04/16 - UA heads hoops recruiting class - East Valley Tribune: Sports

04/16 - UA heads hoops recruiting class

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Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 11:45 pm | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

No matter what happens during the spring signing period, Arizona will have the top basketball recruiting class in the Pac-10. But there could be a shake-up after that, said noted recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons of All-Star Sports publications.

"There's some mystery and intrigue," Gibbons said Tuesday on the eve of the spring signing period, which begins today and run to May 15. "Until then we will not know all the answers."

Arizona was followed by Arizona State, California, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, UCLA and Washington in Gibbons' rankings.

"Arizona State did extremely well," Gibbons said of the class of Keith Wooden, Tron Smith, Wilfried Fameni, and Chris Low.

The Sun Devils received an oral commitment last month from 6-foot-5 shooting guard Steve Moore of Eastern Oklahoma. Moore is expected to sign a letter of intent Thursday.

"I have him as one of the better juco wings," Gibbons said. "That will be a good get for them."

Gibbons said USC could be poised to move to the No. 2 spot in the conference if its oral commitments sign letters of intent.

Another school that could make a move is UCLA under new coach Ben Howland, late of Pittsburgh.

Coach Roy Williams signed two high-profile western players and they may want to go elsewhere now that he has left Kansas to coach North Carolina.

One of Georgia's signees, 6-9 Mohamed Abukar of San Diego, has been given his release and may choose UCLA, Gibbons said.

Arizona got a rebound player last spring, Arkansas signee Andre Igoudala, who helped the Wildcats win the Pac-10 championship. Igoudala asked for a release after coach Nolan Richardson was fired.

Washington State has a new coach, Dick Bennett, who'll be searching for players who fit his coaching style.

"In the final period (the rankings) could change around," Gibbons said.

Gibbons' fall rankings do not include two football players signed in February who will play basketball at Stanford.

Gibbons said the top player signed by the entire league was Oakland forward Leon Powe, a first-team Parade All-America who's going to Cal.

"He's the most outstanding individual of the group," Gibbons said.

A spokesman at Arizona said there are no current plans to sign a player this spring, despite UA having picked up scholarships from Will Bynum and Dennis Latimore, both of whom quit the team.

Pac-10 fall signees

Arizona (3): Kirk Walters, 6-10, C, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ndudi Ebi, 6-10, F, Houston; Mustafa Shakur, 6-3, G, Wynnewood, Pa.

Arizona State (4): Keith Wooden, 6-9, F, Lawrence, Kan.; Wilfried Fameni, 6-8, F, Amelia, Va.; Chris Low, 6-8, F, Tyler, Texas; Tron Smith, G, 6-2, Moreno Valley, Calif.

California (3): Leon Powe, 6-8, F, Oakland; Dominic McGuire, 6-7, F, San Diego; Ayinde Ubaka, G, 6-3, Oakland

USC (2): Lodrick Stewart, 6-5, G, Seattle; Rodrick Stewart, 6-5, G, Seattle

Stanford (2): Fred Washington, 6-5, F, Los Angeles; Tim Morris, 6-4, G, Atlanta

Oregon (3): Ray Schafer, 7-0, C, Wasilla, Alaska; Mitch Platt, 6-10, F, Henderson, Nev.; Aaron Brooks, 6-0, G, Seattle

Oregon State (3): Liam Hughes, 7-2, C, Modesto, Calif.; Jeffree Williams, 6-9, F, Portland; Kyle Jeffers, 6-8, F, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Washington State (2): Justin Garcia, 7-1, C, San Bernardino JC; Lance Den Bower, 6-6, F, Sunnyside, Wash.

UCLA (2): Sean Phaler, 6-9, F, Villa Park, Calif.; Trevor Ariza, 6-8, F, Los Angeles.

Washington (1): Tre Simmons, 6-5, F, Green River JC

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