Chicago Predraft camp: Day Three

Ndudi Ebi exhibited his talents in an open workout today for NBA scouts and media in Chicago. By most accounts, the workout boosted the stock of the talented 6-9 high school senior from Houston (Westbury Christian), Tex.<BR> Luke Walton, Jason Gardner and Rick Anderson all had good days as well.

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Ebi worked out with another high school sensation, Charlie Villanueva, a 6-10 forward from Blairstown (Blair Academy), NJ. Ebi and Villanueva are both projected as first round picks in the upcoming NBA draft.

"I heard the workout went very well," Arizona assistant coach Josh Pastner said. "I wasn't there but those that were said (Ebi) had a very good workout."

Pastner also went on to say that Ebi paid his own way, has not hired an agent and is still eligible to go through the draft before making a choice between the NBA and college. Of course, Pastner and the UA coaching staff is hoping Ebi withdraws his name prior the June 19th draft.

"It'll probably be June 18th before know anything," Pastner said. "Right now everything is up in the air."

According to Pastner, the three Arizona players in attendance also boosted their stock during workouts yesterday and today. "Luke Walton was great," Pastner said. "He was the best player in the camp. He hit some threes and had a bunch of assists."

Jason Gardner, who many suspect will be left standing on the sidelines on draft day, played well and may have put himself in a position for a late second round pick.

"Jason played well in drills today," Pastner said. "He had some turnovers last night, but he picked it up today and played well."

Rick Anderson, who has been somewhat of the lost sheep among the three Wildcat players, is hitting the outside shot better than ever and looking forward to big day tomorrow.

"Things are looking pretty good," Anderson said from his hotel room just before retiring for the night. "I just need to get some rest and do some damage tomorrow and then we'll wait and see what happens. But I do think I've played pretty good here so I'm hoping for the best."

Day Two

Day two of the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp proved to be another great exhibition of basketball from the University of Arizona's big three: Luke Walton, Jason Gardner and Rick Anderson.

Each of them has grabbed the attention of numerous NBA scouts with their play during the first couple of days, and Wildcat assistant basketball coach Josh Pastner was there to take in the action.

"These guys are getting a great opportunity to showcase their skills and with that, all three have helped themselves," Pastner said. "A couple of teams talked to me and it's evident that each (player) has played well enough that their stock has risen."

Walton has been especially impressive during this camp, and almost recorded a triple-double on Wednesday.

"Luke played really, really well. He was the best player on the floor during his games," Pastner said.

Another Wildcat on his team was Anderson. He too has played some inspired basketball. He hit a big three pointer and executed a couple of nice spin moves on the baseline.

In a camp rich with one and two guards, Gardner continued his defensive assault on the opposition and added a few offensive moves to the mix.

"Jason looked really good again tonight," Pastner commented. "He played great defense and had a couple of steals. He also showed some great step-back moves while shooting the ball.

Another invitee who made news on the second day was UA basketball signee Ndubi Ebi. Rumors swirled about a workout put on by agent Dan Fegan, that would feature Charlie Villanueva and Ebi. However, in a phone interview, Ebi denied he was ever involved, "It's not true. I'm totally neutral in all of this."

He has not participated in either day of the camp.

Day 1

Marty Blake, NBA director of scouting, has called this year's Chicago Pre-Draft Camp possibly the greatest collection of college players ever assembled for the event.

For Luke Walton, Jason Gardner, and Rick Anderson it is the best opportunity for them to showcase themselves against talent from across the nation and world.

University of Arizona assistant coach Josh Pastner was at the camp and gave some insight into what he saw and heard about the three players he coached and a few of the others who attended day one.

"I think each of them did a nice job," Pastner said. "Overall no one really stood out in the camp itself, but I talked to some people and they all said that these three definitely helped out their stock.

"Luke (Walton) did a real nice job. His passing ability was the best in the camp and a lot of guys weren't even ready for his passes. A lot of people were impressed with his ability.

"Rick (Anderson) shot well from the field. While he didn't get a lot of looks, the ones he took were good shots. And Jason (Gardner) defended really, really well. He was picking up guys at halfcourt and played great defense the entire time. Jason also did a great job of controlling the tempo for his team."

One individual who was invited, but did not attend the camp was UA signee Ndubi Ebi. He was one of a handful of high school invites including James Lang, Travis Outlaw, Charlie Villanueva and Kendrick Perkins. One possible reason for Ebi's absence is to protect his collegiate eligibility.

All invited high school players can attend the camp for free during the first 48 hours. After that, they must reimburse the NBA for the rest of the camp if they want to remain eligible to play college basketball.

This was day one of the four-day camp with an emphasis placed on players performing to make a difference. UA's three did that today and will be tested again tomorrow. More pre-draft updates to be posted in the following days.

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