The Wildcats are still in good shape to land a point guard, and not just any point, even if Ubaka does announce for Cal. Mustafa Shakur told me he would take two visits before making a decision. The two: Arizona and North Carolina State. He said he might take more official campus visits, but if the situation was right he would not.
Gary Ervin is also a possibility to fill the point guard position. Ervin is playing in Orlando and, according our reporter there, he's having a great tournament. Ervin will go from Orlando to the Five Star Camp, while Shakur will home when he leaves Las Vegas.
Arizona will continue to pursue David Padgett. In fact, Rodney Tention will travel to Venezuela on Saturday to watch Padgett play in the Junior World Championships. I guess you have to protect you interests. North Carolina and Kansas will also send representatives from its staff. Padgett is favoring Kansas slightly over Stanford. Arizona is a distant third.
Brian Butch, if he weren't suffering from back spasms, is by far the best big man I've seen this summer. Butch is a true 7-footer that can post up and use his quickness in the post or step out and hit the jumper. He can also put the ball on the floor and create.
Butch is probably a little more comfortable facing the basket, but he has great footwork and some nifty back-to-the-basket moves.
Butch probably has Wisconsin slightly ahead of Arizona with North Carolina a close third and Kansas hoping to rally with an on-campus visit.
Arizona needs a big man from this class and for that reason Coach Lute Olson has been seen evaluating a number of big man prospects while at the Big Time Tournament. It's too early to make any comments on their interests, but you can add these players to the Wildcat list:
Kirk Walters, a 6-10 center from Grand Rapids (South Christian), Mich.
Walters is raw talent. He has great hands, is athletic and good jumper (he a high jumper on his high school team), and he runs the floor like a guard. Walters needs to put on some bulk and learn how to play better in the post, but he has a tremendous up side. Most of the midwestern mid-majors have offered. It will be interesting to see if Walters would want to stray far from home and play for a school out west, regardless of that school's reputation.
Kyle Visser, 6-10 center from North Muskegon (HS), Mich.
Visser is in the same mold as Walters, talented but somewhat of a project. Visser is a little stronger on the glass, but Walters has better hands. Both can hit the mid-range jumper. Visser has taken a visit to San Diego State and lists Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan as his schools.
Arizona also took a look at Michael Rembert, a 6-8 power forward from Chicago (Shirita), Ill., but Rembert did nothing to set himself apart from the rest of the big men here. Rembert's team, the Illinois Celtics, was eliminated by the New Orleans Jazz last night and he will not get a second look.
The "Game of the Day" on Wednesday was the New Orleans Jazz vs. Illinois Celtics. The Celtics had a comfortable lead and could have won the game in regulation if their coach, Boston Celtic forward Antione Walker, hadn't been called for a technical. The two made free throws by the Jazz and a missed free throw by the Celtic's junior guard Shelby Jordan with: 28 left sent the game into overtime tied at 83.
The Jazz finally won 113-104 in four overtimes.
The Jazz were led by Glen Davis, a 6-7 behemoth from Baton Rouge (Southern Lab), La. I didn't' get the final statistics, but Davis must of had 20 rebounds. At 300-plus pounds, the Celtics just didn't have anyone who keep him off the glass and in the end Davis just wore them out.
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E-mail Doug Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org