Wildcats ink another outstanding recruiting class
TUCSON, Ariz. ?- University of Arizona men’s basketball coach Lute Olson announced Wednesday that three student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent to attend the school and play basketball. The trio will report to the school in the fall of 2006.
Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Nic Wise each inked letters-of-intent during the first day of the November early signing period. Each of the players was ranked among the top 15 nationally at his position and in the top 90 overall.
“We are very excited about this class,” said Olson. “What we try to do is make the pieces fit the puzzle, and these guys really fit the puzzle well. In Chase, we have a guy capable of playing three positions. Nic is a proven winner at the point guard position and Jordan has a great upside.”
Budinger, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound forward from Carlsbad, Calif., is ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect in the country and the No. 2 small forward by Bob Gibbons’ All-Star Sports Top 100. Budinger, who preps at La Costa High School, is a long and athletic player with unlimited potential. Budinger averaged 27.9 points and 12.5 rebounds per game last season. He recently finished third in the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s “Best in the West” voting.
“Chase is one of the best players in the country,” said UA assistant coach Josh Pastner, the lead recruiter for Budinger. “He is a superior athlete with tremendous character. We are very excited to have him join our program.”
Hill, a 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward from Atlanta, Ga., is ranked as the No. 86 overall recruit and the No. 11 power forward prospect by hoopscooponline.com. Hill, who preps at The Patterson School in Patterson, N.C., averaged 16.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 4.2 blocked shots per game for his AAU team last summer. A tremendous athlete for his size, Hill has the potential to develop into a solid performer.
“Jordan is a big-time athlete,” said Pastner, Hill’s lead recruiter. “He’s still learning the game, but he has loads of potential. He’s a great shot blocker who is very quick off the floor. This kid is a steal.”
Wise, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound guard from Kingwood, Texas, is ranked as the No. 26 overall prospect and the No. 4 point guard in the nation by Bob Gibbons’ All-Star Sports Top 100. Wise, who preps at Kingwood High School, is a proven winner with a 99-11 (.900) record as a three-year starter. He averaged 18.0 points and 8.0 assists per game last season in leading Kingwood to the Texas Class 5A state championship, where he was named tournament Most Valuable Player.
“To put it as simply as possible, Nic is a very tough kid who is a winner,” said Pastner. “He just finds a way to get it done. Nic committed to us three years ago and stood by us.”
The Wildcats, ranked No. 10 in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll, open the regular season on Monday, Nov. 21 against Kansas at the EA Sports Maui Invitational. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. HST and can be seen nationally on ESPN.