Arizona Cactus Classic Preview: Pool A
The second annual Arizona Cactus Classic tips off on Friday, May 18, and the tournament pools have been released. Throughout the week, we'll break down all the pools and teams, giving a comprehensive look at what to expect at this year's tournament.
POOL PLAY GAME 1: Lamar Odom I-CAN All-Stars, Friday 8:20pm – Bear Down Court 3
POOL PLAY GAME 2: Double Pump Elite, Saturday 10:10am – McKale Court 3
POOL PLAY GAME 3: Oakland Soldiers, Saturday 2:50pm – McKale Court 3
Arizona Premier features perhaps the best non-high school player in the country in future Gilbert Highland star Matt Carlino. The nephew of ex-Wildcats point guard Brock Brunkhorst, the 6-foot-2 Carlino has already earned a UA scholarship offer.
6-foot-3 Nick Witherill from Scottsdale Saguaro committed to Washington State last August. He's considered one of the state's top shooters and is currently Wazzu's lone commitment of the 2008 class.
Double Pump Elite
POOL PLAY GAME 1: Oakland Soldiers, Friday 9:30PM – McKale Court 2
POOL PLAY GAME 2: Arizona Premier, Saturday 10:10AM – McKale Court 3
POOL PLAY GAME 3: Lamar Odom I-Can All-Stars Saturday 2:40PM Bear Down Court 3
James Rahon is one of the 2008 class' best shooters and had an impressive spring on the AAU circuit. He's already picked up offers from San Diego State and Santa Clara, but Arizona, UCLA, Washington, Washington State and Arizona State are showing attention. The UA is taking a serious look at Rahon and he'll stay in town after the Cactus Classic to take an unofficial visit.
Corbin Moore, Wendell Wright and Klay Thompson are three SoCal prospects that are receiving Pac-10 attention.
POOL PLAY GAME 1: Double Pump Elite, Friday 9:30PM – McKale Court 2
POOL PLAY GAME 2: Lamar Odom I-Can All-Stars, Saturday 11:20AM – McKale Court 1
POOL PLAY GAME 3: Arizona Premier, Saturday 2:50PM – McKale Court 3
The Oakland Soldiers feature three 2008 stars with the biggest name being Oak Hill Academy point guard Brandon Jennings, who some consider to be the best player in his class. Jennings is one of Arizona's top two point guard targets – along with Pump N'Run Elite's Larry Drew – and favors the Wildcats along with UConn, with Kansas and Kentucky rounding out his top four.
New UCLA commitment Drew Gordon is a force for the Soldiers in the paint. The five-star power forward chose the Bruins over schools such as Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky. He'll have the chance to show why he's Rivals.com's 25th ranked player in the country.
Ranked 30th in the 2008 class, Matt Simpkins is another big name on the Oakland Soldiers. The four-star forward is hearing from schools around the country, from Washington to Connecticut. He'll combine with Gordon to be a tough one-two punch in the paint.
Lamar Odom I Can All-Stars
POOL PLAY GAME 1: Arizona Premier, Friday 8:20PM – Bear Down Court 3
POOL PLAY GAME 2: Oakland Soldiers, Saturday 11:20AM – McKale Court 1
POOL PLAY GAME 3: Double Pump Elite, Saturday 2:50 PM – Bear Down Court 2
6-foot-8 forward Jordan Hamilton from Dorsey High School in Los Angeles is one of the best 2009 prospects and the star of the I Can All-Stars. Hamilton is known as a shooter and will likely be recruited by some of the best programs in the country.
2009 forward Greg Smith is another good young prospect that will be on display. Smith is a bit under the radar nationally, but this will be a good opportunity for him to show where he stands against top competition.
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