A case for Kamp

After the success that Stanford's Arizonans had against the Wildcats, many Wildcat fans were wondering why the Wildcats did not make a bigger push for Matt Haryasz and Lawrence Hill. It also led Wildcat fans to wonder if there were any other Arizona-bred players the Wildcats could keep in state. Harper Kamp is one of these players, but is he right for the system?

Hill and Haryasz combined to score 38 and grab 14 rebounds against the Wildcats on Thursday night. For the season Haryasz, a product of Page, is averaging 18.4 ppg. Hill, a true freshman from Phoenix, is scoring just under five points a game.

Arizona looked at both players, but had legitimate reasons for passing on both. When Haryasz was being recruited the Wildcats had Ricky Anderson and Luke Walton in the program and had just brought in Channing Frye, Dennis Latimore and Isaiah Fox. They seemed set in the middle for some time to come and were looking ahead to the loaded big man class of 2003.

Little did they know that Latimore would transfer, Fox would never be a factor and the only big man they'd land in 2003 was Kirk Walters. Even an insurance policy like Chris Dunn blew up in their face, when the sleeper from New Mexico failed to remain eligible.

Hill is a similar story. The Wildcats looked long and hard at Hill while also pursuing a number of other power forwards and combo-forwards. In the end the Cats decided to take Fendi Onobun and Hill went to Stanford. There was no guarantee that Hill would have chosen Arizona, but he was very interested in the Cats.

Now Arizona has their eyes on Kamp. As of now the 6-7 power from Mesa Mountain View is probably a secondary recruit for the Wildcats. They seem to have their attention focused on more high-profile guys like Gary Johnson and Alex Tyus, but in my opinion it is worth taking a long look at Kamp.

Kamp is a strong, physical power forward, the type of player that Arizona has lacked. They really haven't had a banger down low since Michael Wright and Gene Edgerson departed.

Of course, of the Wildcats have been to three Final Fours with athletic, smaller power forwards and just one (2001) with a banger. Anthony Cook, Ray Owes and Bennett Davison were the four men on the Wildcats' first three Final Fours.

Kamp was impressive at the Arizona Elite Camp and followed that up with a nice performance at the adidas camp this summer. As of now Kamp is not listing Arizona highly, but part of that is because the Wildcats have not offered. At one time the Wildcats were at the top of his list, but they have slipped a bit since they have shown more interest in other players.


He's big, strong and physical. He has a great feel for the game. He rarely makes mistakes and makes good decisions. He has a nice down low game and is a very good passer for a player his size.

As an in-state prospect, he could continue Lute Olson's stranglehold on Arizona players. Olson has not lost out on an in-state prospect that he has offered since Vegas Davis in the 1996 class.


Kamp may not be athletic enough to thrive in Arizona's system. He does not have a traditional basketball body, but is working hard with trainers to transform it. One knock is that he is not much of a leaper and has short arms. He's at his best when he is matched up against players he can bully with his strength.

Kamp is not as highly rated as guys like Gary Johnson or Alex Tyus. Both are more athletic, solid rebounders and have higher upsides. Both seem to be better fits in the Arizona system. Considering both players have the Cats among their favorites, it may not pay to make more of an effort to court Kamp.


I like Kamp and I like the idea of the Cats getting tougher on the inside. That being said, I like guys like Johnson and Tyus a little better. They have more upside and are much closer to sure things.

Kamp is more of a project, but he is very intriguing. I really like his smarts and toughness, two things that could really benefit the program. I believe it would be a mistake to completely rule out Kamp as a prospect, but at the same time I would not make him a top priority. The Cats do need to get tougher on the inside and Kamp would help accomplish that, but at the same time they need to add players who truly fit the program.

He is clearly a player to keep and eye on to see if his game has continued to improve. He needs to add more of an outside game and continue to grow. If he does this, then he can be a pretty big time prospect. If he remains smaller and purely and inside game, he will make a lesser program really happy.

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