We met his father, a former Lute Olson player in Long Beach and he admitted he has said good things about his old coach to Quincy but is not pushing the Wildcats on his son.
DeAndre Jordan showboats for the camera.
Haven't heard of Jeremy Franklin? Don't worry. The NoCal product is a bit of an unknown, but he's silky smooth with a nice touch on the three. We'll have to see more of him to evaluate whether he's truly a big time player, but he's been to Tucson and loves the Wildcats.
Nathan Garth is only a freshman, but the point guard is intriguing. He has pretty good vision and is fearless. He made friends with Nic Wise and was picking the brains of all of the point guards in attendance.
Another impressive 2008 player was Jeffree Withey of Horizon HS in San Diego. He's very thin, but he's 6-10 and athletic. He is a decent scorer down low and showed us that he can step out and hit the mid range jumper. He will get thicker and don't be shocked if he grows and inch or two more. The Cats are on his radar screen.
Another San Diego product is Jamelle Horne of Hoover HS. He's 6-6, long and fairly strong. A 2007 wing prospect he showed a very versatile, diverse game. He's a leaper who can score, but he seemed just as happy getting his team involved. He's not listing any teams yet, but Arizona coaches have been out to see him and he loves the Cats' style of play. Not a big name yet, but he could be.
It was on odd day for Malik Story. Story could not get his shot off early in the day. He'd give up the ball but his teammates would not get it back to him. He's a great outside shooter, but no one would set a screen and forget about a drive and dish. He had to be frustrated, but did not complain or sulk. I was very impressed to see a freshman carry himself that way.
In the second game he decided to shoot more. He kept taking his man off the dribble and sticking the 17 footer. He went to the hole a few times and, of course, buried the three.
Story is a great shooter, but not the day's best. That title belongs to virtual unknown Heiden Ratner. The undersized point guard can flat out drain the three. He had some of the AAU coaches in attendance in awe as he did not miss a three. He also got his teammates involved. Right now he is boasting mid-major interest but could get some bigger school love if he can continue to improve. He's a 2007 guy, so there is time.
Georgia's Gani Lawal is long and athletic. He's a post player at the next level, but has some quickness outside. He reminds me of Maryland's Ekene Ibekwe at this stage, only more polished. Others in attendance felt he had a little Hakim Warrick in his game.
Ray Hall was on the scene. He has some nice offers, but I'm not sold. Great size and nice hands, but he's too heavy and doesn't move well. He could develop into a nice halfcourt center, but to me he's not elite.
Early in the day I heard a bit of a buzz about the Holiday brothers. Justin and Jrue are talented. The 2007 and 2008 prospects are both long and athletic. Justin, the older of the two, is bigger and maybe more advanced, but we hear some coaches think Jrue is the better prospect. His knowledge of the game surpasses his age. He did a great job knowing where to be and cutting to the hole. Their dad played at ASU, but the Devils are not on their list. Most of the Pac-10 are calling, but they admit they like Duke and Carolina as well.
Maybe our favorite guy of the day was Crenshaw's Darnell Gant. He had next to know rep coming into the camp, but should be shooting up 2007 wish lists soon. He's a legit 6-8 inside player who can run the floor and loves to pass. How athletic is this kid? We saw him get a defensive board, race past most of the opposing guards and use a behind the back pass to set up a teammate for an easy lay-up. Very active and a hard worker. He wants to get out of L.A. and that could benefit Arizona. He's getting little love right now, but that will change.
Wise, Jordan Hill and DeAndre Jordan did nothing to change my opinions of them. Wise is a solid pass first guy who is a hard worker. He may not be a star at the camp, but Wildcat fans will love is solid, steady play. Jordan does not always go hard, but when he does he's big time. Hill has work to do, but he just has so much talent. He's ahead of where Channing Frye and Kirk Walters were at this stage.