<
>

Scholarship crunch not stopping Arizona

Arizona has one less scholarship to give for the 2011-12 season and other recruiting restrictions to deal with because of self-imposed sanctions for NCAA violations committed in the Lute Olson era.

Nevertheless, the future appears bright for the program after the Wildcats showcased their young talent last season, and Wildcats coach Sean Miller won major recruiting battles this offseason that have netted him two guards ranked in ESPNU's top 30 regardless of position.

The latest to commit over the weekend was Josiah Turner, the nation's No. 3-ranked point guard who chose the Wildcats over Kansas and UCLA among others. Turner should form a nice backcourt combo with fellow commit Nick Johnson, the No. 6-ranked shooting guard. Arizona also has a commitment from 6-foot-8 forward Sidiki Johnson.

Even if Miller were to stand pat with those three, that would leave the Wildcats with two more players than scholarships for next season since they only have one senior on the roster.

Of course, things will work themselves out. A Pac-10 player of the year candidate like forward Derrick Williams could very well turn pro, and any piece that doesn't fit could leave the program.

That recruits are jumping on the Wildcats bandwagon while Miller rebuilds the program at breakneck speed even with fewer scholarships is a great problem to have.

Because with these latest commitments, the message has been sent that Arizona is back.