Point guard Abdul Gaddy made a strong impression on his future home court over the weekend.
Gaddy, who orally committed to play for Arizona in 2009, averaged 18.6 points and led the Arizona Cactus Classic with 36 assists in seven games for the Northwest Panthers.
His team fell one win short of the title game in the tournament, which featured 32 of the nation’s top AAU travel teams at McKale Center and Bear Down Gym.
“I’m one of the youngest players on the team,” said 16-year-old Gaddy, who will be a senior this fall at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Wash. “I like playing with the older guys. It’s a good experience.”
The recent shakeup with UA assistant coaches apparently has not affected Gaddy’s decision to become a Wildcat and play for Lute Olson.
“I’m still committed to Arizona and it’s a big factor that Lute is back because I like him as a coach,” Gaddy said. “Right now, I’m locked in on Arizona, and that’s all I’m worried about.”
The Scout.com five-star recruit is “probably one of the top point guards in the country,” Panthers coach Gary Ward said.
“He has a great feel and understanding of how to play. . . . His intelligence, shot and his commitment to team are major factors in his play.”
Gaddy’s backcourt mate, Avery Bradley, is being recruited by UA. He averaged 24.7 points in the tourney. Guard Peyton Siva, another UA recruit, averaged 20.6 for Seattle Rotary Sel.
Houston Hoops defeated the Compton (Calif.) Magic 70-67 to claim the Cactus Classic title Sunday. Compton beat Gaddy’s team in the semifinals 86-78.
Tommy Mason-Griffin, named the tournament’s MVP, hit a 3-pointer with 3:54 left to give Houston a 64-61 lead.
Compton wouldn’t go away, pulling within 68-67 with less than a minute left on Roberto Nelson’s 3-pointer.
Nelson, who averaged an event-high 25.1 points a game, missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have tied it.