July 1, 2006

Arizona Skill Camp: Notebook

We're two days into the 2006 Lute Olson Skill & Development Camp and there has definitely been plenty of news coming from McKale Center. While we'll have a ton more information after we speak with all of our sources following the camp, there's still a lot to report.

Considering the whole pickup game video is on the front page, there's no need in recapping it. However, here are some notes based on those games and the rest of the camp.

  • No player has helped themselves more than 2007 guard Laval Lucas-Perry. Don't take his offer list of Dayton, Marquette, Wisconsin and Oakland seriously - this kid can play.

    He's an athletic scorer that's impressed just about everyone that has watched him this weekend. Lucas-Perry's parents are in town and have been all smiles throughout the camp.

    This kid has certainly been the surprise of the camp and is a serious candidate to take one of the Wildcats' two remaining 2007 scholarships.

  • It seems logical that Mustafa Shakur is going to get the majority of minutes at the point guard position in 2006-07. And while we haven't seen J.P. Prince at full strength in quite some time, we're of the opinion that Nic Wise is going to get some serious playing time this year.

    It's been quite some time since Arizona has had a pure point guard running the team and Wise will be a welcome relief. His ball handling skills and basketball I.Q. are something the UA has needed for a long time and he's continued to show his talent throughout the weekend.

    In pickup games, a style of basketball Wise doesn't even usually thrive in, he always made the right pass and left many in attendance feeling very confident about Arizona's future at the point guard position

  • Marcus Williams already seems to be on another level than he was in March when the season ended. When he wants to score, he takes it to the basket and either puts the ball in or gets fouled. It's almost like his only challenge is trying to hit difficult shots.

  • Jamelle Horne fit right in playing with the professionals and the truth of the matter is that he gets better every time we see him play. If Williams goes pro after his sophomore season, Horne is going to be ready to step in and make a difference right away. If he keeps getting better at the same rate, there's no telling how good he'll be one year from now.

  • By the end of 2006-07 season, we would be shocked if Williams and Chase Budinger don't make up one of the top few wing combinations in the country. Williams is already dynamic as it is, but with Budinger's play-making ability, he's going to get that many more open looks.

    Between Williams' improvement and the way things will come easier for him by playing with Budinger, he's fully capable of having an All-American season.

  • From what we understand, several of Arizona's top recruits in town have talked openly about how the UA Skill Camp is the best camp of its kind that they've been to. Considering that the players we're speaking of have all been to other big name camps, it's a pretty significant compliment.

    With so many prospects playing for multiple days, it's clear that Arizona Video Coordinator Jack Murphy has once again done an outstanding job by putting together most talent-filled camp on the West Coast.

    Last year's camp was instrumental in helping Arizona steal away Budinger from Southern California. This year's camp could be important in helping the Wildcats secure some other big time recruits.

    It could be some time before we realize the effect the camp had on UA recruiting. Or we could find out rather shortly.

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