April 27, 2006

UA coaches visit 2008 star Luke Babbitt

With three 2007 commitments already secured, the UA coaches have the luxury of getting a head start into 2008. One of Arizona's top targets in that class will be Luke Babbitt, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound power forward from Galena High School in Reno, Nevada.

While Arizona is on Babbitt early, it's certainly not the only school. He's also hearing from UCLA, Duke, Syracuse, Texas, Gonzaga, Nevada, USC, UNLV, Illinois and Washington, among others.

On Tuesday, Arizona head coach Lute Olson and assistant Josh Pastner stopped by Babbitt's school to see him work out. The UA has spent a lot of time recruiting him and it's definitely paying off.

"My interest in Arizona is real high," said Babbitt. "I haven't narrowed my list down or anything but it's Arizona and there are not too many schools out there better than that."

While UA assistant Miles Simon wasn't in Reno to see Babbitt, the two have developed a good relationship in the past months.

"I know Coach Miles Simon real well," said Babbitt. "He was out to a couple of games this year and of course I know him as a player after all those years. I know Coach Miles real well and he's a real good coach."

UNLV, USC and Nevada are the three schools to offer Babbitt early but several colleges will be joining that list in the coming months.

This weekend Babbitt will play for the Las Vegas Prospects in the Double Pump Spring Classic, his first AAU event of the summer. He missed the first two weekends of AAU ball because he was in Germany for the Albert Schweizer games.

Babbitt played well in the international event, averaging 10.5 points (43.8 FG%, 46.1 3PT%), and 6.0 rebounds in six games. Even though the USA didn't have a great showing by going 3-3 in the tournament, Babbitt still enjoyed his time overseas.

"It went real well," he said. "It was a great experience to play against so much great talent. We finished seventh out of 16 teams which was disappointing but it was still a great trip."

Babbitt is back home now but that just means more basketball. He has a summer filled with AAU tournaments and national camps but one event he's looking forward to is the Arizona Cactus Classic.

"I go down to the Arizona Cactus Classic on May 19," said Babbitt. "That will give me the opportunity to see Arizona's campus and all of that stuff."

GOAZCATS.com will be following Luke Babbitt closely all summer long.

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