Las Vegas 2007 evals

Arizona is still wrapping up their 2006 recruiting class but that does not mean they aren't well on their way to working on their 2007 class. The class is loaded with top talent, a lot of who love the Wildcats. A look a those top 2007 players that I saw in Las Vegas.

Jerryd Bayless may not be No. 1 on the Wildcats' wish list, but he is no worse than 1A. At least one coach was at every one of his games at the Big Time. Lute Olson rarely loses out on an in-state product and he and the staff are trying to ensure that it does not happen now.

Bayless is an explosive combo-guard. He is not a pure point guard, but can run the show. He is a great scorer with unbelievable athleticism and explosiveness. He's a solid shooter and showed in Vegas that he is a terrific competitor.

As of now the Cats and Texas seem to lead, but schools like Duke, UNC and Kansas are among those who are also involved. Bayless plans on letting his recruitment move forward, but the Wildcats are trying to convince him that an early pledge is the way to go.

Kevin Love is another seemingly vital target for the Wildcats. He played alongside top 2006 target Chase Budinger and that allowed Olson to be at every one of his games in Las Vegas.

Love is a very skilled big man with a wide body and soft hands. He has great footwork and terrific moves in the post. He can also stroke it from the outside and works the boards. He had a knee injury this past season and is still carrying a little too much weight, which has caused him to lose a little of the quickness he showed last summer.

Love is listing Arizona and North Carolina as his co-leaders, but Duke, Washington and UCLA are among the other teams he is considering.

Right up there with Bayless and Love is Houston's Gary Johnson. Johnson is a 6-7 combo forward in the mold of Shawn Marion. He is athletic, yet strong. He is a warrior in the middle, but athletic enough to go outside.

He plays on the Houston Hoops and is getting an earful from future Cat Nic Wise about how good Arizona would be for him. He likes the Wildcats and North Carolina. Texas is involved and Duke is making a sudden push for him.

Expect the Cats to go hard after Jamelle Horne. The wing from San Diego is really starting to make a name for himself. He's long, athletic and versatile. He is a great passer and hits the glass really hard. He's an adept scorer and has the potential to be a great defender. He played his best with the Wildcat coaches in attendance and it looks like he will be an elite West Coaster.

Arizona and Georgia Tech lead, but Horne admits he'd like to hear more from North Carolina.

Anthony Randolph is coming on strong. He did not play last season while living in Arkansas, but is moving back to Southern California and has already served notice at various summer camps that he will be one of the top big men on the West Coast.

He's a legit 6-10 and very mobile. He needs to add weight and better learn the game. He's very raw, but plays hard with the ball in his hands and can be an intimidating presence in the middle. Right now he is wide open.

Fairfax's Chase Stanback has the size and length you want from a wing. He plays second and third fiddle on his high school team, but he is a guy the Cats will seemingly be keeping and eye on. He has a ton of upside and looks like he can score.

Daniel Hackett is an intriguing prospect. He had an outstanding ABDC camp but gets a bit lost in the shuffle with the loaded So Cal All-Stars. He is a tough, aggressive combo-guard who has some versatility to his game. He's a tough player who is not afraid to mix it up a bit and hit the glass. He likes Pac-10 teams, plus Syracuse and a few others. James Harden a long, athletic wing who shows a lot of upside. Harden is skilled and has the potential to be a top tier recruit, but he is not there yet.

Darquavis Tucker and Eric Wallace are both listing the Cats. The coaches were on hand to watch them play and both appear to be pretty solid recruits. Both are athletic and can do some thing. Tucker is from Michigan and Wallace from North Carolina and it will be interesting to see if they were willing to come out west.

From out vantage point it appeared as if the Cats were all over Alex Tyus. Tyus is an athletic, rangy power forward who reminds us a little bit of Lance Thomas. Tyus has a laundry list of schools with the Cats in the mix.

Arizona is probably on the outside looking in on Eric Gordon. He slightly favors Illinois at this point and admitted that the Wildcats need to make up ground.

Darnell Gant is very intriguing. He's a long, springy forward who could develop into a tremendous player down the line. He only played JV ball a year ago and may now be an elite prospect. He's still raw but is a tremendous leaper who gets better every time I see him play. He played a great game when I watched him in Vegas and Josh Pastner was on hand. Arizona is one of several in the mix. Again UNC is on his list, but they have not been in contact. He is also listing Washington and UCLA.

DeAndre Jordan is another athletic big man. We liked what we saw from him at the Pangos Camp in June but the one time we went to see him in Vegas he was on the bench a lot with foul trouble. He's another upside guy, but needs to learn to go hard all the time.

Alex Jacobson did not see the floor much in the game we watched. His Pump N Run team went with older players. Jacobson is a legit seven footer with a ton of potential. He's not overly athletic, but has some skill. He looked good at the Arizona Elite Camp and is a player the Cats will really keep an eye on.

Senario Hillman likes the Wildcats. He's an Atlanta area combo guard who is a little like Bayless. Bayless is the superior player at this stage, but Hillman has the skills to be a big time prospect. Interestingly enough Arizona is the only non-Southern team on his list. He also likes Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and North Carolina.

He may not have an ideal build, but Harper Kamp is turning heads. He's a physical, tough inside player who has a great feel for the game. He's not the most athletic player but he gets the job done. He's working with a trainer to get leaner and more explosive and if that works he could develop into a big time player.

I liked Jeremy Franklin at Pangos and I am still intrigued with him. He's a very smooth, fluid player who is still developing. I did not see a ton of him in Vegas and that is a concern. I watched parts of three games and he was only a part time player. That's not totally a knock on Franklin as his Oakland Soldiers team is loaded. I would like to have seen him play in crunch time more to see what he is made up of.

Taylor King slipped in my eyes. He shot poorly in Vegas and I have questions about his athleticism. He works his tail off and hits the glass. When he is on he can really stroke it, but he has to show he can score off the dribble more consistently. I'd also like to see if he can guard smaller quicker players on the wing.

King is a high major prospect. To me he is a combo forward, but he seems to be intent on playing the three. He can do a lot of good things. Carolina, Arizona, UConn, Villanova and Gonzaga lead at this point.

Drew Viney can stroke it. The Villa Park wing has a good head for the game and is a hard worker. He's not the most athletic player in the wing and that is a concern, but he looks like he can be pretty good down the line.

There are two undersized point guards in the class who are pretty darn good. I am not shire if the Wildcats will pursue Jai Lucas and Isaiah Thomas but they will be very nice players. Lucas plays just like his older brother, former Oklahoma State standout John Lucas. The younger Lucas is quick and has an amazing floater.

Thomas is probably in the range of 5-8, but he is not afraid to take it strong against the big boys. He has a decent jumper and a nice fell for the game.

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