Nike Camp Update Day One: Chris Rodgers

Chris Rodgers may have already decided to become a Wildcat, but that hasn't stopped him from putting on a great showing at the Nike Camp in Indianapolis. The combo guard from Portland feels at ease in front of the coaches and scouts after telling the Arizona coaches that he will be spending his college years in Tucson.

"I definitely think it takes a tremendous amount of pressure off me," Rodgers said. "A lot of these guys out here don't know where they are going to end up. They're really trying to showcase their talent to the college coaches. Me committing and having it already taken care of, helps me to come out and stay relaxed and play my game."

Rodgers has played well, teaming up with another great guard in Bracey Wright. Wright and Rodgers sparked their team in two impressive first day showings in the tournament portion of the camp.

Rodgers is well aware of the Wildcats' recruiting needs, and is actively trying to aid in the recruiting process. Rodgers has played against some of the targeted players.

"They are still looking for big guards, maybe a three, big wing players. Evan Burns, I think he's still on the list. So is Brandon Roy."

Rodgers still hasn't made his official visit to the Arizona campus, but he has already bonded with some of the players. Three Wildcat standouts, Jason Gardner, Luke Walton and Rick Anderson, are counselors at the camp and Rodgers has spent time getting to know his future team mates.

"That definitely helps me," Rodgers says of the opportunity to hangout with the three Wildcats. "There's camaraderie. I talk to them and I'm starting to feel more comfortable around them. They're really excited to see me play, and they're looking forward to me coming out to school."

With so many high school and college going pro at an early age, it's hard for a talented hoopster not to at least think about the NBA. While Rodgers has no immediate plans to make the leap to the pro ranks he understands why many, including the three Wildcats, do take the pro route.

"It depends on your situation. If you think you're ready and the coach thinks you're ready, than I think it's an okay thing to do."

With three Wildcat starters leaving early you might think Rodgers thinks less about the program, but the opposite is true. Rodgers is even more impressed with the job that Lute Olson and his staff have done.

"It impressed me because Arizona sent so many players (to this year's draft), almost their whole lineup. Even though they faltered in rounds and what not, it's still impressive. To see their team leave like that says a lot about how they get their players ready for the pros."

Rodgers isn't yet thinking about the professional ranks. For now he is concentrating on his senior year in high school and the collegiate years to come.

"I just hope to bring great memories to the University of Arizona," said Rodgers. "I'm just going to play hard every night and give my best effort."


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