2006 Focus: Chase Budinger

Chase Budinger, a 6-6 sophomore small forward from Encinitas (Calif.), impressed a number of coaches this past weekend in Las Vegas. We spoke with Budinger and got some early thoughts on his recruitment...

Chase Budinger, 6-6 SO SF Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon, isn't great at any one aspect of the game, but he's very good in just about all areas.

He shoots it very well with range, but he can also do damage around the basket. He's got very good instincts, plays unselfishly and finds open teammates. He's also a solid defender and rebounder.

We spoke with Budinger in Las Vegas last weekend and asked him which schools have been showing the most interest so far.

"Utah, and my sister's school -- USF -- have also been interested."

We noted that all of the schools are in the west and Budinger said, "I haven't heard much from the East Coast schools yet -- I didn't play in any big tournaments last year."

Budinger listed some of the issues that will be important to him in choosing a school.

"The education will be important," said Budinger. "Then how I fit in with the team and style of play -- I like to play in a system where they run and shoot."

We asked Budinger if he thought he'd make an early decision and he replied, "I'm going to take my time. I don't want to rush into anything."

Budinger is also an elite prospect in volleyball. We asked him if he's decided about his future in the two sports. "I'm undecided," Budinger said. "I'm not sure what I'll do in college."

We asked Budinger if he planned on taking any unofficial visits.

"I went to UCLA during the season," said Budinger. "I want to get out to Arizona, but I haven't made it out there yet."

Budinger told us that he's doing well academically and will have no trouble qualifying.

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: The Cats are more worried about 2005 than 2006, but that doesn't mean you can't look ahead. The Cats will more than likely need a wing for the '06 class and if Budinger is as good as advertised, then the Cats will want to stay in on this SoCal hoopster.

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