The Pacific 10 Conference will not lose basketball star Jud Buechler to the Big East, or any other part of the country for that matter. Now, the only question is whether the state of California will lose him to Arizona.
Buechler, a 6-foot 6 1/2-inch senior who averaged 23 points a game for Poway, 3-A champion of the San Diego Section, said he will decide Wednesday morning whether to sign a letter of intent to play his college basketball--and maybe volleyball, too--at UCLA or Arizona.
After returning from his visit to Tucson last weekend, which included being picked up at the airport by Coach Lute Olson, Buechler was very high on the Wildcats. It was his only recruiting trip on which the head coach greeted him and showed him around.
"It went well," Buechler said. "Really, really well. I'd have to say that out of my five visits, it was the best."
Still, he remains undecided between the two schools. He previously dropped Pepperdine, California and UC Santa Barbara from consideration and is purposely waiting until the last minute before signing to make sure that Arizona isn't on his mind only because it is the most recent trip.
One thing in UCLA's favor is a successful volleyball program. Buechler, an outstanding middle blocker who played for the West team in last year's National Sports Festival in Louisiana and tried out Sunday for the 1986 competition, has said he would like to play both sports in college. At Arizona, volleyball is only a club sport.
USC is also going down to the wire with a California prospect, Chris Munk of San Francisco Riordan. He visited Oklahoma last week on the way to Sunday's Dapper Dan all-star game in Pittsburgh, and Iowa has moved into the picture with the naming of Tom Davis as coach.
Reportedly, Davis left Stanford partly over frustration in dealing with high academic standards, which cost him Munk, and Munk said he will consider following Davis to another school.
Elsewhere, with the second national signing date approaching for basketball players, Elden Campbell of Inglewood Morningside dropped Kansas from consideration last week and will chose between Pepperdine and Clemson. Stacey Augmon of Pasadena Muir visited Nevada Las Vegas last weekend and is spending this week on vacation on the East Coast.
Twins Pauline and Geannine Jordan, the two stars on the Muir girls' team that spent much of the season as the top-ranked team in the country, will conclude their visit to Cal State Long Beach today. They will decide among the 49ers, USC and Nevada Las Vegas Wednesday.
The Arcadia Invitational, which focused the spotlight on Hawthorne sprinter Henry Thomas last year, has lined up some outstanding runners for the distance events in Saturday night's competition.
Best of all could be the girls' 3,200-meter event, which features Rebecca Chamberlain of San Jose Leigh, the defending state champion, Laurie Chapman of San Jose Gunderson, the 1986 national leader at 10:32.4, and six others under 10:49.
The boys' relays also figure to be interesting, especially the 1,600 since Hawthorne replaced Muir as the state leader in the event after posting a time of 3:15.1 last week at the Texas Relays. This after the Cougars graduated all four members of the team that won a third straight California title last season.
The foursome of junior Yki Vallery, freshman Curtis Conway, junior Robert Carroll and sophomore Travis Hanna set the mark in a heat. It was Conway's first competition with the varsity team outdoors.
The Hawthorne girls' 800-meter medley relay team of Dina Thomas, Deaundra Wheeler, Tami Stiles and Deanna Amy ran 1:42.44 Friday night, which got them second place in the race and fifth-place on the all-time list. Houston Sterling won in 1:42.24, the third-fastest ever.
Prep Notes Organizers of the third annual Southern California Prep All-Star basketball game, which matches the best in the Southern Section against the best in the City, have put together quite a lineup for Sunday night's fund raiser at Cal State Long Beach.
Who will play? An easier question to answer is who won't--Scott Williams of Hacienda Heights Wilson and Stephen Thompson of Crenshaw, who will both be playing in the McDonald's game in Detroit.
Otherwise, the Southern Section lineup includes Kevin Walker of Brea-Olinda, Harvey Mason of Crescenta Valley in La Crescenta, Bryant Walton of Santa Ana Saddleback, Bob Erbst of Anaheim Katella, Stacey Augmon of Pasadena Muir, Earl Duncan of Santa Monica St. Monica and Keith Malone of Gardena Serra, to name a few. The team will be coached by Jamaal Wilkes and Dick Baker, the former Loyola Marymount coach and athletic director.