Wildcat Wish List

Arizona's 2008 wish list is really taking shape. The Cats have seemingly identified their needs and identified their favorite players to fill those needs. Here is a look at the top of their wish list.

With the spring recruiting circuit just a few weeks old, there are still a lot of players to see and a lot of time for guys to emerge. Right now the Cats want to sign a point guard, a wing and two big men. The following players are their top prospects at each spot.

Point Guard Right now the Cats are making a serious run at two point guards, Brandon Jennings and Larry Drew. Although others are still being considered, these are the top two.

Interestingly enough, the two are completely different players.

Jennings is clearly a score-first point guard. Although he can get teammates involved, that is not his strength. He may very well be the fastest player in the class and can score from a wide variety of spots on the floor.

He's still listing Arizona, USC and UConn but all indications are that Kentucky and Kansas are slowly climbing into the picture.

Jennings had a great Kingwood Classic. Scout.com's Dave Telep has anointed him the top PG of the class. Although he has been a mainstay of the SoCal All-Stars, there is a rumor floating around that he could play for the Oakland Soldiers, which could have interesting repercussions for Wildcat recruiting. On the Soldiers is big man recruit Drew Gordon.

While Jennings is a great scorer, Drew is a pass-first point guard. Like you'd expect from a coach's son, he's got an amazing feel for the game and has no problem getting his teammates involved. Although he's a better passer, he can still score when needed.

Drew did not have a great Kingwood Classic, partially due to injury, but no one seems very worried. He's shown enough over his career to prove that he is an elite talent. It would be a shock not to see him rebound this weekend in Las Vegas.

It remains a three team race for Drew, with the Cats duking it out with UCLA and UNC. Drew did mention that he likes the Arizona tradition of point guards, but that may not be enough to overcome the hometown Bruins or his admiration of Roy Williams.

Wings
The Wildcats are in an interesting position here. All indications are that Brendan Lavender will eventually commit, but there has to be some trepidation as long as Jrue Holiday is still on the board.

It would still be a major shock if Lavender is not a Wildcat. He took an unofficial visit to Tucson last weekend but did not pull the trigger. He has not backed down in his claims that he loves the Wildcats, but at this stage is just not quite ready to pull the trigger.

He was steady at Kingwood. He did not put up the numbers he did a few weeks back in Las Vegas, but this past weekend he deferred to shot-happy guard Isaiah Thomas.

Holiday is probably the best wing in the class. A tireless worker, he's close to becoming a complete player. He can score, works hard on the boards and is not afraid to play defense.

He is still listing the Wildcats, but most observers feel that they still have some work to do. The Cats are still working him hard and as long as they have a need for a wing, and Holiday leaves the door open, they will pursue him.

One name that we have not heard a lot from is Sylven Landesberg. Word is the Cats like him a lot and could make a huge push, especially if Lavender drags his feet. The New Yorker is a crafty scorer, with a great feel for the game.

Right now the Cats seem to be on the outside looking in, but they are getting more and more involved. Georgia Tech seems to have a slight lead, but he's still fairly open.

This seems to be a position the Cats are really evaluating. We've seen them attached to players like J'Covan Brown, Murphy Holloway, Klay Thompson and others, but it does not seem as if they are in hot pursuit right now.

Bigs

Maybe the most important list as the Cats need to add two big men in the class.

There is no doubt that Emmanuel Negedu likes the Cats and vice versa. He made an unofficial to Tucson last week, and word is the visit went great. He drew rave reviews from his play at the Kingwood Classic and is making up for his lack of height with his long arms and great effort.

He is expected to be visited by Wildcat assistant Josh Pastner later in the week and it is clear that the Cats are in the thick of it.

Gordon, the Bay Area big man, also made an unofficial visit to Tucson. He's been battling the flu, but many who saw him in Houston were impressed with some of the new moves in his offensive arsenal. He's got great size and good athleticism.

His lists are rarely consistent from one interview to another, so to remedy that he is just not releasing any school lists. We've heard that he loves North Carolina, but that they may not offer. The Cats have done a very good job of late, but Washington seems to be a major player as well.

Negedu and Gordon seem to be the top-two for the Cats, but Matt Simpkins and Terrence Jennings are right up there.

Simpkins is another athletic big man, who's upside is outstanding. Long and mobile, he needs polish, but can do a lot of things.

6-10 Terrence Jennings is the biggest of the bigs the Cats are seriously considering. He's drawing some comparisons to Amare Stoudamire, thanks mainly to his build and tenacity attacking the rim. He's a little raw, but has a ton to work with.

While these are the top players at each spot, they are by no means the only players the Cats are looking at. There are a ton of players the Cats will be keeping an eye on over the next few months and could work their way onto the top wish list. We will profile these players later in the week as well as discuss some early targets for 2009.


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