The timetable is at warp speed for 6’8″ forward Arthur Kaluma. The 43rd ranked prospect by SI in the Class of ’21 took a slew of virtual meetings last week, and his head coach says he may decide by Friday. Just two weeks ago Kaluma was released from UNLV. Last week Mike McAllister caught up with his AAU coach, Sean Stevens of Vegas Elite. Kaluma spoke to multiple programs over Zoom in a few short days, and is wrapping that portion of his recruitment up this week. Stevens says by the end of this week it may be done, and Kaluma wants to move quickly.
“He’s ready to start his college process. I would expect as soon as maybe next Friday (5/14), he’ll be committed somewhere. He took Zoom calls from Creighton Wednesday, Syracuse and Arizona Thursday, and Washington and Western Kentucky will be Friday.” – AAU Coach Sean Stevens
That means Kaluma is making his decision at the moment. The Arizona product was originally committed to UNLV, but was released when he reopened his recruitment. Stevens calls it a four-horse race between Arizona, Syracuse, Creighton and Washington. He also mentioned Western Kentucky is hanging around, but that feels like an enormous long shot.
Kaluma has an interesting backstory. His commitment to UNLV was tied to pal Zaon Collins. Tragically Collins was involved in a fatal car accident when he was speeding at 88 through a 35, and hit another car killing the driver. Collins was also a top-50 recruit, and formed the best class in the Mountain West. But after the accident UNLV dropped him, and Kaluma backed out.
So what’s SU selling a Phoenix kid on? Apparently, honesty.
“They talked a lot about his versatility and his length in the zone. They did talk about how they have a lot of forwards though, which could be the only hiccup I see, with Benny, Cole Swider coming in and then Jimmy as well. There’s not guaranteed minutes per se, but he could fight for the minutes…The staff did a really good job portraying the family tradition at Syracuse. How they keep guys on staff. That type of deal.” – AAU Coach Sean Stevens
Therein lies the rub. In an era where every player seems to travel the country and frequent the portal to seek starting jobs and copious minutes, would a top 50 recruit choose to “fight for minutes?” Seems unlikely, but that would also be cynical.
Here’s the million dollar question. Is he looking for honesty or playing time? Did SU being straightforward help or hurt?
“I think right now he’s going to gather all of the information from the Zooms and see where he thinks he can best showcase himself. He’s looking at some of the genuineness of the calls, who was real with him, who wasn’t. We’re going to try to decipher through some of that as well.” – AA Coach Sean Stevens
Hm. The mystery continues until Friday.