Basketball: Valpo or Loyola likely for Rossi

Back home in Chicago, Alex Rossi expects to decide on a new college basketball destination by the end of the week. The former Cal guard said he has offers from Valparaiso and Loyola-Chicago.

He is hoping not to have to sit out a year as a transfer after returning home because of private family issues. The NCAA can waive its transfer rule in the case of hardship situations, as it did a year ago when MoMo Jones went from Arizona to Iona to be closer to his ailing grandmother.

“I don’t think I’ll have to sit out, but I don’t know for sure,” Rossi said. “The schools I’m applying to are taking care of that.”

Valparaiso is on the Illinois-Indiana border, less than an hour from Chicago. “Both of them are a lot clsoer than California,” he said.

Rossi is awaiting word from the NCAA on whether he would be allowed to accept a scholarship from Loyola, where his godfather is employed.

He left for home on March 1 to be with his family, missing Cal’s final regular-season game, the Pac-12 and the NCAA tournaments.

In two years at Cal, he played just three games because of a lingering lower-abdominal injury.

“Being hurt is always frustrating,” he said. “I’m healthy now.”

Through it all, Rossi said he enjoyed his experience at Berkeley.

“It was great,” he said. “I met a lot of really good people, had some really cool experiences. I’d never been to California before. It was fun.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTEXAS

    He probably should have gone to one of those schools in the first place, as Monty shouldn’t have been stealing recruits destined for the bottom 100 schools.

  • Batmansf

    This is what ESPN was saying about Rossi when he was being recruited:

    Rossi can flat out shoot it. He is definitely one of the top 10 shooters in the class of 2010 that can stretch a defense. The kid makes tough shots coming off screens and is deadly when he has his feet set ready to catch and shoot. He moves well with-out the ball and is excellent at reading screens. He improved his ability to put the ball on the floor after shot faking to get to the rim or pull up and stick jumper. At 6-5 and 190 lbs Rossi is good sized 2-guard that is rangy enough to defend the 2 or 3 position and is an intelligent positional defender against quicker opponents. He wants the ball in pressure situations and is a fearless assassin that can snipe you from long range.

    Obviously Monty wasn’t alone.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Batman you’re correct he was a 4 star recruit. This cuts both ways though – The diamonds in the rough are not working out and even the legitimate star may have been overrated. Injuries played a part.

    Looking at the overall picture however, there is not much evidence in the 2010-2011 or 2012 to make a case that Monty is a good recruiter,especially for a major conference school.

  • jim crow

    Probably no one is making a case that recruiting is Monty’s strength.

    However, saying that, there is still the reality that his first four years at Cal have been more successful than that of any Cal coach since and including Newell.

    Moreover, no one really knows, other than Monty and his staff, the difficulty of recruiting to Cal, in the current environment of college basketball. Hence, it is easy to throw stones from some distance.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    True Jim and every sports fan throws stones at players and teams quite often. What I’m throwing however might more be categorized as a bit spitball. Monty is a classy coach who has never caused Stanford or Cal any shame.

    On the other hand its fair to point out that our recruits are not panning out and the direction of our program seems to be downhill.

    As for the difficulty of recruiting in the “current environment” please enlighten me. There have been vague references that our academic standards are tougher than that of our competition in the Pac 10 or elsewhere. I’ve seen that argued both sides.

    What specifically has brought us to the lower half of the Pac 12 over the last few years? IS UCLA or Stanford easier on its jocks? Every Big Ten School (maybe not Nebraska) is a fine academic institution yet they have strong basketball programs ( a few exceptions). It wasn’t long ago the Pac 12 (10) rivaled the Big Ten in bball–what has happened?

  • SteveNTEXAS

    *big not bit. Hey Jeff can you make these fonts larger? Monty isn’t the only one losing his vision.

  • Yoda

    And vision isn’t the only thing you’re missing Steve.

    Rossi was a good recruit who had a really bad injury. If you knew anything you’d know that.

  • eephus

    “What specifically has brought us to the lower half of the Pac 12 over the last few years?”

    What’s you definition of “lower half?” Cal’s finishes the last three years:

    2009-2010 1st
    2010-2011 4th(t)
    2011-2012 2nd

  • Kevin Thomas

    Jim Crow,

    Montgomery is a very good coach, and has done well at Cal so far, but it is dead wrong to say that Monty’s first 4 years have been more successful than the first 4 years of Pete Newell. Pete won his first PCC title in 1957, his 3rd year at Cal, and lost by 4 points in the NCAA Western Regional to a USF team which finished 3rd in the Final Four. In 1958, his 4th year, Newell won his second straight PCC title, and lost in the NCAA Western Regional in overtime to a Seattle team with Elgin Baylor, and Seattle went to finish 2nd in the Final Four.

    So Newell won two PCC titles in his first 4 years at Cal, while Monty won one PAC10 title, and then went on to lose by larger margins to lesser teams in the NCAA. Newell went on to win 4 PCC titles in a row, one NCAA title, and one NCAA runnerup.

    Montgomery has had a slightly higher winning percentage than Newell in the first four years, 65% to 63%, but the schedules were much tougher in Newell’s day. Today, many teams schedule lots of weak opponents in the preseason, and Cal does the same. Newell always looked for the toughest opponents he could find, to make his teams better. Overall the PAC10 has not been very good during these last 4 years, so winning it, while a good accomplishment, does not compare to winning the old PCC in Newell’s day. In fact, in his day, Bay Area basketball was the best in the country. USF won two NCAA titles, and was 3rd once, Cal won one, and finshed second once. St. Mary’s, Santa Clara, and Stanford all had very good teams, and gave Cal lots of competition.

    Montgomery has done well so far, but he has not done better than Newell, and I think he would tell you that as well.

  • B

    Rossi might have been 4-star on ESPN, but he was only 3-star on both Rivals and Scout, and as far as I can tell, Cal wasn’t exactly competing with powerhouses for his services. Rivals has him getting offers from Iowa and Northwestern, for example.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Yoda the point is not that he had an injury its that he is just another heralded recruit that didn’t pan out. Yes you can make excuses for all of them if you like.

    Monty has had 4 pretty good years but my concern is that he is heading in the wrong direction. Had the Pac 12 been anything but horrid this year -we wouldn’t have gone to a playin game. This was only a good year -if your standards are low. Did we beat any top 50 teams?

    Of more concern is next year. Arizona Stanford and UCLA will probably be better – and we will probably be worse.

  • B

    “Yoda the point is not that he had an injury its that he is just another heralded recruit that didn’t pan out.”

    I disagree. I don’t think he was all that heralded, and ultimately, I think that’s the real problem. Cal hasn’t brought in enough talent. Lower rated guys means higher likelihood for bust with less upside. Not good, my friend.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    B I am giving those who like Monty the benefit of the doubt- otherwise he is just a hopeless recruiter. I’ve said for a year or so that he is not doing well with recruiting, however if his supporters want to argue he does recruit well, than I would counter for one reason or another they are not producing. Injured or not he will never be what Cal fans wanted, a star who can keep us near the top of the Pac 12.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    So Rossi is both: “a legitimate star that may have been overrated” AND “should’ve been destined for schools outside the top 100”.

    Just like Colorado was a good team this year and also not a good team.

    Clearly you’ll post whatever fits your narrative at any particular moment, as long as it fits the general theme of beating a dead horse.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Takeoff – how about some anger management? Did you see Juancho’s reply to you?

    If you didn’t have this obsession you would have understood this pretty simply. EITHER way if you want to call Rossi a TOP recruit who didn’t pan out or a not so good recruit who didn’t pan out it falls on Monty.

    Notice I took a position that most don’t agree with – a year ago it was blasphemy to suggest Monty wasn’t doing so well in recruiting, however most posters took the high road and simply pointed out where they agree or disagree.

    Takeoff maybe you should get a job or something that you like .. or a dog– it might provide some constructive uses for your time.

  • Uh Huh!

    I’ve defended you in the past, as we have pointed out that Monty needs to step up the recruiting. But here you are just an ass.

    “Monty shouldn’t have been stealing recruits destined for the bottom 100 schools”
    Rossi’s injury greatly affected his ability to integrate into the team, on the court. And even if he didn’t become the player you imagined he might, saying stuff like that, after he was rated the way he was? You’re just a jerk.

    Rossi was certainly far from the least heralded of Monty’s recruits. I, for one, saw lots of potential in him both before and after his injuries. I still was waiting for him to bulk up and show us his sweet shooting motion, which I witnessed in person! But now it sounds like he’s got a situation a heck of a lot more important than basketball to deal with.

    Best of luck, Mr. Rossi!

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Rossi is only ONE part of a sorry recruiting picture – I wish the best for him however we can make excuses for each one – including the other transfers and those not competitive.

    The bigger picture is that Cal will decline in basketball over at least the next couple of years.