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Cal basketball recruiting: Ira Lee has Golden Bears in his unofficial top six

Cal faces stiff competition if they want to keep Ira Lee in Northern California for his collegiate basketball career.

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote about 2017 4-star prospect Ira Lee back in May, you can read that article here if you missed it, but there has since been new information in his recruiting process.

In a recent interview with Scout's Ryan Gorcey, Lee talked about a variety of topics surrounding his recruitment. Here are the highlights:

  • When asked if he has a top three or five, Lee said "not officially, but right now I'd probably say it's Arizona, Cal, USC, Texas, Oregon and Kansas."

Lee was asked to give a tidbit on what he likes about each of his top schools and here is what he said:

  • USC: "My dad played football there, so I'm always going to have a connection with them."
  • Arizona: "That's where I was born and raised, so that's home for me. Coach Miller has been after me since I was a freshman."
  • Cal: "Same thing with Cal. Cal's been there since I was a freshman. Cuonzo is a genuine dude and he's always showed love."
  • Texas: "Shaka Smart is a real genuine coach; a player's coach."
  • Oregon: "The system would be right for me."

When asked about his position on the court Lee said "I'm a basketball player. I do whatever I can to win."

Lee also sat down with Rivals for an interview which is a bit older than the Scout interview and here are the highlights:

  • On last month's unofficial visit to Arizona: "The visit was great. I was born in Arizona, so it's like going back home for me. I love the campus. I love the people there. Coach Miller's been telling me since freshman year he wants me to be a versatile forward; fit that mold like Solomon Hill [and] Aaron Gordon."
  • Cal, Texas, USC and Auburn are recruiting him hard and "showing a lot of love."
  • Lee plans to visit Texas and Cal in August. He wants to see how he would be utilized, what the environment is like at those two schools and how each coach does things.

A commitment from Lee would add a significant front-court presence to the Bears' talented, but guard heavy, 2017 recruiting class which includes Jemarl Baker, Juhwan Harris-Dyson, and Alec Hickman.

Here is where Lee ranks among the major recruiting services.

  • ESPN: 4 stars, 77th overall, 12th ranked power forward, 7th ranked player in California.
  • Scout; 4 stars, 61st overall, 8th ranked power forward.
  • Rivals: 4 stars, 50th overall.
  • 247sports: 4 stars, 30th overall, ranked 4th in California.

Hopefully Cuonzo and co. can reel in another big fish. Go Bears!