We're living in strange times. We're only a third of the way through September, and I'm already thinking as much about the hardwood as I am the gridiron. Cal basketball has landed their second straight consensus top recruit.
Joining Jabari Bird among the list of early verbals is Santa Monica shooting guard Jordan Mathews.
"It was a no-brainer," Mathews told me. He picked Cal over Kansas State, Wake Forest and Marquette.
Mathews is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound, four-star shooting guard from Santa Monica HS. Rated No. 85 national prospect by Rivals.com.
The son of former USF head coach and UCLA assistant Phil Mathews, he lived in San Francisco until the age of 10. "I feel really comfortable in the Bay," Mathews said.
Mathews called Cal’s Mike Montgomery "a great coach,’ and said he was sold on the idea that he would be able to contribute early. "I’m very eager to play for him," Mathews said.
He also is excited to join top-20 SG Jabari Bird of Salesian, who committed on Wednesday.
"Jabari is really good. He’s easy to play with and I’m good friends with him," Mathews said.
Mathews is ranked as a top 100 talent by Rivals and top 125 by 247 Sports, boasting offers from Kansas State, San Diego State, Gonzaga and Wake Forest as well as Pac-12 schools like Colorado and USC. Matthews would probably be slated along with Bird as the primary replacements for Allen Crabbe and Ricky Kreklow once they graduate.
Mathews is also on the same AAU team (Cali Supreme) as Cal targets like Torren Jones and Marcus Lee. Both of them are potential big man targets and would help nicely complement the current Golden Bear recruiting class. If Cal could land two guys like Jones, Lee or (dream big) Aaron Gordon, the Bears will be in the running for a top-10 class.
Is such a thing even possible? With at least two spots left in our class, we're halfway there.