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BERKELEY - Three players ranked in Rivals' Top 150 and a long-distance shooter from Chicago highlight the 2010 California men's basketball recruiting class, Golden Bear head coach Mike Montgomery announced Wednesday. The class ranks No. 17 by Scout.com.
The four players who have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Cal next season are: 6-2 point guard Gary Franklin (Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei High School), 6-9 forward Richard Solomon (Los Angeles, Price High School), 6-5 guard Allen Crabbe (Los Angeles, Price High School) and 6-5 guard Alex Rossi (Winnetka, Ill., New Trier Township High School). Franklin (No. 72), Solomon (No. 101) and Crabbe (No. 102) all earned mention in the Rivals' Top 150, while Franklin was also rated the nation's No. 66 recruit by ESPN.
"We're really pleased with the recruiting class that we have," Montgomery said. "We knew this was going to be a big year. This group of four is really an outstanding group of kids, and we still have one scholarship available. It's a very good group and they're very good individually. Given where we were, what we're going to lose and what we're looking at down the road, this was an extremely important group for us, and I think we came up big. It's kind of exciting. Considering we lose Jerome (Randle), Patrick (Christopher), Theo (Robertson) and Jamal (Boykin), specifically those guys along with Nikola (Knezevic), this is a good group of replacements."
Franklin averaged 14.2 points, 4.5 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game at Mater Dei HS last year, helping the school to a 31-2 record and a perfect 10-0 league mark. He also made 63 three-pointers. Scout.com ranks Franklin as the 16th-best point guard among this year's recruits and ESPN has him 14th among point guards. Rivals.com lists Franklin at No. 18 among point guards.
"Gary Franklin was one of the most sought after players, certainly in the West, if not the country," Montgomery said. "He's got size at the point. He can really shoot the ball and come off pick and rolls. He's in a very successful program; they won the state championship. He's been a starter there for years. I think it gives us some national credibility. He's strong, has range and he's got a really quick release. I've watched him at times, and he would recognize that his team needed some scoring and then, all of the sudden, he makes four of five straight threes."