Stars Shine at Kingwood

A number of Arizona recruiting targets were in action Saturday at the Kingwood Classic in Houston. Phog.net's Eric Bossi was courtside to catch the action.

Daniel Deane - According to Deane, he is starting to get attention from Kansas. Already drawing heavy attention from the likes of the Cats, Utah, UCLA, Stanford, Gonzaga and others, Deane is a very good student and a fine basketball player. He's strong enough to bang in the post, is a skilled passer facing the hoop and can step out and shoot the three. He generated a lot of positive buzz with coaches from all across the country and his star is on the rise.

Bryce Webster - The AAU setting probably isn't the best setting for Webster. The 6-10 BF/C struggled for stretches and looked lethargic at times. He's got soft touch around the basket and is starting to tone up his body but coaches were expecting a bit more than he showed on Saturday. He's still adjusting to the pressure that comes along with being a big time recruit and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him bounce back in a big way next weekend in a more low key and local environment when he plays in the Howard Pulley Invitational in Minneapolis.

Chase Budinger - After lighting up Sin City last weekend and leading his So-Cal All-Stars to the championship game of the Las Vegas Spring Showcase, the explosive 6-7 WF was up to the same old tricks on Saturday. Other than those who had seen him before, nobody in a packed Westfield High gym expected to see him go to work the way he did. He hit deep threes, attacked off the dribble and Dooley dogged him every step of the way. An assistant for Wisconsin Fox Valley Skillz put it best when he declared that nobody in the gym was expecting Carrot Top to drive baseline and dunk on the entire New Heights team.

Spencer Hawes - There probably isn't much more Hawes could have done on Saturday. His feel for establishing position in the post and scoring with skill is almost unsurpassed. The average fan won't notice him setting up his man and sealing him off while the pass to the man who will ultimately dump it into him is in the air, but you had better believe it makes coaches drool. Of course his ability to run the court, rebound, block shots, spin to either shoulder and drain jumpers from as deep as 21 feet doesn't hurt. He denied having sliced his list to three but did acknowledge that he's set up a visit with UCLA for early June and that he'll visit Stanford sometime in May. His recruitment should extend into the Fall.

Brian Carlwell - The 6-9 (maybe even 6-10) center from Chicago didn't get a lot of touches down low but went to work on the boards and blocking shots. Unless you have seen him, it is hard to comprehend just how much he's improved in the last year. A work in progress who could end up a top 50 kid before it is all said and done.

Lance Thomas - He's grown to a legit 6-8, has seriously improved his ball handling and passing and still gets after it as hard as anybody in the country. In fact he creates and handles well enough from the perimeter that it is safe to consider him a pure WF (rather than a combo) at this point. However, his jumper still needs a lot of help and we're talking a complete overhaul.

Derrick Rose - Based on a fairly limited viewing late Saturday evening, the 6-3 PG from Chicago is a potentially special player. Since December he's significantly improved his ball handling, decision making and most importantly his shooting. He was cashing home threes from all angles and loves to shoot pull up floaters from the wing and isn't afraid to kiss them off the glass. Super prospect from the class of 2007.

Cole Aldrich - Save for a few parents, some tired scorekeepers and a sleepy eyed Joe Dooley, not many folks got to see the 6-10 BF go to work late Saturday/earl Sunday. He's a physical force underneath the basket, rebounds, scores and does all of the little things. Like Spencer Hawes he scores a pass or two before he receives the ball. Bill Walton would love watching this guy play because he throws beautiful, crisp outlet passes. The class of 2007 standout won't lack for attention from all of the big schools.


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