At last, some positive news for Cal men's basketball recruiting. Missouri shooting guard Ricky Kreklow decided to transfer after the former coaching staff departed for Arkansas. Eric Blumberg of KOMU8-TV reports that the shooting guard from Columbia, Missouri ended up choosing Cal over Gonzaga and Colorado. Kreklow was interested in moving beyond his current confines and a change of scenery from his hometown (plus his parents were on the Missouri Athletics staff), so hopefully Cal can provide him what he seeks.
I really like this signing for the Bears. Krekow's scholarship will count for the 2012 recruiting class, and he will sit out the 2011-12 season before starting his sophomore season in 2012-13 (three years to play three). Due to the graduation of Jorge Gutierrez and depending on the development of Emerson Murray, Krekow will have a great shot at seeing immediate playing time next season. Cal has two scholarships left for next season.
After the jump, more on Kreklow (including some video). Welcome to Cal, Ricky!
Kreklow had Cal on his short-list in the 2009-10 recruiting class, but was not extended an offer (most likely because Cal ended up with Allen Crabbe early in the cycle) and ended up picking the Tigers over schools like Creighton, Stanford, Virginia, and several other schools. He averaged only 2 points per game and shot 34%, but only played
Kreklow's high school recruiting tape makes you think of Jimmer Fredette--unlimited range with a gunner mentality. It's unusual to see a shooting guard pull-up for off-balance 25 foot jumpers, but it's nice to see someone with confidence from outside. There are times he uses superior height to get his shot, but his shooting stroke is pretty pure and it's nice to see someone who's confident at taking and making it from anywhere.
Quotes on Kreklow from Missouri are just as promising.
"I think he brings energy. He brings hustle. He’s got a great feel for the game," [Mizzou head coach Mike] Anderson said.
Besides Kreklow’s scoring, he also had four rebounds and three steals. He could often be found guarding bigger, thicker players in the post and sticking his hands into a thicket of players to come up with a deflection.
"He has no fear. He’s really gritty. He’s a tough kid," Anderson said.
Remind you of anyone?
Rock M Nation does have some things that seal those reminders (although Jorge wasn't quite as chaotic as a frosh, the parallels are eerie):
Nobody needs this offseason to come faster than Ricky Kreklow. The rationale for calling him "Nuke" was that when he was in the game, something crazy was going to happen, good or bad. For most of 2011, it's been almost all bad, sans the Oklahoma game... I'm very, very ready for both Nuke ... to not be a freshman anymore.
Ryan Gorcey of Bear Territory states that Mike Anderson and the Missouri coaching staff were so fond of Kreklow that they wanted him to accompany them on their move down to the Razorbacks. Kreklow thought otherwise, and here he is. Given a year to develop, he should be able to work on the finer points of the game with a good Cal basketball squad and be ready to contribute immediately and learn how to work within Monty's motion offense.
Maybe this is a little too sunny, but I like where Kreklow projects for Cal. It's been awhile since Monty's unleashed a pesky white guy on the conference. We're due.