Wildcats boss on recruiting trail through California gyms

A good fisherman goes where the fish are.  He’s always looking to catch the Big One.

College coaches are the same way.  Which explains why Sean Miller has been spending so much time in California lately.

We’re in the time of the summer when the college basketball coaches are allowed to attend the many AAU and club tournaments across the country that are designed to showcase high school talent.

The University of Arizona head basketball coach has been following the Compton Magic club team around like a groupie, showing up wherever their California trip takes them.

The Magic’s roster includes five players from Arizona:  Jahii Carson from Mesa HS, Michael Perez from Pueblo HS in Tucson, Collin Woods from Horizon HS in Scottsdale, T.J. Burke from Marcos de Niza HS in Tempe, and Sai Tummala from Brophy Prep in Phoenix.

Perez, who averaged 29 points a game in his last year of high school ball, accomplished his summer mission.  He was seen by a coach earlier this week who was impressed enough to offer him a scholarship.  Perez accepted the offer from St. John’s head coach, Steve Lavin.

But Miller didn’t pack it in and go home.  Perez wasn’t the Big Catch he was angling for.

Reports indicate the Wildcats coach has his sights set on Carson, who he has placed at the top of his wish list for the spots remaining in his 2011 recruiting class.

The high-flying point guard with a 42-inch vertical leap would bring some excitement to the Cats game.  He’s only 5’11” and 160 lbs., but he can pretty much score at will and, at the same time, make his teammates on the floor better.  He has a great court awareness and is able to penetrate and dish the ball with needle-point passes.

Carson’s short list appears to be Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA, and St. Johns.  He stills includes Oregon, even though he committed to the Ducks earlier in the recruiting process and then de-committed to consider more options.

In recent weeks, however, it has appeared that Carson has been leaning toward the Wildcats.  He’s admitted that having Miller at his games on a regular basis has impressed him.

But, as often happens in the recruiting wars, an unexpected suitor often pops up at the most inopportune time.  In this case, it was North Carolina’s head coach, Roy Williams.  Williams reportedly sent him an email expressing interest and Carson is considering an unofficial visit to the Tar Heels campus toward the end of the summer.

Meanwhile, Coach Miller is keeping a close eye on his target.  The Magic are ready to leave the Full Court All-West Camp tournament in Long Beach and will next head to Los Angeles and then return again to Long Beach, adding two more events.

No word on whether Miller is going to tag along, or go find another fishing hole.