Wildcat recruiting looks to bright future

Just how good is the Arizona's two-man recruiting class of Chris Rodgers and Hassan Adams? Combined, in my humble opinion, Rodgers and Adams are the best two players ever from same recruiting class.

The Wildcats could add a third (or even a forth) player to this class, but that's looking more and more unlikely.

Rodgers is finishing up his high school career playing on a very average team and he's being asked to do everything to give his team an opportunity to win. And he's doing just that. In fact, in his last game, Rodgers scored 26 consecutive points, including a three-pointer at the buzzer, to send the game into overtime. Rodgers fouled out with13 seconds left but not before totaling 46 points as his Wilson HS team held on for a 78-77 victory over Madison. Wilson is 8-3 and 5-0 in the Portland Interscholastic League.

Rodgers is carrying his team on his back, doing it while playing out of position, and looking at double and triple teams every time out. Rodgers is a combo-guard, but is playing at the small forward spot for Wilson. At 6-3, Rodgers is big enough to guard the bigger wing players and quick enough to match up with the smaller point guards. So, in that respect, he might not be playing that much out of position at the three spot. However, I watch Rodgers play the point last summer, and he's a much better (and completely unselfish) player with better players around him. Rodgers sees the court so well that if he wasn't expected to carry so much of the scoring load and had some help Wilson could win the PIL title with no problem.

At Arizona, Rodgers will have the supporting cast and he'll be an impact player almost as soon as he steps on the court.

Adams had an equally good week, scoring 26 points to lead Los Angeles Westchester to a 40-point win over city rival Fairfax. But it wasn't Adams 26-point performance that impressed Lute Olson and assistant coach Jay John who had flown to LA for the game. It was Adams' defense on Fairfax wing forward Evan Burns, who had only six points in the first three quarters with Adams guarding him. Burns tallied 18 in the final period but scored all of those points while Adams took the remainder of he evening off as the game had already been decided.

I had lunch with Lute last week and there was little doubt about his evaluation of Adams. Olson told me, "If we had Hassan right now, Ricky would be more focused or he'd be fighting for his starting spot. Adams is simply a warrior. He plays hard at both ends and never lets up for a minute."

Arizona has two more scholarships to give, but it doesn't appear as if Olson wants to use either for another player from the Class of '02.

Reggie Butler is still HOPING he qualifies and gets an offer. But even if Butler makes it academically, it might not be enough. I believe the coaching staff would rather add a "big wing" from the Class '03 and let Butler go elsewhere.

While Lute was watching Adams, he was also keeping an eye on Trevor Ariza, a 6-7 wing who plays alongside Adams at Westchester. Ariza,  a Top 50 player in the Class of '03,  has Arizona on his short list. However, his family moved to LA from Florida and the Gators are considered the favorite.

Another player with Florida on his list is Kris Humphries, a 6-8 forward from Minnetonka (Hopkins), Minn. Humphries, who also lists Louisville along with Arizona among his favorites, will be at McKale Center when the Wildcats meet the Bruins on Saturday.

It's not often Florida and Arizona show up on the same player's list.Rick Rickert was the last player I can remember who visited both schools. Like Rickert, Humphries is keeping his home state school (Minnesota) on his list. We all remember what happened with Rickert.

Maybe Ariza and Humphries have better guidance!!!.

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