Cal basketball might not have had the greatest recruiting year in 2011 after a fairly strong 2010 class. But Mike Montgomery could be set to rebound with some groovy looking prospects next season. Restocking the point becomes critical with Brandon Smith to be a senior in 2012-13 and Justin Cobbs a junior, and we'll probably need a point each of the next two years.
So who are we looking at right now? Dominic Artis from Vallejo is probably priority one. Artis will probably be the best point guard in the West when all is said and done, and his upcoming transfer to Findlay should boost up his national profile.
Based on the mixtape above, let us know your thoughts about Artis in the comments! Who does he remind you of as a player?
Artis is listed at over six feet tall, although I feel he's at least an inch or two short on that in these vids. He's a bit baby-faced--he looks young enough to be a corner boy in The Wire. That's not necessarily the worst thing in the world; he probably could grow and develop as a player through his senior season and get above six feet before he would become a primary ball-handler for the Bears.
The first thing everyone should notice is that handle, oh, that beautiful, beautiful handle. Artis commands the ball on a string. He's able to direct the ball from either hand, make good passes from either side, finish on each side of the basket. While I wouldn't call him fast, he's very quick with his movements. Let's not make light of his sweet touch passes; a deft flick of the hand, and there goes the ball to a man parked under the basket for the finish. Reports are Artis is a pass-first point guard (no stats available), and it's clear from these vids he has good enough vision to thread the needle and find guys on the run.
He also has a great stepback jumper that reminds me a little of Isaiah Thomas, something that forces the defense to respect him from the outside. That opens up his driving lanes and makes him dangerous from most sides of the court. He will have to work on not overhandling the ball and not getting into sticky situations like on some of these plays, but with a year of development in college that should be fixed up.
Mike Montgomery has been on Artis for a few years now, which might give him a little edge. Monty has been chided a little unfairly for not trailblazing the recruiting trail, so Artis would be a nice reversal if he manages to pick him up. But he might have to hope Artis doesn't get his growth spurt for another few months though and the offers start pouring in.
Other offers: UCLA, Baylor, Colorado, FIU, FSU, Nevada, San Diego St., UC Davis, Washington St (via Rivals). This list should only grow in the upcoming months, so the earlier we hear about Artis liking us, the better.