Brett Hoerner hearing from big-time programs

Brett Hoerner is intriguing. He's got great size and length, but hasn't quite put everything together. He has all the skills to be an elite big man, but really needs to add strength. The Wildcats have been out to see him play and he should be on the short list for the Wildcats as they look for a big man.

Brett Hoerner is a long, lean center prospect. He's a good athlete and moves very well for someone in the 6-10 range. He is still very thin and needs to refine his game a bit, but he looks to be a legitimate big time post player.

He isn't as aggressive as you'd like to see, but he clearly plays within himself. He rebounds well and is a terrific shot blocker. He has a nice face-up game, but needs to work on his post game a bit.

The biggest knock on him is his strength. Hoerner is very lean and needs to add a lot of strength, but he's well aware of this.

"Basically just my strength," Hoerner said of the things he needs to improve. "I'm getting in the weight room, trying to get myself bigger." Hoerner does not have any big time offers, but is hearing from many of the nation's top programs. He has a top five of Washington, Louisville, North Carolina, UCLA and Arizona, with the Huskies showing the most interest.

"I get a lot of calls," Hoerner said of the Husky staff. "Their assistant coach has been calling my coach and has me call him back. He'll be coming down to see me play next week, to see me practice. They've been down there a couple times. They saw me play last weekend."

Although he was very quick to rattle off a top-five, Hoerner is still open. If other teams start to show interest, then they have a great shot at getting his attention.

"I'm still pretty open," he said of the chance of new schools getting involved.

Right now he's waiting for the recruiting picture to clear up. He has no timetable and is just going to see how things play out as the summer progresses.

"It doesn't really matter to me," he said of making an early decision. "I'm pretty much open for anything."

Hoerner had a couple of nice weekends in Las Vegas. His Belmont Shore team won the Las Vegas Easter Classic two weeks ago and were in the semi-finals of the Las Vegas Spring Showcase. He played well alongside big time forward Jamal Boykin, knowing when to defer to the more advance power forward.

One concern was his failure to take over games. With his height he was frequently the tallest player on the court, but was almost too eager to defer to Boykin or high-flying wing Seketoure Henry. He maintained a strong inside presence on defense, but you'd like him to exert himself a little bit more on the offensive end.

Talking to Hoerner you get the feeling that he isn't as immersed in the game as many young players are. You can tell he loves to play the game, but isn't wrapped up in the reputations of players or programs. When asked about the competition in Southern California, he instantly points to a teammate as the most impressive player he' seen.

"Jamal (Boykin), he's the best player I've played with by far," Hoerner said. "There's been a lot of good players, I don't really know the names. I just go out there and play."

He sort of has the same attitude when it comes to his recruitment. While many players love to drop the names of the assistants recruiting them or the players they like in the program, Hoerner is more concerned with the name on the front of the jerseys.

He like Arizona, but didn't seem to know tons about anyone except the big man who heads up the program.

"I watched a couple of games," Hoerner said of his knowledge of the Wildcats. "One of the assistants have been out to see me play. I think Lute Olson is a great coach."

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: It sure sounds like the Cats have an interest in Hoerner. He may not be the top choice in the class, but he has a lot of upside. His athleticism is very impressive and he can certainly get stronger. On college coach I spoke with loves his upside, pointing out that he's more athletic that other West Coast bigs like Brayden Bell.

It remains to be seen if the Cats will offer, but you can bet the coaches will be following him around during the next few weekends to see if he's "Arizona good".

Photos by Carl F. Shifflette

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