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Arizona’s pursuit of transfers complicated by extended recruiting dead period

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 11 PAC-12 Tournament - Oregon v Arizona Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats have been incredibly active in the transfer market, but extracting a player or two from the portal is trickier this year.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period through May 31. Previously, it was set to run through April 15.

Contact between coaches and prospective student-athletes is still allowed through phone calls, text messages and written correspondence—which has led programs to shift to virtual tours and meetings—but on-campus visits and in-person contact is prohibited.

Arizona already hosted some of its top high-school targets, like five-star forward Ziaire Williams and four-star guard Kerwin Walton, before these restrictions were implemented, but the extended dead period could hinder its ability to land transfers who, at this point, would likely have to commit without a chance to officially visit the UA.

Technically, recruits can still visit schools but it would have to be on their own dime and without coaches—or anyone from the program—there to show them around. And there is no guarantee the basketball facilities would be open for show, either.

Some believe these recruiting restrictions could mean transfers are more likely to land at schools that are closer to home. Of the few transfers that are known to be considering Arizona, one is from Southern California (Kentucky’s Johnny Juzang), one is from Charlotte, North Carolina (Santa Clara’s Trey Wertz) and the other is from New York (Illinois’ Alan Griffin).

However, it is worth noting that Griffin, a 6-foot-5 sophomore who averaged 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds this season, was on the UA campus in November when Arizona hosted Illinois in McKale Center.

In that case, this recruiting dead period could actually aid Arizona’s recruiting efforts.