Lute Olson and his staff struck gold again in San Diego. Junior wing Jamelle Horne verbally committed to the Arizona Wildcats on Monday.
After securing a huge commitment from Chase Budinger in the class of 2006, Olson went back to the fertile grounds of San Diego for Horne, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound five-star prospect. The No. 22 ranked junior in the country will take the same road to Tucson as Budinger.
"When Lute showed up today just to see me and he didn't know that I was planning on committing today either. That meant a lot," Horne said. "That's how he's always been. He as in the gym at 7:30 in the morning in Vegas to see me. That means a lot. He was always there."
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Olson continues to rack up the athletic wings from the West. Horne said he and his father Johnny paid close attention to the pedigree of small forwards that have gone onto the NBA after their time under Olson and the University of Arizona.
"That played a big decision in my decision," Horne said. "I want to be able to come in there and play and make a huge impact but I also know that I need to come in there and learn under him. I want to do whatever it takes to win and get better.
"My goal is to work hard at this game to make a living out of playing basketball. He's been able to get guys through his program to the NBA and make a big impact there. They are living well now because of that."
Horne is already off to a hot start this year despite missing some time to injury. He said he's averaging 24 points and 13 rebounds a game.
Horne is the third player to give a commitment to the Pac-10 school in the class of 2007, joining Jerryd Bayless and Alex Jacobson. Horne said he already has a good relationship with Bayless.
"I know him really well. We talk all the time after games," Horne said. "It's going to be fun playing with another top-level guy at the next level."
Together, Bayless and Horne already form a deadly 1-2 punch from the wings. The two shine in transition and hope to do so in college, Horne says.
"I love the way they get up and run the floor," Horne said. "They are starting to run more half court sets and I feel like I can bring some versatility to the team but I feel like I'm a great finisher and pushing the ball on the break is something that I really like to do."
Horne said he also considered Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Louisville.