Cal Basketball Recruiting 2012: Kaileb Rodriguez Commits To The Bears

Different year, same season. It's spring, which means everyone's questioning Jeff Tedford about the quarterback, and everyone's questioning Mike Montgomery about a curious basketball recruiting commitment.

The first big recruit by Mike Montgomery for the 2012 class is Kaileb Rodriguez, reports Jim McGill of Bear Insider. Rodriguez is a 6'9", 200 lb power forward from Thunder Ridge High School in Highland Ranch, Colorado, a suburb on the outskirts of Denver. Rodriguez picked Cal over schools like Colorado, UNLV and Nevada.

Rodriguez has not yet made a huge breakthrough on the court (he averages 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 assists), but the coaching staff seems to believe his athleticism and physical talents will vault him into a more outstanding senior campaign (a la Richard Solomon two years ago). His wingspan is quite impressive, so I'm hoping he can use that to his advantage in a Pac-12 that seems to be growing smaller (in terms of big men) every year. There is talk of Rodriguez bulking up a bit to 225, so he could possible be flexing between power forward and center. 

So people might be wondering, why would Monty take a flyer on a guy few have really heard about? Well, the same reason they took unheralded players like Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon early on in the process; they valued his upside, and they wanted to pounce on him before he potentially broke out in summer camps and bigger schools potentially locked in on him. Obviously this is a risky move, but it's panned out for Montgomery before, and we'll just have to be faithful to his vision.

Cal will probably take four guys after a quiet 2011 class, so look out for three more names to pop up. No video after the jump--the only highlight of Rodriguez available is this dunk, which can only confirm that he can dunk. Looking forward to see the first tapes leak out.

Welcome to Cal, Kaileb! GO BEARS!

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