Basketball: Christian Behrens commits to Cal

Mike Montgomery got his second verbal commitment in a week tonight after a phone call from Christian Behrens, a 6-foot-8 forward from Tahoma High in Covington, Wash.

Tahoma coach Rob Morrow just told me that Behrens called Montgomery with the news at 6 p.m.

Behrens spent last week in London with his mother, visiting family, and texted his coach back and forth several times. Back at school on Monday, the two talked about Behrens’ decision.

“He looked relieved, he looked excited. He feels pretty good about it,” Morrow said. “I think it’s a good move on both parts.”

Morrow said Behrens recently was named to two all-star games: the Washington state game March 12 at Mt. Lake Terrace High outside Seattle, and the Washington-Oregon game, April 2 at the Chiles Center at the University of Portland.

“He’s had a run of good news the last couple days,” Morrow said.

Morrow said Behrens would have preferred to stay close to home. “The opportunity (at Cal) was too great,” Morrow said. “I think he can be a player at Cal.

“He’s an excellent passer. For a 6-8 guy who can dribble and shoot, you can kind of run stuff through him.  He sees the floor, understands the game, has a high basketball IQ. He’s going to get better and better at putting the ball on the floor. He has a knack of getting to the free throw line.”

Behrens missed the second half of his junior season after suffering an ACL knee injury. But he returned this season to average 21.7 points and 10.5 rebounds.

Behrens will join a Cal recruiting class that features fall signee David Kravish, a 6-9 forward from Lee’s Summit North High in Kansas, and De’End Parker, a 6-5 combo guard from City College of San Francisco, who committed last week.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Bears

    Jeff, what his your analysis of this recruiting class?
    What do you think of this latest commit Behrens? I know he had an acl but why so few offers?
    I think the Bears will be good next year but if these 3 frosh plus Rossi and Cobbs can all play, find a role and all play to win this team can be great and make a deep NCAA run.
    Very excited about the future of Cal hoops.
    But, still more to play for this year. Send MSF out right from Pac 10 at home with a win over our rival.
    Go Bears!

  • Jeff Faraudo

    I haven’t seen any of the three Cal recruits play and neither of the forward brings much bulk and strength. But both apprently skilled young players who should develop. Not sure how much either will contribute immediately; Cal could still use a Markhuri-like replacement for Markhuri. Parker may be just what the Bears need on the perimeter — a versatile, physical player with size who can play 2 or 3 positions. Rossi should be completely healthy next season, but hasn’t played and has much to learn/prove. Cobbs should compete with Brandon Smith and provide a complement at the point as more of a scoring option at that position than Smith (who has played better than almost anyone could have envisioned). As far as where the Bears fit into the Pac-10 a year from now, let’s see who defects to the pros from other schools.

  • jeh


    Thanks for the feedback on the recruits. I admire your willingness to qualify your answer, based on not having first hand looks at any of them.

    I share your belief that the girth/strength that Markhuri provides will likely be absent next year.

    We do have the coach, however, to minimize that drawback, by emphasizing other strengths that next year’s team will have. I would guess that we shall see more pressure defense from the Bears and more fronting of the post. Our speed and numbers of players should be better next year, and Monty will make the most of them.

    In the tapes available of Behrens, it is fascinating how competent he is advancing the ball on the dribble. Also, he is appears quite intelligent, so hopefully will thrive with Montgomery’s tutelage.

    Parker has nice size to add to the backcourt, and his shooting percentages–including free throws–are impressive.

    We can have high hopes for this group, under Monty’s guidance, given what we have seen with his earlier recruits at Cal. Despite all the criticism that has been leveled at him on the Cal blogs, his first recruit will be all Pac 10 this year, overall, and also on defense (Jorge), Smith has turned out to be a gem, and Crabbe will be awarded best first year player of the year in the conference. Not so terrible, for recruits that were skeptically viewed because the likes of UCLA, Washington, Kentucky, etc. did not want them.

  • AKBear

    Agree with you on Cal getting an inside banger, especially one with a bit more height. Having a bit more skilled height (don’t need Max-like height, Devon-like height would be nice). Maybe another JC player to help spread out players?

  • Paul Thomas

    From watching video of Behrens, he plays more like a slasher– think Josh Childress without the jumpshot– than a true post player. Remains to be seen whether Monty plans to mold him into more of a standard forward, or whether he just prefers a spread-out, “4 around 1”-type offensive attack these days.

  • Paul Thomas

    @ Jeh: I really don’t understand those people. Montgomery’s not recruiting at a level significantly different from Braun (generally a mixture of three and four-star players) and he’s clearly getting far better results out of “his” people than Braun typically did (well, he got [still getting in Kamp’s case] more out of Braun’s people too, so I guess that just means he’s a much better coach). Solomon clearly has great upside, MSF has been very solid this year, and obviously anyone complaining about Crabbe is a wackaloon.

    The team’s also suffered through a ton of turnover, and that harms recruiting (example: there was no reason to think Cal even needed an extra guard until Franklin’s inexplicable transfer midseason). Because of the NCAA’s contact restrictions, building relationships takes time. It’s just not possible to get the same level of guys with shotgun weddings– and nor has it been a realistic option to simply not fill scholarships, because the team has been a contender and needed depth rather than a bunch of empty seats on the bench.

    Bottom line: we all know that if a guy gets offered by Cal and Kentucky, he’s going to Kentucky. So, either you can deal with it and try to win anyway– which Cal’s doing a pretty damn skippy job of doing so far under Montgomery– or you can whine a lot.

  • SteveNTexas

    Rivals has an opinion on our recruiting class.

    The worst in the Pac 10 significantly worse than #9 OSU