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Basketball: Stanford wins Anthony Brown derby

By Jeff Faraudo
Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 9:04 am in Basketball, Recruiting.

Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins got a major commitment Monday night when wing Anthony Brown of Ocean View HS of Huntington Beach chose the Cardinal over Cal and UCLA. The 6-foot-6 small forward/shooting guard is ranked as the No. 41 overall prospect in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com and No. 62 by Rivals.com.

 “They all led at one point or another,” Brown told Scout.com. “I would say after each visit … I felt I was going to UCLA. Then I went to Cal and said I could go there. Everyday it would change.”

Brown said Dawkins convinced him Stanford is on the cusp of starting something good. “If we get this right, we can be Pac-10 champions and NCAA champions in a few years,” Brown told the Web site.

Cal coach Mike Montgomery, who is hoping to sign four players during next month’s fall letter-of-intent period, already has oral commitments from three prospects: shooting guard Allen Crabbe of Price HS in Los Angeles, small forward Alex Rossi of New Trier HS in Winnetka, Ill., and power forward Richard Solomon of Price HS in Los Angeles.

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  • uh oh.

    Okay, Jeff, now THAT I don’t understand.
    He’s hoping to sign FOUR recruits? Doesn’t he have 5 available?

    I think he’s going to have 3 more available for the following year.

    If Monty has indicated he’s hoping to sign 4 instead of using all 5 available this year, then that indicates to me that he has truly failed in attracting enough talented players for this years class. He probably only has a faint whiff of another Anthony Brown out there, and only 1 of them, not 2.

    If you could get 5 top rated recruits THIS year you would certainly use them all. However, if you were only able to attract 3 guys, and were HOPING to get 1 more, you would say you were going to save that last scholarship for next year, for strategic reasons to balance out the classes more evenly.

    All this means is what we already know – Monty is not doing the recruiting job that we all thought he’d be able to do when he showed up at Cal.

    Hey, he was a very successful college coach with NBA experience. That spells RECRUITING all over it – we thought.

    Of course, Monty could do what Ben Braun did after all the other top recruits turned him away – he could go fishing in far off lands for high risk/high rewards types (Serbia-Knezevich; China-Zhang; Sam Rayburn in Portland and hope his troubled knees hold up; heck, even Theo Robertson was a late Spring recruit, but has panned out). When was the last time Lute Olsen or Ben Howland took a chance on a recruit? Or do the TOP coaches always get top picks over and over again.

    During his Cal tenure, Monty is being out-recruited by UCLA, Arizona (despite the turmoil and new coach), Washington, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Oregon, Arizona State, and Virginia via Washington State (former WSU coach Bennett stole James Johnson all the way to the east coach away from Cal).

    One 4 star recruit in his first 3 recruiting classes (though we’ll give Monty a pass on his first recruiting class for being a late hire, that hasn’t stopped the new Arizona coach from putting AU right back on the map! And didn’t stop Bennett from getting a top recruit right away either.)

    Better watch out Cal fans, the cupboard is going to be BEAR.

    Que lastima!

    Shut me up by showing me the recruits, Mike. Or by coaching the hell out of what YOU got in 2010-11 onward. But this is a bad sign. You simply gotta bring in the players.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Uh Oh,
    I can tell you’re pretty worked up about this. My reaction would be: Relax a bit. Yes, Cal does have five available scholarships, and I’m sure if Monty could find five players he wants who want to be in Berkeley, he’d sign them. He’s not going to use all five simply to burn them. Yes, several recruits the Bears coveted have gone elsewhere; that happens to every coach in every program every year. If I were a Cal fan, I’d be curious to see how these three work out, patient to learn whether there are one or two more good recruits on the way (even next spring) and I’d probably be in the mood to give MM the benefit of the doubt at this point, given what he accomplished in Year 1. Are you sure you’re not just mad at the football team?

  • rollonubears

    i think it’s funny that college sports have dipped down into the junior high school level, for recruiting commitments. my baby is due in march. my doctor says she’s debating between cal and arizona and may make a formal announcement any day.

  • uh oh.

    Fair question, but I think you’ll see I’ve been posting on this recruiting issue for over a year.
    I guess I thought when we got Montgomery that we’d be able to REALLY attract a ton of high quality players immediately. Montgomery’s accomplishments at Stanford are excellent and the fact that he has NBA experience, I thought, would allow prospective NBA level recruits to get an insider’s take on what is required to get to that level. I thought it was a very strong recruiting story. Not to mention the degree you get from Cal, it’s geography, league, etc.

    If Monty were 10 years younger, I’d be much calmer, but at 62 I think he has a bit of a shorter window that most people realize. Look at all the top coaches. Their 60′s is their prime. By 70 you start getting negative recruiter that the guy is going to leave any year now. Look, Lute Olsen is only 75 and he had that negative recruiting thing going on for years. I’m not saying that Monty is old. No! I’m saying he’ll soon be past his prime as an NCAA coach. I don’t expect him be coaching at 75.
    So, let’s say he has a 10 year run at Cal that takes him to age 70 (for arguments sake) – that would be 2017 (born 1947).
    And let’s say that the window is closed on the 2010 recruits, meaning, I am now waiting for those killer recruits in the 2011 class.
    And let’s say that it takes 2 years after high school for a player to become dominant, on average.
    This means, by my mental calculations, I should not expect Cal to be a dominant team until the 2013 season, at the earliest. And then we’ll have potentially 4 years from there on out before the party’s over.
    Not to mention that I should probably discount my expectations for those “killer” recruits since they haven’t really been coming in droves yet – an indicator of what’s to come?

    What Monty accomplished on the court was great, and if he can get somewhat ordinary players to outperform the thoroughbreds then we’ll be fine. But you can’t base his job simply on last year’s sole W-L record. He’s had THREE recruiting opportunities now, not one. True, this one is not over yet.

    JF: It’s all about managing expectations. You saw what happened to the football nation when expectations were hugely elevated. Well, my basketball expectations were THAT high when Montgomery was hired. So, I need to just chill out and let it be what it’s going to be. Having said that, I think next season (2010-11) has the potential to be pretty bad. I’ll be glad to be proven wrong.
    I apologize to all if my critical analysis is offensive. Tell me where I’m wrong, though. I’m open-minded! I simply believe very strongly you gotta get the players in order to win. X’s and O’s can only take you so far.

  • uh oh.

    Ha Ha Ha.
    Okay, JF. This is sure to make you laugh.
    I just told my wife about my post, how I’m disappointed in Mike Montgomery’s job recruiting – that they just lost another kid to Stanford.

    She quickly retorted, “He’s quietly shuffling them in the back door at Stanford still.”

    Funny, because I thought he would have given up his red underwear by now.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    I have absolutely no argument with your basic premise: You gotta have players. We’ll see how that goes.

  • uh oh.

    Yes, we’ll see how that goes when we get pounded in the paint vs the big boys in Lawrence and Manhattan.
    Okay, I’ll shut up now and have a little hope. :-)

  • Bob

    I’ve got to echo Uh Oh’s concern with recruiting. With Monty’s reputation, the team’s success in his first year, and the disaray of some of our recruiting competitors (USC, Arizona, etc.) I thought he’d have no problem putting together a solid 5-man class, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

    To put a finer point on it, I thought Montgomery’s reputation previously was success with big men, but it seems like most of the kids we have committed (Rossi, Crabbe)and even that were on the radar (Brown) are more in the Ben Braun, mid-sized wing mold. We really need to get a banger with some height (i.e. taller than Sanders-Frison) to be able to compete in the tourney.

    I do think this year will be another successful one on the court though, so hopefully that will give some impetus to next year’s class. Whoever is recruited next year has a pretty good chance of playing, if not starting, as a freshman with four senior starters departing.

  • uh oh.

    Bob!
    Thank you!
    Where have you been all my life?!
    One positive note is that Monty did land (in early August) Richard Solomon, a 6’9″ post from Los Angeles. He’ll be playing his senior season at Price High School with fellow Cal recruit Allen Crabbe this winter. You can read about his talents and upside by doing a google search, but he is the highest rated Monty commit yet. So, that’s a very good sign!!
    I was simply hoping that this trend would continue, and several Cal recruits have gone elsewhere, and now the list of highly rated players focusing on Cal is very short, with none favored to pick Berkeley. This means potentially waiting a whole extra year for some more high quality recruiting action.

    Solomon will get a ton of training by the staff when he comes in. He is our future on the interior. A very important recruit, as we are so thin inside! Monty has to be Jonesing for some more folks like MadDog Madsen to come along and fill his roster.