Top talent slated for Elite Camp

Last year the Lute Olson Advanced Skill & Development Camp was a rousing success. Three players who attended wound up giving verbal commitments (though one has since recanted) and several others put the Wildcats higher on their list. It was also the coming out party for incoming freshman Marcus Williams. This time around there will be more elite recruits as well as the three incoming signees.

Although the camp itself is closed to the public, there will be an open pick-up session around 5:30 on Friday where many of the campers as well as former Wildcat players who will be assisting in the camp. Last year it was a chance to see Marcus Williams strut his stuff against wings like Andre Iguodala, Richard Jefferson and Luke Walton.

This year a number of top talents will be on hand.


All three signees will be on hand. Last year Chase Budinger attended the camp but could not participate due to a broken wrist. This year the athletic wing will get his chance to impress the Wildcat faithful as well as actually be able to participate in the camp. Budinger comes into Arizona with a little more hype than Williams a year ago, but like Williams, this could be his coming out party.

No player has been committed as long as Nic Wise. Now the point guard gets a chance to face off against some of the top point guards in school history. Wise has been a great recruiter for the Wildcats and you can bet he'll be hyping the virtues of the program this weekend.

Jordan Hill is the final piece of the recruiting class. The big man has been getting rave reviews from those who have seen him play recently in pick-up games. The athletic big man will get some good instruction from the coaches and pros at the camp which could give him a jumpstart on next season.

Last year Alex Jacobson came to the camp and committed a few days later. Now he returns to the camp as a Wildcat and has a chance to further improve his game. He and 2008 prospect Jeff Withey had some great battles a year ago, and will have a chance to resume them this year.

Jamelle Horne has been a fast riser in the 2007 class and will now have a chance to take on older players. He and Budinger have had their share of battles in the San Diego area and now he can take on all comers. It will be very interesting to see how the senior-to-be handles himself against older competition, as well as elite prep players.


No player has more pressure on him than Zane Johnson. Johnson believes that a really good performance could lead to a scholarship offer. Johnson has intimated that if he receives an offer a commitment could follow. Johnson is a tall wing who can flat out stroke the ball. He needs to prove he is more than a shooter. If he can show that he can create his own shot, play some defense and hit the boards, then the Cats may have their latest commitment.

Luke Babbitt is elite. The 2008 power forward is a mobile, yet tough big man who can stroke it from the outside. One of the best players in his class Babbitt has Arizona among his top schools and will now get a long look at Tucson.

Like Johnson, Kamyron Brown is also trying to solidify an offer from the Wildcats. The coaching staff is well familiar with the Mater Dei product as he is also the cousin of assistant coach Miles Simon. With Jerryd Bayless no longer committed, Brown has a chance to show that he's the type of scoring guard the Cats want to add to the class.

Jeff Withey attended the camp a year ago and liked what he saw. He's long had the Cats among his top schools and has fellow San Diegan and EBO standout Horne in his ear. He will get a chance to show the Wildcat coaches how much he has improved since he was in town last June.

A second elite 2008 big man will be on hand. Andy Poling, a 6-11 prospect from Oregon, will be on hand to get his first look at Tucson. Poling and Withey are the West's top two centers right now and either guy would be a huge boost to the Wildcat front line in a couple of seasons.

Shooting guard Elston Turner is a big, strong wing with excellent skills. He is an excellent outside shooter and has the make-up to be an elite player by the time 2008 rolls around. The camp will give him a chance to prove he is more than just a player with a load of potential.

Laval Lucas-Perry has recently made a name for himself and the Michigan product is expected to be in Tucson to further bolster his reputation. Lucas-Perry is a true combo guard who can run an offense and can score from the wing. He's another player who will get a long look thanks to Bayless' decommitment.

Tommie Mason-Griffin is a Houston Hoops player who was very impressive at the Cactus Classic. A 2009 prospect, Griffin is built more like a linebacker than a guard. Make no mistake, Griffin is a streak shooter who can also do some damage when driving the lane. A player to keep an eye on over the next few years.

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