Cold feet and jammed fax machines are among the reasons recruits have delayed signing national letters of intent, but top-100 recruit Angelo Chol had a unique reason for not being able to turn in his to Arizona until Thursday.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, the 6-foot-9 forward needed an NCAA waiver to have an attorney sign the paperwork in place of his father, who lives in Sudan and is difficult to reach.
But his father, Akieng, returned to Sudan shortly before the signing period began, and could not be easily reached by telephone. But according to Ollie Goulston, Chol's coach at San Diego Hoover High School, UA assistants James Whitford and Book Richardson secured a waiver from the NCAA that allowed San Diego attorney Leslie Coughlin to sign the LOI instead.
Neither Goulston nor Coughlin are legal guardians of Chol, 17. But Coughlin aided Chol as a refugee from Sudan and has remained close.
The versatile Chol is a member of an elite recruiting class also consisting of Nick Johnson, Sidiki Johnson and Josiah Turner that coach Sean Miller hopes will soften the blow of losing Derrick Williams to the NBA draft.
"It is exciting to see how well Angelo complements the abilities of Nick, Josiah and Sidiki in our class of 2011," Miller said in a statement. "We are counting on these guys to contribute immediately in a significant manner next season."
But according to the Arizona Republic, Miller has already begun placing the emphasis on his returning players, challenging them to show they can win without Williams.
Miller: "We have seven of our top 10 guys back and it's those seven improving and having a great summer, coming in and using [last season's experience] to their advantage. ... This spring, summer and fall is an important time for a lot of guys. When you hear so much about Derrick in a positive way, I think if you're a returner on our team, you want to be able to prove that we have the ability to win without him. I think that's something very fair to say and I think we have a lot of guys working toward that.
" ... Keep in mind that in the second half against Duke, we scored 55 points. Derrick scored three of them. A lot like I said last year, it won't be the new guys that necessarily make us a great team. It'll be the returning players. We have quite a few players who are hungry and very experienced, so I think it'll be interesting to watch the development of Solomon Hill or Kevin Parrom and even Kyryl Natyazhko. I think you'll find they'll be better players a year from now."