LA forward now on UA's radar screen

Arizona is still in the hunt for a big wing player for the class of 2002. Some familiar names are still on the list including Bryson Krueger, Evan Burns, Bryant Markson and Brandon Roy. A new player has emerged, Long Beach Poly's Reggie Butler.

Brooks is a 6-6, 200 pound athletic, speedy wing.

"I used to run track," Butler said. "You could say I'm a DB (defensive back) on the basketball court. I'm real sneaky and if I need to play real close up on somebody, then I'll play real close. I use my long arms to my advantage."

Butler has traveled all over the world for both track and hoops so staying close to California isn't necessarily a must when choosing a school.

"He's been a lot of places," said his mother, Ronda Butler. "He's used to being away from home. He's away from home more than he is here. That's not really a problem for me, there's no place too far that I'm not going to be able to get my son."

"I'm most interested in Arizona, Maryland, Missouri, UCLA, USC, UMass, Ore, OSU," said the younger Butler. "I like a lot of East coast schools, but that's a big problem. I have a lot of friends I grew up with and we're all real close. Plus family is number one in my heart along with God. It's going to be hard because if I go back east then they'll have to watch me on TV. They say they don't care and to pick the college that's best for me, but I want to please them also. I don't want to go out and be by myself. I need to go out and be a man, but I also want to be close to my family."

A boyhood fan of North Carolina, Butler isn't looking at the Tar Heels right now due to playing time concerns.

"They have sent me letters, but they have like four guys already at my position," Butler said. "I want to be a starter before my senior year. I want to enter my senior year with some experience under my belt. I'd like to be a starter my last to years at least, maybe even my sophomore season. I have to look at who has a lot of people coming in at my same position. It's not worth it having four people at my position and have to battle in practice."

While playing time is a concern for Reggie, his mother is looking at other factors as well.

"I'm looking at the schools that are not just going to use my son. Reggie's not a bad kid, but he does slack off sometimes I hope that the school will remind him that he is there to get an education. Watch after him. I just want to make sure that they are going to keep an eye on him. That he will be able to keep up with his studies. I tell him that if he doesn't get good grades they'll put him on a bus and ship him back home.

Butler does like the Wildcats.

"It's an honor. Arizona is a prestigious college. Anytime a college like that recognizes you as a player, that's an honor."

UCLA is really getting involved but Butler is wary for a couple of reasons.

"At first they were kind of slacking off because they didn't think I could shoot," Butler said. "But then they started seeing that I'm progressing in my shooting, so they have started recruiting more. I've been hearing a lot from them.

"People, they scare you because they say 'that if you go to UCLA you stay the same player you were in HS.' I don't know because I haven't been there, I've only seen a couple of people come out of UCLA who really stand out. That's Baron Davis and that's about it. It's a terrific school. If you are looking past basketball it's a great school. If you are looking at playing basketball it's a great school but you have to know what you are getting into before you go there. You have to push yourself, because they aren't going to push you."

Butler describes himself as a scorer, and filled that role last season at Poly.

"Last year I was more of a scorer than anything. We had a lot of good defensive players, but just a couple of guys who could score. When we needed a scorer coach went to me. I averaged about 18 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists. From the line I shot about 80% and 40% from three point range.

"I have good jumping ability. My shot is starting to fall so I'm taking it some more. My weakness is my right hand which I'm working on a lot."

Butler is really excited about playing in the summer camps and showcasing his abilities against some of the nation's best prep recruits.

"I want to play against Sean Dockery," Butler said. "I hear he's pretty good, but I doubt I'd get to match up with him because we play different positions."

Butler is going to match up with another Wildcat recruit and is very familiar with another.

"At rim rally they want me to play against Brandon Roy. I want the challenge, it's always good to have a challenge.

"I've played against Evan Burns. Evan Burns is a pretty good player. His temper gets the best of him sometimes, especially if you get into his head. We've played numerous times and its a battle every time. Somedays he's gotten me and sometimes I get him. If you ask me he's an outstanding player. Some people hype him up a bit, but a lot of what they say is true. In my eyes me and him are just alike, maybe he has a little more pub."

Butler doesn't plan on making a summer commitment and could wait until the last minute.

"You never know who's going to come at the last minute," Butler said. "That's a big decision for me."

Butler has done a bit of investigation on where he stands in this year's recruiting class, but he isn't sure he believes everything he hears.

"A lot of internet people tell me I have an edge on a lot of juniors. I just go out there and play. I think a lot of people have an edge on me. I never go out there like I am the man. I just go out and play and do what my coaches tell me and that's it."

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