Arizona Elite Camp: Day 1 Evals

The Arizona Elite Camp is playing host to a number of talented West Coast players. The first session was not that long but it gave us a chance to check out the recruits on hand.

Chase Budinger may have broken his hand last weekend, but he is on campus for the camp. He is limited to observing and taking jumpshots, but he is getting a good feel for the campus and the program.

Expect the Cats to make the hard push for a commitment. While it may or may not come this weekend, we are hearing that Budinger is an Arizona lean at this point.

Budinger may be the biggest name in attendance on Thursday night, but his AAU teammate Brandon Jennings is right there. Jennings, a 2008 point guard recruit, has made a name for himself the past few weeks. He was the talk of the NBA Players Camp and may be the talk of this camp. He is an amazing athlete. Only 5-10, he is fast, agile and can flat handle the rock. The lefty has a soft jumper and can get up for rebounds.

Expect him to be a top-20 play in 2008 if he continues to improve. Apparently he likes the program a lot as well.

Another 2008 standout is center Jeff Withey. The San Diego standout is about 6-10 and is athletic. He's rail thin and needs muscle, but he has a soft touch and can move up and down the floor. He too should be an elite prospect in the years to come.

Alex Jacobson is the other big time center at the camp. He's a legit seven-footer. He lacks the athleticism that Withey has, but he's more physically mature and should be a better physical presence down low. He attends Mater Dei high school, the alma mater of Wildcat assistant Reggie Geary and former Cat Miles Simon.

James Harden was a guy who was impressive at the Pangos Camp a few weeks ago and he looked good Thursday night. He's long and athletic, a guy to keep an eye on.

Malik Story is Harden's high school teammate at Artesia High School in Southern California. Story is a terrific shooter and has a mature body. The only real question is his quickness and athleticism.

Drew Viney bears a slight facial resemblance to Luke Walton, but that is where the resemblance ends. He's a long, athletic wing with a decent shot. This is my first exposure to him in person and he has some game.

Daniel Hackett played well. He is just an all around solid player, though I don't see him being elite.

Harper Kamp reminded me a little bit of Wildcat reserve Bret Brielmaier. He's got a similar build and puts forth a similar effort. He plays smart and plays hard. He is not as athletic as you would like and that may keep him from getting elite-level offers.

Joe Watkins is a friend of J.P. Prince from Memphis but may be headed to the Grand Canyon State. His mother lives in Phoenix and he is considering a move out there. He is a good looking forward and like the UA, but in my opinion he isn't good enough to get an Arizona offer. He is a solid three-star player and should play somewhere.

Damar DeRozan arrived late but the 2007 wing has some talent and is a guy I will take a long look at on Friday.

Also arriving late was Percy Miller. That name sound familiar? It should, his father is also named Percy Miller. You may know him better as Hip-Hop performer/mogul Master P. The younger Miller has a successful recording career under the name Lil Romeo.

Phoenix point guard Jerryd Bayless was not on hand on Thursday but is slated to arrive on Friday. He and Jennings went at it at the NBA camp and that may be the premier battle to watch if they meet again.

Bayless is coming in the midst of a grueling stretch. He attended the Nike skills camp and then went straight to the NBPA Camp. He will play in Tucson on Saturday and Sunday then head off to Indianapolis for the Nike All-American Camp. After a one-day break he will then hit the road again with the Arizona Magic.


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