Eloy Vargas has set up a May 7-8 visit to Arizona, according to his AAU coach, Kenny Gillion.
Gillion said today that the Miami-Dade center will then check out Seattle University, while Kentucky and many other Division I schools are also pursuing him hard after Vargas came back from ankle surgery and academic troubles as a freshman at Florida in 2008-09.
(Vargas has also Tweeted about his plans).
Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua, a fellow Dominican Republic native, has been recruiting Vargas for years for both Pittsburgh and Kentucky.
Sean Miller and Book Richardson made their move when they visited Vargas in Miami two weeks ago, Gillion said.
"His visit with Arizona went really well and that's why he wants to make sure he goes there," said Gillion, who coaches Florida's Team Breakdown. "He likes what Seattle did with Charles Garcia so he wants to look there and the Arizona thing is a no-brainer because Arizona is Arizona and they've got a need for him."
Gillion said Miller told Vargas he could play alongside Derrick Williams, while using what Gillion called his considerable shot-blocking and rebounding ability.
"He's a face-up four man, kind of with a European skilled game at 6-11 but also with American style game in that he's a great shot-blocker and rebounder," Gillion said. "He has a wiry type of strength. He's got quick feet for his size and he's extremely versatile."
Gillion said Vargas earned straight A's at Miami-Dade and will graduate with a two-year degree this spring, making him immediately eligible.
Vargas moved from the Dominican Republic after his freshman year in high school, when he knew no English, Gillion said.
Guard Jahii Carson, the Mesa guard who decommitted from Oregon State, also has plans to visit UA next month, according to travel-team coach Etop Udo-Ema.
Carson is still considering the Beavers, though UA, ASU and many other schools have begun recruiting him heavily, Udo-Ema said.
"Oregon State still has the best relationship with the kid and the parents," Udo-Ema said. "He wanted to see what was out there, see where he stood nationally."
Roge C asked about whether the Arizona immigration law could hurt recruitment of guys like Vargas, and I didn't think so because all these guys are so heavily focused on basketball. I asked Gillion if it was at all a concern and he laughed.
"I think the only people who would be bothered by that are the those that are doing some stuff that's not right," Gillion said. "He's legit."
Chevy Chase asked when Vargas' decision might be final. He may take another visit after these two, though Gillion noted that, as a juco player who has been through the process before, he may make a quicker decision if he finds a good fit.
So if UA is going to get him, I'd guess it will probably be shortly after he visits Tucson.
Portland asked how final Kadeem Jack's decision is. I don't think it is final. Since there's been silence from all parties today (his supposed announcement date), I'm thinking that means there are a lot of people trying to convince him he doesn't need prep school.
In any case, though, this does not bode well for UA's chances. Even if Jack goes to prep school and leaves the door open, there may be more competition for him next season (and no guarantee UA would have a scholarship then either).
The Pac-10 released the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series schedule, which features the same matchups as last season but at opposite sites. UA will host Oklahoma on Dec. 5.
UAWildcat asked about Matt Carlino, the former Gilbert guard who decommitted from Indiana. You guys were all over his decision to go to UCLA yestereday, though here's a little more from the Los Angeles Daily News. He is going to reclassify and be eligible next season, giving the Bruins another backcourt option.
In case you missed it, UNLV picked up onetime UA commit Mike Moser, who signed with UCLA after Lute Olson's retirement and opted to transfer this spring. The Rebels have also dismissed forward Matt Shaw after a failed drug test.
KO has picked up former Mesa High and Iowa forward Aaron Fuller for USC.