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Basketball: Behrens makes it official

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 at 3:56 pm in Basketball, Recruiting.

On the first day of the spring signing period, forward Christian Behrens of Tahoma High in Washington submitted his letter-of-intent to the Golden Bears. Behrens gave the Bears an oral commitment in February, but it became binding on Wednesday.

“I feel really fortunate to have Christian join the program,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said in a statement. “He has the versatility to play more than one position, and he gives us an active 6-8 player that has both perimeter and inside skills.

“I watched him develop for a number of years. He seems like a perfect fit for our needs, and he should be a great addition to our program. He’s a true student-athlete.”

Behrens suffered an ACL knee injury during the 2009-10 season and missed the early portion of his senior campaign. But he finished strong, scoring 21 points or more seven times, including career-highs of 32 points and 18 rebounds in the same game.

He averaged 20 points as a sophomore, then 22.4 points and 12.8 rebounds before being injured as a junior.

“I’m really excited to be a part of the Cal basketball team,” Behrens said. “I’m ready to get down there and start contributing. I really liked how family-oriented the team was, and I really like how hard they play. Iwas really impressed with how well they did this year, despite battling all the injuries and how it was supposed to be a ‘down’ year.

“It’s going to be a great honor to play for coach Montgomery, and I really liked the rest of the coaching staff, as well.”

Behrens joins fall signee David Kravish, a 6-9 forward from the Kansas City area, as incoming freshmen in the fall of 2011. Cal still has two available scholarships for nex season.

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  • Thisiscal

    Great news! Christian has a chance to make a big impact.

  • milo

    Nice get Monty…at least he got a couple of big guys. Hopefully they mature quickly so there will be a decent front court when they’re sophs.

  • LR

    Big guys = Devon Hardin, Sol Hughes and Jamal Sampson. Cal hasn’t had anything like that in a long time.

    I’d give both kneecaps to have a Jamal Sampson clone with an ounce of desire. If Monty had something like that and Cobb turned into something, we’d all be happy….But alas….

  • rotfogel

    Again however, how is it even possible that the three best players, each of whom is a better recruit than the two we got coming in, aren’t going to Cal. What’s wrong with the recruiting department for men’s basketball? These are the homegrown talent getting away and we’re importing players from other states who aren’t as good. It’s no wonder Cal basketball is remaining mediocre.

  • rotfogel

    Three best players from the Bay Area is what I meant.

  • Raf

    @LR… what about Amit Tamir, Ryan Anderson or Leon Powe?? Wow Ben Braun… could anyone do less with more talent?

  • Thisiscal

    Tamir was questionable. Anderson and Powe were studs.
    I agree with Rotfogel about homegrown talent. There’s no excuse for us not landing some of these guys. Cal Basketball needs its own Tosh Lupoi.

  • LR

    @Raf…Tamir was a Grade D Dirk Nowitzki type who wanted to launch 3s and hated contact. He build his entire rep on the multiple-OT Oregon game. In no way was he a real “big” in my book, in spite of being 6’10″.

    Anderson was in the same category, but with a greater appetite for contact. He was a great Golden Bear marginalized on a horrible team with no coaching.

    Leon was often forced to go up against bigger players. Strong, lots of heart, but undersized and inhibited by injury.

    None of those guys was like the first 3 I mentioned.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    The one season Powe was healthy he was far better than Hardin or Sampson (jury still out on Hughes), and he had another year of eligibility.

    I, too, would like to see more of the top local players stay here, but in many cases that is simply unrealistic. Many want to leave their home town. Many have chances to play in programs that are national powers.

    Not at all trying to diminish Tosh Lupoi, he’s a stud, but basketball recruiting is a completely different animal. A top recruit for basketball is the equivalent of 3-5 top football recruits.

    Furthermore, Cal’s biggest draw is it’s academics. Not many top recruits are very interested in that, being one and dones. We did land Abdur Rahim because of our Religious Studies programs, but try and find many top players with serious academic interests like he had.

    The only way to go is pretty much how Monty is doing it. He looks for four year players, often under-recruited because of high school injuries. It will take time.

    The real issue with Cal’s big man situation is depth. Monty will recruit players capable of doing the job he coaches them to do, but as yet, there simply has not been enough of them.

    I completely believe this past season would have been completely different, possibly back to back championships, had Max remained a Bear. Just one more quality (not superstar) big man would have made all the difference in the world.

    I don’t mind a player leaving early if he excels and and the opportunity, but I don’t want any players coming to Cal with the intention of not being a student by mid spring.

  • milo

    Cal’s issue over time was either they have very good perimeter players or very good big men…but rarely at the same time. I think the last time was in the Bozeman era.

    The thing is, quality big guys are rare and if they’re good they have their pick.

    One place for Cal to get big men is overseas but I don’t think that’s Monty’s style, at least as it appears now. Look at St. Mary’s, they’re stocked with Aussies. If there’s one thing Cal brings it’s a BIG international name. It works with swimming, tennis and a few other Olympic sports.

    For next season, there’s height but no big body bruiser. I think Cal can still win IF there’s a rotation beyond 7…like 9 solid players. Jorge and co. need rest.

    p.s. agree on Max. He wasn’t developed but he was 7-2 and that freaks out 6-8 players. As a senior I think he could have put in 20 solid minutes.