The 2017 recruiting class has lost a bit of its shine due to Jemarl Baker asking to be released from his letter of intent, which makes now the perfect time to look ahead to the 2018 (and 2020) recruiting class!
What’s new California Golden Bears coach Wyking Jones up to on the trail? First stop: Jordan Brown.
New Cal coach Wyking Jones watched freshman Khyree Walker & 2018 5-star Jordan Brown this evening.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) March 26, 2017
Jordan Brown’s Woodcreek team lost in the open division championship game to BIshop Montgomery 74-67, while Kyree Walker and Moreau Catholic lost in the division II championship game to Esperanza 72-65.
If Cal was loaded with a ton of five-stars at every position like Kentucky or Duke we would still want Brown. He’s that good. And since we’re not loaded with five-stars at every position — and are projected to have the invisible man and Casper the Friendly Ghost patrolling the post in 2018-19 — needless to say, it would be a boost to get Brown. He’s the top target for the Bears’ 2018 recruiting class.
Brown is averaging 26 points and 15 rebounds this season and went off for 35 points and 17 rebounds in the championship game to try and lead his team back from an early deficit against Bishop Montgomery — a team that knocked out four consecutive five-star big men on their way to winning the championship.
Like the new big men of his era, Brown displays guard skills, often rebounding at one end and leading the break at the other. Who needs an outlet?
Brown said his recruitment, like his potential, is wide open.
"There's not much he can't do," Hayes said. "He was very skilled when he got here and he's just got better. A nice new thing for him is his ability to avoid contact and now he can step outside and shoot. He can consistently knock down 15-footers. He has tremendous footwork and moves. He's the complete package."
Said former college coach Gerry Freitas, who owns a West Coast scouting service: "I don't know if there is a ceiling for Jordan Brown. He impacts the game tremendously at both ends of the court. In a big way. His biggest improvement is learning how to play against double and triple teams, which he sees every game. He's able to make the right pass or finish in traffic. He's developing physically at the same time of his game."
With so much developing physically — and so much fanfare — elite players sometime over-inflate their egos.
"They can get big-headed," Freitas said. "Talking with coach Hayes, nothing is further from the truth in regards to Jordan Brown."
This video features Brown (#21 in black) facing off against Chino Hills and 2019 five-star big man Onyeka Okongwu (#21 in white).
And here’s a mixtape of assorted Brown highlights.
The other prospect new Cal head coach Wyking Jones watched at the Golden 1 Center is Kyree Walker of Moreau Catholic in Hayward, CA.
Walker, a member of the Oakland Soldiers AAU team, is listed as a five-star prospect and number two overall in the class of 2020 by recruiting service Future150.
Future150 lists his strengths as athleticism, rebounding, on-ball defense, playing above the rim, scoring on all three levels, upper body strength, and ability to create plays.
Walker (#24 in white) scored 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the state championship loss to Esperanza. The highlights can be viewed below.
Moreau Catholic found themselves down by double-digits early, just like Woodcreek did, but Walker and his teammates showed a lot of heart to fight back into the game despite losing.
Coach Jones is getting to work on recruiting already, so hopefully he can close out the 2017 recruiting class with a late push and bring in some great players for 2018 and beyond.