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Questions and Answers - 2018-19 Men's Basketball Holiday Edition

December 18, 2018
1,196

We’ve collected some of your questions and the staff at BI has done the best to answer them below.

How warm is Wyking Jones’ seat?   

Wyking is in only his second season as Cal’s head coach and the general rule is for a new basketball HC to get at least three seasons to prove himself.  That said, the team’s performance on the court the past 14 months and the lack of attendance and donations have likely condensed new AD Jim Knowlton’s evaluation period.

Discussion from...

Questions and Answers - 2018-19 Men's Basketball Holiday Edition

Bisonbob
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Good report on the status of the BB program. Agree with all, but not sure WJ is the one to get the program to being competitive, I also felt CM squandered some good talent,, and for that matter Monty retired the day he became head coach, and never recruited well, nor did he want to..

This current team has too many of the same players and will get killed by much bigger and deeper Pac twelve teams.
So go out and get a young aggressive coach from a smaller basketball D1 program, who loves and can recruit, and has a track record..
SFCityBear
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Bisonbob said:

Good report on the status of the BB program. Agree with all, but not sure WJ is the one to get the program to being competitive, I also felt CM squandered some good talent,, and for that matter Monty retired the day he became head coach, and never recruited well, nor did he want to..

This current team has too many of the same players and will get killed by much bigger and deeper Pac twelve teams.
So go out and get a young aggressive coach from a smaller basketball D1 program, who loves and can recruit, and has a track record..

I agree with most of this, but I think it is very unfair to characterize Mike Montgomery as "retired" when he came to Cal. Was Mike Montgomery "retired" when he coached Cal to its first Conference Championship in 50 years? Was he retired when he turned nearly all his players into much better players than they were when he got them? Had he no passion left for the game when he got so angry, he shoved his star player Allen Crabbe in front of thousands of fans at Haas and on TV? Was he just lounging around collecting checks when he coached a bunch of young sometimes prima donnas into a team that looked like a smooth functioning unit on offense? No, he worked damn hard when he was at Cal, like he always had. He may not have brought in as many highly rated recruits as you and I would have liked, but let us not say he was "retired." That was a cheap shot.

Montgomery was not always a great recruiter before coming to Cal. Did he recruit well at Montana? He coached at Stanford for 18 years. National recruit rankings that I could find only go back to 1998. In the period from when Montgomery started at Stanford until 1997, I could find only one player, Adam Keefe, who would have been a top 100 ranked recruit (he was named in the top 40 of one magazine). Monty recruited some good players in those years, but other than Keefe, none were highly recruited. Maybe Dion Cross or Tim Young. Brevin Knight was lightly recruited. Others included were Wingate, Vlahov, Patrick, Brent Williams, Peter Dukes, Marcus Lollie, Andy Poppink, but none seemed to have national prominence to warrant a ranking, if rankings had existed. In the period from 1998-2003, arguably his best years recruiting, Monty landed 9 top 100 recruits. In two of those years he had 6 or 7 top 100 recruits on his teams. They were Josh Childress, Matt Lottich, Justin Davis (who he flipped from Ben Braun and Cal), Rob Little, Chris Hernandez, Matt Haryasz, Tim Morris, Casey Jacobsen, and Curtis Borchardt. During those 6 years, Monty recruited good players who were not ranked in the top 100 as well, such as the Collins twins, Mark Madsen, Arthur Lee, Julius Barnes, Teyo Johnson, Kris Weems, and David Mosely.

At Stanford, over an 18 year career, Montgomery landed a total of 10 top 100 ranked recruits (including Adam Keefe as probable). At Cal, over 6 years, Montgomery recruited 5 top 100 players. Bird, Crabbe, Wallace, Franklin, and Seely. Some recruits did not pan out, like Franklin and Seely at Cal and Morris at Stanford. His best ranked recruits over 18 years at Stanford were Childress and Jacobsen, both ranked #18. His best ranked recruit at Cal was Jabari Bird ranked #20. On a per year basis, Montgomery recruited no better at Stanford than at Cal, looking at the top 100 ranked players, getting less than one per year on average. It took Montgomery 12 years at Stanford, before he began getting multiple top 100 recruits together on a team. At Cal he had only 6 years. Based on his experience at Stanford, I believe his recruiting would have improved, just as it did at Stanford. At Stanford his recruiting of very good unranked recruits was excellent, especially in his last 6 years on the farm. At Cal, he brought in some very good unranked recruits as well, Justin Cobbs, Jorge Gutierrez, Jordan Mathews, David Kravish, and Richard Solomon. Cuonzo Martin does get credit for signing Ivan Rabb, but Montgomery had laid the foundation for that with many early contacts. And you don't sign Jabari Bird or Allen Crabbe without trying. And one reason Cuonzo signs Rabb is Montgomery had signed Rabb's friend Bird, not to mention Jordan Mathews and others who might make Cal a competitive team. And Brown comes to Cal, partly because of those players already on the roster.

For fun, I looked at Ben Braun's recruiting. In 12 years at Cal, he signed 12 top 100 ranked players, an average of one per year, and his highest ranked recruit was Leon Powe #9, all of which is better than Montgomery did at Stanford or at Cal.

I don't deny that Mike Montgomery may have come to view recruiting as having changed a lot, and he was always ethical, but to say he was retired or not trying is a stretch. I spoke with him at a CCSF game where he was scouting an unranked player, De End Parker. He was very interested in Parker. Montgomery did get a commitment, but UCLA flipped him. Parker left the UCLA team to take care of his very ill mother. He transferred to USF, but quit basketball again, I think to take care of her. Montgomery did recruit well for a few of his years at Stanford, but was never willing to do or say the unethical thing to sign a recruit, which often prevents a coach from being called a great recruiter.

Yogi Bear
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SFCityBear said:


During those 6 years, Monty recruited good players who were not ranked in the top 100 as well, such as the Collins twins
Both Collins twins were McDonald''s All Americans. No idea what their recruit ratings were, but probably not the wrong side of the top 100.
SFCityBear
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Yogi Bear said:

SFCityBear said:


During those 6 years, Monty recruited good players who were not ranked in the top 100 as well, such as the Collins twins
Both Collins twins were McDonald''s All Americans. No idea what their recruit ratings were, but probably not the wrong side of the top 100.
You are right. I shouldn't have made the assumption. The Collins twins were also listed as 4th team high school All-Americans by HoopScoop and 3rd team AA by Parade magazine. The rankings I used were the RSCI (Recruiting Services Consensus Index) which is compiled by taking the average ranking of several experts or recruiting gurus for a particular player. The first year the RSCI was formed was 1998, and the Collins twins were in the 1997 class. In 1998 the experts polled were All-Star Report, Hoop Scoop, Future Stars, and Prep Stars. If Hoop Scoop had the Collins twins on the 4th team AA in 1997, then presumably their rankings would have been somewhere around the top 20 in the RSCI, if it had been in existence then. The experts RSCI polls today are ESPN, 247 Sports, Rivals, and Hot 100 Hoops. The mistake I made was I thought the Collins twins were in the 1998 class, and so when I saw no ranking for them in RSCI, I assumed they were unranked. I probably made other mistakes as well in some of Montgomery's recruits. If you find more, let me know and I will revise my post.
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