Two big men attracting a lot of attention are Lorenzo Mata and Robert Rothbart. Mata, a 6-10 center from South Gate (HS), Calif., has great size and is quickly establishing himself as one of the fastest rising players in the class. Wildcat coaches followed Mata all over the ABCD Camp and we've been told that Rodney Tention was keeping an eye on him at the Full Court Press All-West Camp.
Mata is a banger who likes to mix it up, and in a class where size is at a premium. He is quickly making a name for himself. We've heard that grades are a bit of a concern, but that his academics are not so bad that he'll have to go the JC or prep school route.
"I really don't know what my list will be," Mata told the Insider's Tracey Pierson. "It probably will change with other schools recruiting me,"
Rothbart has the height and his athleticism is nice. He's still very raw but is apparently a gym rat and very coachable. It wouldn't surprise me if the Wildcats start to move on the seven-footer. Lute Olson and Josh Pastner caught a few of his games at Nike and he's been a big surprise to many.
According to the Insiders' Greg Hicks a number of young players looked good including Alaska's Mario Chalmers, California's Jonathan Gibson and Arizona's Lawrence Hill, plus a load of sophomores and even a couple of freshmen.
A guard who loves Arizona but may not be in their plans is Andre McGee of Moreno Valley, CA. He tore up ABCD from a scoring standpoint, hitting a mind-boggling 73 percent of his three-point shots. McGee has made a name for himself, but has yet to prove that he is a top-tier college point guard. As of now he's an undersized scorer. He's only 5-10 and is well suited to the free-wheeling style of play seen at camps like ABCD. It remains to be seen if he can do the same things against older, structured players in college. If he can, then watch out!
We've been told that he loves the guard tradition at Arizona, but that as of now the team is not looking for a point guard in the '05 class. The coaches told Nic Wise that a pure point guard would not be added in either this class or the next.
The Cats do hope to add a combo-guard. LA's Gabriel Pruitt has been playing very well, but he's long been rumored to be a USC lean. In fact at ABCD he played with Swift who committed to the Trojans a few months back. Expect the guard from Westchester High School to climb the charts, but it remains to be seen if Arizona gets in the mix.
Josh Shipp impressed people at the Nike Camp, but as of now Arizona's interest is low. Shipp is leaning big time to Stanford.
Talk about this on the Cats' Lair MESSAGE BOARDSRelated stories that contributed to the information in this story:
Greg Hicks runs down the LA camps.
Tracey Pierson discusses the West Coast talent at ABCD.
Doug Carr discusses California players at Nike.