Basketball: PF Solomon picks Bears

Yes, I’m still on vacation, but here’s some news worth passing on: Power forward Richard Solomon, rated the nation’s No. 81 prospect in the class of 2010 by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, has picked the Bears.

Both recruiting Web sites reported the news this weekend, as did the Los Angeles Times.

“Cal just seemed like the best fit for me as a person, a student and a player,” Solomon told Rivals.com. “They have it all, and when you get a chance to play for coach (Mike) Montgomery, you can’t pass that up.”

Solomon, who picked the Bears over Oregon State, is a 6-9, 210-pounder who will play this season at Price High in Los Angeles, alongside future Cal teammate Allen Crabbe. A 6-4 shooting guard, Crabbe committed to the Bears last winter and is the nation’s No. 113 overall prospect, according to Rivals.

Last season, while playing at Bishop Montgomery HS in Torrance, Solomon led his team to the CIF Division IV Regional title, totaling 18 points and 15 rebounds in an 85-82 win over Price and Crabbe, who had 26 points and 13 rebounds. Now the two will join forces, both at Price and Cal.

Solomon follows his older sister Am’Ra, a former Cal volleyball player, to Berkeley.

Solomon enjoyed a big summer which saw his stock rise considerably. He was rated No. 100 overall by Rivals in early June, but shot up to No. 81 in the most recent rankings.

His commitment gives Montgomery a big man to go with wing players Crabbe and Alex Rossi in the class of 2010. Suddenly, with three top-150 players in that group, the Bears’ future is looking better.

Cal, whose roster will include five seniors this season, still is involved with center Alex Kirk of Los Alamos, New Mexico, along with power forward James Johnson of Morse HS in San Diego. Kyle Wiltjer, a 6-9 forward frm Jesuit HS in Portland and a member of the class of 2011, told Rivals.com he intends to pay campus visits to Cal and Stanfiord.

Commitments do not become binding until the November letter-of-intent signing period.

Jeff Faraudo