After a disappointing Class of 2011 where coach Mike Montgomery landed two under the radar prospects, Cal fans send their hopes out to the Class of 2012 to bring in more highly regarded players. It starts with guard play, which was not touched in last year’s recruiting class.
Anrio Adams: This kid is very talented, another one of the highly touted guards coming up through Washington pipeline. He follows in the footsteps of Tony Wroten Jr., another Washington recruit, in playing style as an electric point guard and a solid passer. He doesn’t play a lot of defense, and at 6-2 he’s a bit of tweener, but he would be a huge pick-up for the Bears. He’s a longshot to sign; he does want to get away from Seattle, which is a plus, but he’s got schools such as Arizona, Georgetown, Kansas, Louisville, Oregon, Pitt, Syracuse, Texas, and UCLA on his list. He’d be a major get.
Shabazz Muhammed: The highest touted of the Bears listed on the report, the 5 star recruit is incredibly unlikely to be a Bear. He’s a terrific scorer and one of the best players in the country, but when Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, and North Carolina are chasing you, Cal is not a high priority. Oh well.
Gabe York: The California native is the more likely of the first three to be a Golden Bear. It’s still not a high probability, but there is not as many premier programs chasing him and location is on the Bears side. York is a lethal 3 point shooter who can also attack the rim, but needs to bulk up and play some defense in order to make an immediate impact at the next level. Oregon is the only Pac-10 school not recruiting the 6-2 guard. Cal may have made him an offer (Scout says yes, Rivals no)
In all likelihood, those three are not going to be suiting up for Cal. A couple other possible options at the guard spot:
Tyrone Wallace: A point guard, he could be the heir apparent for Brandon Smith or Justin Cobbs. He’s got great height for a point at around 6-3, and he’s great at making his teammates better. His jump shot needs work, and his handle is a little sloppy, but Wallace is a solid recruit in the future. He can play some solid defense, and the left hander also can finish at the bucket. With offers from ASU, Colorado, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Nevada, San Diego State, UNLV, and Utah, Wallace’s most prestigious offer would probably be a Cal one if ever extended.
Other point guard options: Dominic Artis (5-11, 155) from Richmond has one BCS offer, from Washington State. He’s got talent and Cal has shown some interest. Calean Robinson (6-2, 163) has an Arizona State offer and Cal interest has well. Ray Lee (6-3, 170) and Derrick Randolph (5-7, 150) are both out of state options who have seen offers come from power conferences. Darius Graham (5-10) from Sacramento High and Akachi Okugo (6-0, 170) from Jesuit both come from big Sacramento schools and have seen interest from the Bears.
No other shooting guards are being recruited heavily that are highly touted.
Other shooting guard options: Michael Avery (6-5, 197) is more famous for committing to Kentucky before he was a freshman in high school, but he’s also a Cal recruit. Demarcus Holland (6-3, 175) joins him as the other out of state recruit, as the Texas native has received moderate interest from Cal, but far more from nearby smaller schools. Kyrion Thomas (6-3, 185) from Sheldon in Sacramento is on the watch list of multiple California schools, but none with an offer. Finally, Tajai Johnson(6-2) from Vallejo has received interest from Cal as well as far east as Boston College.
Overall, the guard class has a lot of upper tier talent potentially signing, and then the depth takes a hit. There are quality players on the bottom of the list, but they aren’t the kind that have received major attention and are potential program-changers. If Montgomery and his staff can land any of Adams, Muhammed, or York, then the class of 2012 would automatically be a huge success. Go Bears!