Basketball: Arizona’s Miller a big Kamp fan

Arizona coach Sean Miller, speaking this morning on the weekly Pac-10 teleconference call, was enthusiastic in his praise of Cal junior Harper Kamp, who scored a career-high 33 points in Saturday’s 107-105 triple-overtime loss to the Wildcats.

“We’ve played against Cal twice now and Harper Kamp has had two very good games,” Miller said. “This last game it’s hard to really explain how easily he scored on our team. I wasn’t for lack of effort on our part.

“To me, Harper Kamp has emerged as one of the top seven players in our conference and that’s being a little understated on my part. He really willed his team in many instances. We have a world of respect for him and deservedly so. I don’t know if enough people know how talented a player he is.”

Kamp has improved his season scoring average to 15.1 points per game, and is at 17.3 ppg in Pac-10 games. He has scored in double digits 12 consecutive games and contributed 18 points or more to 10 of Cal’s 23 games.

Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTexas

    So What! Aaron Rodgers probably said something nice about the Steelers after he beat them. GW Bush said something nice about (Former Tex Dem Gov) Ann Richards after she died. I’d of course preferred to have won the game and then you could guote me “Gee that D. Williams was a good player”

    We know Kamp is good -the quote is just basketball’s version of politics.

  • dailycal02

    Steve, that’s some grade A curmudgeonry; well done, sir.

    As for Harper himself, I have to disagree with you–I for one did not know he was *this* good. I think even those of us that went into this season as enthusiastic fans have been repeatedly surprised at the ever-increasing level of offensive productivity. He’s gone from being a strictly garbage-buckets man (going into the year) to “picks his spots and can score in bunches against inferior/inattentive defense” (early in the season) to “sustained production and can get his own shot” (now)… it really is quite the evolution. Generally, seeing the leaps taken by all of the Bears’ main contributors this season has been pretty special–Jorge, Markhuri, Brandon are also totally different players than they were last year, while Crabbe and Solomon have grown from one game to the next.

    That’s something well worth celebrating, win or lose.

  • milo

    I for one think being honest and complimentary to opposing players is a good thing, especially with the escalation of trash talk in recent years. Sure there’s some politics but if a guy kills your team you have to be honest because your team needs to know. Saying it in public might help get it to your team better then a scouting report. It’s also part of the development process, your team has to know what others teams/players are doing to you…so you can stop it.

  • SteveNTexas

    LOL Dailycal.

    In other news Cal signed 8 soccer recruits and they are said to be pretty good- 7 players left from what perhaps was Cal’s best team ever.

    We went to the elite 8 but think about it -we lost to the eventual NCAA Champ Akron 3-3 it was their toughest game.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Sorry Steve, but I think Miller was being genuine about Kamp. Everyone always spoke of his basketball IQ, even as a freshman. Now, he has filled out such that he can match up physically. You combine his smarts and you get a high quality college basketball player.

    He probably won’t be able to play in the NBA because the physical difference will just be too great, but he may well be an elite player in the NCAAs next year, and I’ll bet he will have a prosperous career over seas should he choose to do so after he graduates.

  • SteveNTexas

    I remember seeing Kamp before he got hurt and guess I am not surprised that he is playing well. True Miller could be genuine- we really don’t know. Aaron Rodgers probably does think the Steelers are a good team as well. As for GWBush- it would be enough for him to read the lines correctly – no matter who had written them for him.

  • Yoda

    Steve, your mama should have named you Richard.

  • MasonField

    To be regarded the way he is now after not even a complete season of basketball speaks volumes about Kamp. Let’s not all forget-he still has one year to develop and improve yet. Another noteworthy point is that many games this year teams are/were able to double and triple team him because if the lack of other threats wearing cal uniforms. Imagine if max were still here how Kamp would shine….hopefully that transfer point guard next year will not allow teams to give the attention thy do to Kamp.

    The wisdom cow–I disagree on the NBA note. He may not get drafted but being a free agent pick up is absolutely in the playing cards for Kamp. Its not only Miller saying these things about Kamp. Rinse and many others have talked about him alongside Montey who has said he is the smartest player he’s ever coached. As long as he stays healthy (Which goes for any player) he sounds like the coaches dream ad a great role player in the NBA.

  • MasonField

    “Rinse” should be romar***** stupid auto correct!

  • H8sRed

    Steve – Your “glass half empty” posts have grown tiresome. If Miller wanted to give false praise, he would have just mentioned how tough the Cal team is. He would not have called out Kamp by name.

    As frustrating as it was to come so close to winning that game — I was there — it’s still just a game and one team had to lose. The takeaway for Cal fans is that the team is performing much better than anyone anticipated.

    One more note on Kamp: he played the entire game. All 55 minutes. He was a leader throughout and his mistakes were minimal, even when it was clear he was tired. With that kind of toughness and his on-court intelligence, it would be tough for NBA teams not to take notice. It’s not a sure thing, but I think he has a shot at the NBA.

  • Bear Down Rick

    Coach Miller, like any coach, will be complimentary of players from rival teams, but I’ve noticed this season that he’s had particularly high praise for Isiah Thomas of the Huskies and both Gutierrez and Kamp of Cal. I don’t think it’s insincere; he probably just likes heady players that make everyone around them better.

    While we’re at it, this should really get those eyeballs rolling…

    You have the best head coach in the conference. I’ve heard he’s grown tired of recruiting, but if Cal can continue to bring in the right talent Monty could build a Bear program better than anything he had at the Furd. I think the conference is going to have several very good teams in the near future.

  • Bob49

    Kamp has always been very good ever since he arrived at Cal and is probably the smartest Cal player I’ve seen since I began watching in the early 70’s. That was evident from the outset. He really did not have to score until this year. It’s amazing how good a shot he is with both hands. Too bad he isn’t about three inches taller or he’d be a force in the NBA.

    It was a shame he missed the easy shot close to the basket at the end of the game (or one of the overtimes). He deserved to be the hero of that game.

  • Meep.

    @ Bear Down: I agree with you. Arizona and Washington are already basically there. UCLA is missing one piece, and we still need depth and experience. WSU is just missing a few pieces. Oregon State is honestly on a downward trend. Oregon’s playing amazingly for their new coach considering the circumstances and can only go up. Stanfurd can go suck one. I don’t know enough about ASU to give an opinion, but it seems they have some room for improvement. What matters, though, ist he Pac-10 is about to make a major comeback where we’ll be able to get 5 maybe 6 teams into the tourney in a couple years.