Just like that, Beas Hamga became a very popular player on the recruiting front.
The 7-foot center from Decatur (Ill.) Christian is ahead of the pace academically and barring an unforeseen denial by the NCAA Clearinghouse, he will be a 2007 graduate.
Enter every high-major looking for a center into the picture.
However, since opening up his recruitment from Iowa when Steve Alford left Hamga has maintained he would only considered a manageable amount of programs.
According to his guardian Mark Adams, Kentucky, UNLV, Indiana and New Mexico are the four finalists.
Hamga will visit UNLV this weekend. Kentucky will host him next weekend for an official visit. Hamga has already been to Indiana several times, Adams said. A decision should come by Memorial Day, Adams added.
Ranked amongst the top 40 players nationally in the class of 2008, Hamga isn't a run of the mill player for teams looking for interior help late in the game for 2007. Getting onto the court and making an impact will be a major separating factor for the Cameroon native.
"Well, he wants to play. That's number one," Adams said. "If he can play 18 to 20 minutes a game at wherever he goes, then it's a no-brainer. That is where he should go."
Each program is making a pitch and Kentucky head coach Billy Gillispie worked that angle.
"Gillispie made a good impression and I know they were selling Beas on playing time. They said they need some help inside," Adams said.
"Indiana has a need there. They have D.J. (White) playing the five and they need him at the four. I'm not sure what Eli's situation is so they need the help. I think (Lon) Kruger is a good coach and a pretty even-tempered guy. He doesn't really raise his voice or come off as a screamer. He's done a good job taking four different teams to the sweet 16."
Finding a long term home also takes in future recruiting decisions by the staff, Adams said.
"At UNLV and New Mexico, I doubt they'll ever recruit over him. He'll be a highlight recruit for their program," Adams said. "At Kentucky or Indiana, he will have to work hard to see the floor and I think he'll do fine at that. He'll need to figure it out and I'll support him."
Adams admitted that the Wildcats are looking strong early on.
"To be honest, it really sounds like he likes Kentucky," Adams said.