The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

79° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cleaned house

    Standout recruit for the class of 2009 Abdul Gaddy, seen here in McKale Center on an official visit to the UA in September, retracted his verbal commitment in wake of news of Lute Olson retiring.
    Standout recruit for the class of 2009 Abdul Gaddy, seen here in McKale Center on an official visit to the UA in September, retracted his verbal commitment in wake of news of Lute Olson retiring.

    Just as expected, the departure of UA head coach Lute Olson has – once again – deeply impacted the short-term future of the Arizona men’s basketball program.

    Last year, Olson’s well-documented season-long leave of absence sent a flaky message to his high-profile verbal commitments. Then throughout this summer’s coaching staff shuffle, some recruits decided to remain loyal to Arizona, while others jumped ship.

    Now with Olson’s retirement being permanent, all the remaining recruits from his Class of 2009 have retracted their verbal commitments.

    Everyone.

    Five-star point guard Abdul Gaddy, and four-star forwards Solomon Hill and Mike Moser all reportedly reopened the recruiting process with news of Olson’s retirement.

    Although UA athletic director Jim Livengood couldn’t assess the recruiting situation during Friday’s press conference, the inevitable backlash has left the program with a difficult and uncontrollable situation.

    “”There’s nothing we can do about that,”” Livengood said Friday. “”At this point in time, the thing that’s most important for Arizona basketball is to control those things we can control.””

    Added interim head coach Russ Pennell on Friday: “”Whoever coaches at Arizona next year is going to be a great coach. (Recruits) understand this is a big time program, so we will go from that angle.””

    Gaddy’s high profile recruiting trail once again leaves the Wildcats without the nation’s second-ranked point guard of his class, according to

    Rivals.com recruiting, when official notice came from his father, Abdul Gaddy Sr., on Saturday.

    Gaddy’s announcement became Arizona’s third loss in as many days, after Moser (Grant High School, Portland, Ore.) retracted his commitment on Thursday and Hill (Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, Calif.) did the same Friday.

    “”He decommitted,”” Gaddy Sr., told GOAZCATS.com. “”The biggest reason is just instability with the coaching staff. First of all, this is the second time going through it.””

    The Tacoma (Wash.) point guard retracted his first verbal commitment in May after Olson reshuffled his assistant coaching staff. Then after taking an official visit to Tucson, Gaddy verbally recommitted on Sept. 15 after forming a bond with newly hired assistant coach Reggie Geary.

    While Gaddy reportedly narrowed down his decision to UCLA and Arizona prior to recommitting, ESPN reported that Gaddy is now interested in Washington State, too, along with the Bruins.

    “”Even with Lute coming back, he came to the house and told us he felt good and said he’d be there when (we) got there,”” said Gaddy Sr. “”We understand things happen, especially with Lute’s age, health issues pop up and our prayers go out to him. Since things happened and the situation got thrown up in the air somewhat, we just said there was a little too much instability.””

    Pennell plans to actively recruit Olson’s target as the Nov. 15 signing day deadline looms. At that time, high school seniors can sign national letters of intent for the 2009-10 season.

    “”I think it’s important that we keep after the recruits that we’ve been on,”” Pennell said. “”They may want to know who the next coach is going to be in all this. I think the thing that separates this program from others is the tradition at Arizona.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search