We all agree that to date, Montgomery has failed to recruit any outstanding big men for Cal. Some claimed that Ben Braun did a much better job at recruiting bigs than Montgomery, but in a recent thread I showed that over the first 5 years, Braun did not recruit any good big men for Cal, and the jury is still out as to whether any of the current Cal bigs will turn out to be very good players.
It has also been claimed by some that Montgomery did a much better job of recruiting bigs at Stanford. I decided to look again at his recruiting for the first five years at Cal vs his first five years at Stanford.
Montgomery arrived at Stanford in 1986. His first decent big recruit was Andrew Vlahov in 1987, At 6-7, I’m not sure you can consider him a big. But he was a serviceable forward, starting for three years, averaging about 9 points and 5.3 rebounds. I’d consider Vlahov to be about the equal of Kravish or Solomon, but others may differ.
In 1988, he brought in Adam Keefe, a fine center/forward, who started for three years and averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds, clearly a much better big man than anyone he has recruited to Cal.
In 1989, he brought in Paul Garrett, and in 1990, he brought in Jim Morgan. Garrett started one year, and Morgan started one year, and part of another. Neither was as good as Kravish or Solomon that I can remember.
To make a true comparison between Monty’s recruits at Cal and at Stanford over 5 years, we would have to see all the current bigs on the roster finish their careers. Solomon has nearly 2 seasons left, Kravish and Behrens have nearly 3 seasons left. Johnson has nearly 4 seasons left. Rodriguez and Frid both have 4 seasons left to play.
I think we can say that Adam Keefe is a better big than any of the bigs that Cal has, even allowing for the improvement they might make over the next few years. However, I would guess that one or more of the current Cal bigs will likely turn out to be better than Vlahov was for Stanford.
During those same years from 1986-1990, Lou Campanelli was the Cal coach. How did Lou do against Montgomery? Lou landed Roy Fisher in 1987, and Brian Hedrick in 1989. Both of them were better than Vlahov, but neither was in Keefe’s class.
So yes, Montgomery did a better job recruiting bigs at Stanford in his first 5 years, than he has done at Cal, and the reason is just one recruit, Adam Keefe. Keefe makes a real difference to be sure, but one good recruit in five years vs. none in five years is not as big a difference as I was expecting. I guess most of the good big men for Stanford came later in Monty’s career there.