Future Cat shines on final date of Elite Camp

The first ever Lute Olson Elite Camp is now over, and it has to be considered a huge success. The event showcased some of the West's top talent, let the incoming freshmen strut their stuff and saw some of the greats in the program's history return to Tucson.


A lot of the recruits left in the morning, before the final afternoon session. Originally the staff had scheduled an All-Star game but they ran 5-on-5 games instead.

The biggest recruit is the one who is not playing. From all indication Chase Budinger loves what he has seen and heard. The staff rolled out the red carpet and all indication seem to suggest that the Cats are in great shape.

Right now the Cats seem to be in good shape. USC and UCLA are the other two players. Each offer something different for Budinger. Brandon Jennings continues to shine. He is just so good. Great handle and a great feel for the game. He wasn't an offensive force on Saturday, but he dished out assists left and right. On defense he has some of the quickest hands you will find.

Jeff Withey is also a great prospect. He's rail thin now, but get some weight on him and he'll be great. The thing I like about him is he is not tentative down low. Too many thin, athletic bigs tend to shy away from contact. Withey may not be a banger, but he'll take a hit or two going up for the shot.

Harper Kamp is a frustrating player. He is good, but may not be able to become a high major prospect. He is strong and has a great basketball IQ. The drawback is that he is not very tall and not overly athletic. He has a good feel for the game and has a knack for making big plays. It will be very interesting to see where this guy ends up. Someone may take a flyer on him and get a pleasant surprise.

Joe Watkins is one of the older players at the camp and he played like it. He had a ton of dunks and was solid in transition. He has some work to do if he wants to solidify his offers, but he is athletic. He needs to really refine his game, especially on offense.

Jerryd Bayless had ice on his knee and did not participate. The 2007 guard stayed and watched. He spent much of the time sitting next to Andre Iguodala.

Malik Story has the stroke. The kid can shoot. He needs to get quicker and make better decisions. He's a 2008 prospect so he has a lot of time.

Drew Viney and Daniel Hackett showed ability but really did not do a whole lot. Of the two I think Viney has the better upside, but Hackett may be the better player right now.

Incoming freshmen

Marcus Williams was the best player on the floor. The swing man scored inside and out. No one could keep him out of the lane, including J.P. Prince. The only knock on Williams is that he did not give up the ball much. It is tough to blame him as he could almost score at will.

He got upset with his teammates a few times when they took bad shots, but fear not, we don't have an attitude problem here. According to one former Wildcat player, Williams is a great kid who is just too competitive. We've been told he'll be just fine in the structured game. J.P. Prince played well. He did not dominate, but was clearly the best player on his team. He and Jennings split time at the point and their white squad won the majority of the games in the final session. His shot is awkward, but he is good attacking the hoop.

Fendi Onobun had his injured finger taped up and did not play in the games. He did do some work with A.J. Bramlett. The former Wildcat showed him some things on positioning inside the paint.


The alums did not play but Bramlett, Iguodala, Richard Jefferson, Jason Stewart, Justin Wessel and Luke Walton were on hand.

Mike Bibby left right after the pick-up on Friday to return to Phoenix. Jason Terry left on Saturday morning, but not after playing at the TSPL.

Jefferson and Walton will be in town for a couple of weeks. They have their basketball camp coming up in mid-July. Jefferson indicated that he will play in a few TSPL games. Walton said he would like to, but probably won't suit up until he signs a new contract. The Lakers' forward is a restricted free agent.

Jason Gardner is recovering from a broken foot. He is cleared to play next week although he has indicated that he feels fine to play right now.

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