After some bad news yesterday in basketball recruiting, the Cal hoops fan needed some encouragement. Mike Montgomery delivered some to the fanbase, as his staff signed a transfer from Missouri, Ricky Kreklow. Kreklow played one season at Missouri, and will redshirt the 2011-2012 season before having three more seasons of eligibility.
Kreklow played in 32 games last year, playing nearly 10 minutes per game for a Tiger team that made the NCAA Tournament. He averaged 2.1 points, and 1.3 rebounds per game in his limited playing time as at Mizzou. He wasn’t very efficient in his time on the offensive end (80.8 offensive efficiency), but he did a nice job racking up steals for the ’40 minutes of Hell’ defense. He was a 3 star recruit coming out of high school, according to Rivals.com and Scout.com, fitting in with many other unheralded players on the roster. Kreklow’s father, Wayne, is a volleyball coach at the university, and getting away from home was one the primary reasons for his transfer. Another was the departure of coach Mike Anderson from the school.
At 6-6, Kreklow can either play shooting guard or small forward, although his primary position is at the guard spot. While I didn’t get a chance to see Kreklow play at Missouri, Missouri typically has a prototype for their wings. Most of them are long, athletic, very scrappy, and capable of pressuring the basketball for their defensive style. Kreklow’s steal % was third on the team, albeit in a small sample size, but that does suggest that Ricky is a potential terror on the defensive end. He’s known for being tenacious and a hard worker, and could be the future of Montgomery’s ‘pest’ position (he’s had many, Jorge being the most recent). His offensive future is a bit clouded. He didn’t really have a chance to showcase what he can do on the offensive end for the Tigers, but from his high school career we do know some of his potential. Kreklow is a dangerous threat from beyond the arc and can really shoot the basketball for his size. Ricky can pass the ball well, and has good instincts. He’s not all that athletic, so he does have some problems getting to the basket. While it’s tough to tell, Kreklow is probably going to be an immediate impact player in some capacity, whether it be as a starter or energy guy off the bench. He figures to be an annoyance to other teams, a dead-eye shooter from the outside, and a great man to man defender, but with his secondary skills not on par with those talents.
The recruiting class of 2012 loses one scholarship, and now will have just two more to offer to prospective recruits. At least one scholarshop will go to another forward/center, likely Grant Verhoeven or Landen Lucas, and the other will probably go to a guard, whether it be a point or shooting guard. Still, there is a lot of time for things to change, and it is far too early to make predictions on who will be joining the Bears in a season. After all, just 24 hours ago any prediction would have likely involved Dominic Artis, and we all know how that turned out.
Kreklow will make his debut in the 2012-2013 season for the Golden Bears, with a chance to contribute right away. We’ll probably be taking a closer look at his game in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to watch how he develops, as well as to follow other players who could be joining him on the hardwood in 2012. Go Bears!