It was no secret, Chase Budinger was going to go to the Pac-10. The 6-foot-7, 190-pound small forward from La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad, Calif., trimmed his list to three West Coast schools and on Wednesday he announced he'd attend one of the most storied programs in Pac-10 history at a press conference at his high school.
Budinger, the No. 10 ranked player in the class of 2006, announced he'd take his services to Tucson, Ariz., next year and suit up for Lute Olson and the Arizona Wildcats.
"I kind of always knew that I wanted to go to Arizona," Budinger said. "I just felt like they were the best fit for me. They've always had players that have succeed at Arizona and gone on to the next level. Plus, I want to win a National Championship and I feel like I can do that there."
For those that followed the California prep star's recruitment, his decision doesn't come as big surprise. Budinger, also considered as one of the top prep volleyball players in the country, trimmed his list to the Wildcats, UCLA and USC. Ironically, Arizona is the only school of the three that does not have a men's volleyball program.
Using his ability to quickly sky off the floor, Budinger is a highlight reel on the basketball court. He's improved his perimeter shot and his ball-handling skills are quickly catching up to the rest of his game. Rivals.com National Scout said the Budinger is a perfect fit for the Wildcats.
"Budinger is custom made for the Arizona system," Meyer said. "Although he has a solid all around game, he is most lethal filling the lanes on the break and then both nailing threes and attacking the basket. He will also be very good at coming off screens and knocking down shots in the half court motion offense."
Olson has been one of the most successful coaches to turn his players into NBA veterans. Meyer believes Budinger could be the next in line to get his pro training under Olson's tutelage.
"Arizona is known to produce NBA players, and the athletic, bouncy, sharp shooting Budinger should be another one of those players," Meyer said.