. Sunday
• TV: FSAZ, Ch 58
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM