The two big men expected to sign wth Cal in about two weeks wouldn’t seem to have much in common.
Bak Bak is 6-9, 210 pounds, comes from the Sudan in Africa and will arrive at Cal next fall as a freshman.
Markhuri Sanders-Frison is 6-8, 270, comes from Portland, Ore., and will arrive at Cal as a junior.
But they do share one thing — both will be playing in a new place this season before meeting up next year in Berkeley. Bak is a senior at Village Christian High in Sun Valley, Calif., having sat out last year due to international transfer rules. Sanders-Frison switched from Eastern Arizona CC to South Plains (Tx) CC, where he joins a club that won the 2008 NJCAA national title.
Here are scouting reports from the men who will coach them this season:
Steve Green, whose South Plains team posted a 30-5 record last season, said Sanders-Frison will provide his Texans with a strong low-post presence.
“He’s got really really good hands, he’s very skilled with a wide body,: Green said. “For his size and shape, he’s got extremely quick feet. He’s got pretty good instincts as far as playing basketball.
“He’s been a welcome addition to our team. He’s replacing someone we lost who’s the same kind of player. And I think he’s better.”
Green, once an assistant coach at San Diego State, is familiar with the way Mike Montgomery’s teams played at Stanford, and believes Sanders-Frison can fit into that scheme at Cal.
“What I can remember about the way he played is they always had huge, skilled big men. And it seemed like he had an abundance of them,” Green said. “I think (Markhuri) kind of fits into that niche.”
Reggie Richardson, a first-year coach at Village Christian, said he put Bak on a weight-lifting program for the first time in his life at the start of August when the summer AAU camp circuit ended.
“He’s put on 10 pounds of muscle. His shoe size is now 16. And he’s grown from 6-9 to almost 6-11,” Richardson said. “He’s for sure 6-10, and I think he’s even taller than that. His dad is 7-1 1/2.”
Richardson said Bak can make the medium-range jumper, has the quickness to go by bigger players on the perimeter, but also is improving his post-up game. ”He’s got such great faceup skills it’s almost impossible to guard one one one,” Richardson said. “He’s getting better skills with his back to the basket. He can spin off really well.
“He has not played any high school ball. That’s why he kind of fell under the radar. If he had played high school last year, there’s no doubt everybody in the country would know who Bak Bak is at this point.”