Basketball: Bears lose Verhoeven to Stanford

The Bears lost a recruiting battle to their biggest rival Wednesday when power forward/center Grant Verhoeven of Visalia’s Central Valley Christian HS chose Stanford over Cal and Saint Mary’s College.

Rated the nation’s No. 78 prospect by scout.com and No. 132 by rivals.com, the 6-foot-8 Verhoeven visited Stanford last weekend following trips to Cal and Saint Mary’s.

“After that I knew that Stanford was the place I wanted to go to college and play basketball,” he said. “I loved the family aspect the team had. I’m really excited to be a part of it.”

Verhoeven, whose father played in the NBA, said Cal coach Mike Montgomery was gracious when given the word.

“He congratulated me and said he still supported me,” Verhoeven said. “He said, I coached there for 18 years. It’s hard to pass up a place like that.’ ”

Don’t misinterpret that last remark as a guy who’s got one foot stuck in his old job. Part of recruiting is being told no by an 18-year-old, and coaches must be able to handle rejection graciously because otherwise it quickly gets around.

Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTEXAS

    We are in good shape this year but our recruiting has been pretty poor.

  • ConcordBear

    Kid must be a country club guy.
    That’s cool, whatever floats your boat.
    Bears will be fine with the coaches and players in place right now and recuits that want to sign on LOI day.
    Program is in good shape.

  • bigdruid

    Yeah, can’t go wrong with a degree from Stanford. And he’ll have plenty of extra time in March to concentrate on his studies.

  • DaveintheHills

    I’d rather win games than recruiting battles. As a season ticket holder for both the basketball and football, I can appreciate the difference.

  • Uh Huh!

    Yeah, this doesn’t matter. I’ve been trained by everyone here on this board to realize that recruiting doesn’t matter a lick, since Monty is such a great coach, and we are Bears, we can win it all with anyone!! Just wait till our coach gets ahold of whomever – they will be transformed into awesomeness by the time their full 4 years are up, right guys?

  • H8sRed

    Uhhuh — Yeah, like that last minute signing of Jorge (Monty’s first Cal recruit) didn’t really pan out, did it?

  • southseasbear

    H8sRed, you beat me to it. Monte’s first recruit went from Jorge who to Wooden award candidate and frontrunner for Pac-12 POY. Not too shabby!

  • jim crow

    Uh Huh! Relax! No one has ever said that recruiting does not matter. No one has said that the most recent recruiting has been great.

    Still, it ain’t yet over. Perhaps Monty can still bring in some studs.

    And don’t underestimate his judgement and development of players. In that regard, it will be interesting to see what the two freshmen, Kravish and Behrens, can do for the team. Neither was a super recruit, but apparently they were impressive on the Scandinavian trip. They may be a substantial help to this year’s team and in the 3 years after that.

    None of this is to say that it was not a disappointment that Verhoeven opted for Stanford. Clearly he has other priorities about choosing a college than just who is the better basketball coach/teacher.

  • Bearister

    With such scholars as Casey Jacobsen to emulate, I can see why a guy would pick Stanfurd for academics for sure.

  • Bearister, and don’t forget about the Lopez twins…rumor is that they still couldn’t tie their shoes by themselves by the time they entered the draft… 😉

  • Crawford

    This recruiting battle doesn’t hurt as bad as some of the others. You guys all make solid points about monty bringing in solid guys, but don’t you guys want more than just barley making it to the tournament and contending for the pac 12 title each year????? I sure do, I want final fours and national championships, you get to those places with big time recruits and signing top 10 classes like the North Carolina, Kentucky’s, Arizona’s and Dukes of the world do. They win national championships, we barley make the tourney each year.

    I’m disappointed in the recruiting, we will never win a national championship with the guys we continually bring in under monty, that’s a fact

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Well said Crawford! Using anecdotal evidence ( ok Jorge turned out great) to say having ranked recruits does not matter is foolish. Over the years the teams with the best recruits have filled 9 of the top 10 spots in the rankings. Indiana has the number one ranked 2012 class and so far the top 2014 class- give them a few years and they will be an elite team once again.

    We were recently ranked last in Pac 10 recruiting and if we don’t improve we will suffer.

  • bigdruid

    Oh, thank god Steve is back to give us more Indiana recruiting updates.

    That said, recruiting matters. A lot. And I am concerned about Monty losing so many recruiting battles, but I’m not sure that there’s any value in constantly wringing our hands about it.

    If we keep having success, the recruits will come. And I’m not sure what the alternative is – fire Monty and hire a different coach who isn’t anywhere near as good, but who can recruit better athletes? That doesn’t seem particularly compelling.