Arizona cancels visits with top recruits

Arizona has canceled a campus visit from forward LeBryan Nash and an in-home visit with center Amir Williams, telling both highly regarded recruits that the program can only recruit them if they wait until the spring signing period to make their decisions, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Usually it's the recruits turning down offers to visit with coaches and programs they have little interest in, but in this case, the Wildcats have already secured three commitments forming a big-time signing class and are essentially now telling recruits, "Sorry, maybe later."

It's easy to see how this all might have stunned Nash, ESPNU's No. 10 overall recruit in the 2011 class, who had this reaction according to ZagsBlog.

Arizona coaches called Tony Johnson, the travel team coach of highly touted Dallas small forward LeBryan Nash, and asked him not to take his scheduled official visit this weekend.

“They cancelled the visit,” Johnson said Wednesday by phone. “I told [Nash] late last night. LeBryan was kind of upset about it.

“It’s got something to do with some scholarships.”

Arizona lost a scholarship due to self-imposed sanctions for recruiting violations under Lute Olson, and a recent commitment from point guard Josiah Turner gave the Wildcats currently two more players than scholarships for next season.

The move to cancel visits with blue-chippers appear to be Sean Miller realizing that enough is enough and also an honest way of telling them that there just aren't scholarships for them no matter how good they are. They're able to check back in the spring in case something changes, of course.

It's good public relations, really. The practice of oversigning by too much can be damaging if players on the current roster feel like they're being forced to transfer if they don't perform and players don't turn pro as expected.

Of course, jilted recruits can spoil recruiting relationships as well.

It's a tricky numbers game Arizona is dealing with here, and if nothing else, they're being upfront about it.