Photo by Twitter / Connor Vanover
Cal Basketball

Bears Officially Sign 7'3" Center Connor Vanover

April 22, 2018

BERKELEY – California men’s basketball boosted an already highly rated 2018 signing class with the addition of big man Connor Vanover, head coach Wyking Jones announced today.

Vanover, a three-star forward/center out of Little Rock, Ark., joins the Golden Bears out of Nevada’s Findlay Prep program, where he averaged 8.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 28 games.

“I’m extremely excited to add Connor to our Cal family. He’s a wonderful young man that fits our culture on and off the court,” Jones said. “From a basketball standpoint, he fills an immediate need with his size.  His size and length are obvious, but what separates him from the rest is his high basketball IQ and his ability to shoot the ball.”

A consensus three-star recruit as rated by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports, Vanover also averaged 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals with the Pilots, helping them to a 32-5 record as the No. 26-ranked team in the country.

Prior to joining Findlay Prep, the 7-3 Vanover starred at Arkansas Baptist Prep, where he led the Eagles to a three-year record of 82-21 with three league crowns as a varsity starter each season. Arkansas Baptist won the 2016 and 2017 Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) Class 4A state titles. Vanover recorded more than 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 300 blocks with the Eagles.

While in Arkansas, Vanover hauled in numerous accolades, including as a two-time USA Today All-Arkansas second team selection and three-time Arkansas Class 4A All-State honoree. Vanover was a three-time Arkansas Basketball Coaches Association 4A Top Five Player and the 2016 Arkansas Preps Sophomore of the Year, He was named Most Valuable Player in the 2016 Arkansas Class 4A State Tournament and at the 2016 Penny Hardaway Classic.

The big man also spent time with Team USA, where he captured a gold medal at the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championship in Argentina. Vanover averaged 3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in four games. He also participated in the 2016 U17 World Championship team training camp and the USA Men’s Junior National Team Oct. 2014 minicamp.

Last summer, he averaged 9.4 points and 5.5 rebounds in 13 games with Nike Pro Skills.

“At 7-3 and with the ability to shoot the ball like a guard, Connor creates matchup problems,” Jones added. “Connor’s best basketball is ahead of him and I’m really excited to be a part of what the future holds for him.”

Vanover is the fourth signee of Cal’s 2018 signing class, joining Matt Bradley, Jacobi Gordon and Andre Kelly. Cal’s early signing trio of Bradley, Gordon and Kelly were ranked among the nation’s top 25 classes according to ESPN, Scout and 247Sports.

Discussion from...

Bears Officially Sign 7'3" Center Connor Vanover

Big C
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Regarding his "high basketball IQ", 2.5 assists per game is not too shabby at all for a 7'+ player in high school.
puget sound cal fan
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Being able to passi-out of double-teams, and get the ball to open shooters, would be big contributions for the new seven-foot post.
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Big C said:

Regarding his "high basketball IQ", 2.5 assists per game is not too shabby at all for a 7'+ player in high school.
And that 2.5 assists were playing a back-up role to Bol Bol who was considered one of the top players in this class....2.5 assists are a ton playing probably 10 to 12 min per game...
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Cuonzo for a few brief moments had Rooks at the high post against the zone. Suddenly entry passes to the middle of the zone were much easier, as were passes back out or dump downs. Vanover has the added dimension though of being able to hit a perimeter shot.
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Get the hope salt shaker out and start the shaking!
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