A TV crew was at Cal today, preparing a story on freshmen Jordan Mathews and Kameron Rooks.
The occasion prompted coach Mike Montgomery to offer his thoughts on the 7-footer Rooks, whose progress and contributions this season have been predictably uneven.
The son of former Arizona star and NBA journeyman Sean Rooks, Kameron has played in 18 of Cal’s 20 games, averaging 6.3 minutes, 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds.
He’s had a few encouraging moments, for sure, but his best days are a year or so ahead of him.
Asked for a comparison to his father, Montgomery said, “You can see the touch he has is very similar to what his dad had . . . kind of a non-rotating, very soft type jump shot. They’re very similar in a lot of the ways they played the game.”
To a degree.
“Kameron’s thing is just changing his body to where he can move and jump and run and all kinds of things. He’ll do that,” Montgomery said.
“Big guys have way different development patterns than guards do. You’ll look at a big guy and say, `He’s going to be this because he’ll change. He’ll get stronger, shed some body fat, get more explosive, get more confident, all those things.’
“Kameron’s one of those guys in two years you’ll look at him and say, `Whoa, is that the same guy?’ Provided he does the work. Because he will change drastically.
“He’s got good hands. He’s just got to get to where the weightroom is his best friend, he changes his body, moves a little quicker, gets more explosive. I think you’ll be amazed at what happens.”
Montgomery became convinced Rooks could engineer that transformation, but there was a time coaches wondered.
“Part of what everybody questioned was how badly did he want to be a player?” Montgomery said. “He had to make a commitment physically. He started to figure that out late in his junior year, and he changed.
“He’s a really big kid. There’s a lot of things that can happen and will happen.”
So what is the state of his work ethic these days?
“He needs direction. But he’ll do what you ask him to do,” Montgomery said. “He’s a kid who wants to do it, but he needs direction.
“He’s got to look at his diet and understand how diet affects him. He’s got to start to factor all the things that involve a big kid like that and put them into play.
“Like most kids, when he starts to see results he’ll get excited about it.”