Letter-of-Intent Siging Day

National Letter-of-Intent signing day has arrived and the nation's college basketball coaches are sitting anxiously by their FAX machines hoping the players that made those "verbal" commitments follow through by signing the contract that binds them to their respective school. Arizona is expecting two letters.

Chris Rodgers, a 6-3 combo-guard from Portland (Woodrow Wilson), Ore., gave the Wildcats a verbal way back in June and has not shown any indications that he would wavier from that commitment. In fact, Rodgers is scheduled to take his official campus visit the weekend of Dec. 1 when Arizona meets the Kansas Jayhawks in a non-conference game at McKale Center. He scheduled the visit so he could watch his buddie Aaron Miles who will play for KU. Miles and Rodgers were cross-town rivals in Portland but played on the same summer AAU team. Miles played at Jefferson High.

 "He is a real competitive kid," said assistant coach Rodney Tention, who was Rodgers' lead recruiter.  "I really feel like he's looking forward to playing with guys like Salim (Stoudamire), Luke (Walton) and Rick
(Anderson).  He is very excited about coming here."

Rodgers, like so many of the current Wildcat players, is capable of playing a variety of positions on the floor. He's strong, quick, and agile and has very good footwork. But most of all, Rodgers is a smart player. His ability to score points in bunches makes him a natural two-guard. He has the strength and ball handling ability to get into the lane and score while maintaining the vision to find the open man if he's covered. He can also nail the three-pointer if his defender plays off him. Rodgers is also big enough and strong enough to slide over and play the small forward spot where he would guard bigger and more athletic wing players. His court vision and ability to get the ball to his teammates along with his great foot speed allow him to guard the smaller and quicker point guards and play the lead guard position.

"Chris (Rodgers) played point all summer, but in high school he played the wing," said Olson. "For Chris this summer, it was great that he played the point at Nike (Camp) and for his AAU team, but in high school situation, he plays the wing."

Hassan Adams, a 6-4 two-guard from Los Angeles (Westchester), Calif., became the second player to verbally commit to Arizona on Oct. 30. Adams made campus visits to Kansas, Oregon, Arizona and Cal before selecting the Wildcats. He also considered UCLA.

Adams is best described as a "Warrior" on the court. He's relentless in his pursuit to win.

 "Hassan really felt comfortable here," said assistant coach Jay John, Adams' lead recruiter.  "He felt that he would get the most of his potential here at the U of A."

Like Rodgers, Adams has great foot speed and realizes he has to play the game at both ends of the court to be successful. He's not a great outside shooter, but a scorer who can take over a game and carry his team on his back. His shot is good enough to keep defenders honest, but more often than not he uses his strength to get into the lane and score. He's also a very good rebounder for a perimeter player and gets a lot of his points as a garbage man cleaning up the offensive glass.

"Hassan is a wing in our system," said Lute Olson. "He's a player that can guard anybody. He'll be one of the best defensive players we've had come in here since Reggie Geary, and he has Reggie's athleticism and is a better perimeter shooter."

All in all, Rodgers and Adams possess great work ethic. Although the guard spots might appear to be a bit crowed, neither will have difficulty finding playing time when they arrive on campus next fall.


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