Cactus Classic Evals

The Arizona Cactus Classic is over but the evaluations have just begun. It is time to take a look at the top performers at the tournament.

James Harden The wing player was the MVP of the event. He averaged over 18 points a game and showed off a game that has improved dramatically since last summer. I first saw Harden at the Pangos Camp a year ago and instantly became intrigued with him. Now I am more than intrigued. I really like what I see from the Los Angeles product and it is obvious to see why he now holds an Arizona offer.

Jamelle HorneI first saw Horne at the same Pangos Camp last June. As much as I liked Harden's game a year ago, I liked Horne even more. Like Harden, Horne has improved his game in the last year. He's grown at least two inches and lost none of the spring and explosiveness. He's an effective scorer, although his shot needs some fine tuning. He's aggressive on the boards and likes to get his teammates involved. At times he tries to do too much but other than that the sky is the limit.

Jrue Holiday Holiday is good. There is no other way to put it. His body is very advanced for a sophomore. The kid is strong, but athletic. He's got great elevation on his jump shot, and can distribute the ball. When it is all said and done Holiday will be at top-25 player in the class of 2008.

Larry Drew, Brandon Jennings, Jerime Anderson Let the debate begin. These three are currently the best point guards on the West Coast for the 2008 class. It is hard to decide who is best, I guess it depends on what type of point guard you like. The best scorer of the bunch is Jennings. He knows how to fill it up, but needs to get better at making his teammates better. He can distribute the ball but does not always make the best play.

Drew is probably the best passer. When he brings the ball up the floor his eyes are constantly moving, scanning the floor for the pass. He is not a great scorer yet, but makes his teammates better. The biggest knock on drew is his lack of size. He's probably a hair under six-foot, but can get into the lane and do some things.

Anderson is probably the third best of the three, but that in no way should be seen as a knock. He's got nice size and length and can clearly run an offense. He may not get the hype of the other two, but he's going to be a really nice college player.

Luke Babbitt All I can say is ‘wow'. This was my first introduction to the Reno forward and he more than lived up to the hype. He's tall, strong and can flat out stroke the ball. He's not afraid to mix it up inside, but may be at his best when firing from the outside. He has a pure jumper that would make the smallest of two guards jealous.

Babbitt can more than hold his own inside. He's got strength and can operate on the low blocks. He does not have a full arsenal of back to the basket post moves, but can score when he gets the ball down low.

Gary Johnson Johnson did not have his best weekend, but he was still very good. He faced a series of double teams and by the end of the tournament he was looking a bit run down. That being said, Johnson has a great mix of strength and athleticism. He was stronger than anyone he faced all weekend, but has the quickness to guard guys out on the perimeter.

Alex Jacobson It was a rough weekend for the Wildcat commit. He was saddled with foul trouble and never really got into the flow of the game. The nature of AAU ball does not favor low post big men like Jacobson. The fact is, Jacobson was not recruited for what he can do now or even a year from now. Jacobson has an Arizona scholarship offer for what he may be able to do two or three years from now. He is a legit seven footer and has a nice build. He moves well enough, but has a lot of work to do. He has to improve his footwork and develop more offensive moves. He shows flashes with his offense, primarily a jump hook and a nice spin move off the block. He gets his hands on a lot of shots, but does not alter as many as a kid his height should.

Travis Wear, David Wear The Wear twins are not about what they can do now, but what they will be in two years. Just freshmen in high school the two are all about upside. They are at least 6-9, can run the floor and have offensive skills. They don't always finish, but both possess a really nice stroke as well as the ability to put the ball on the floor. They also have a nice feel for the game. By their senior year I'd be stunned if they were not top-15 players.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories