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Roundtables: The New Guys

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Kuany and Dimitrios (and now Kareem South)

NCAA Basketball: Washington at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Bears secured two overseas talents in SF Kuany Kuany and G/F Dimitrios Kontalas. What do you think of the two commits and their prospects?

Editor’s note: This was written before the commitment of Grad Transfer Kareem South.

Joshua.Morgan: They look like pretty solid additions. My favorite thing about international recruits is that since not much is known about them, they have plenty of room to exceed expectations. If the coaching staff truly identified guys that they like, then it could pay off big time. I am just hoping that this wasn’t entirely a scramble for available players.

Nick Kranz: Well, let’s just start with the obvious: after so many transfers, this program simply needed bodies that could reasonable be expected to hold up against Pac-12 competition. And while there’s not really anything in the scouting reports for either Kuany or Klonaras that would suggest they will be major impact recruits (that’s pretty much how a 3 star recruit is defined, after all), there’s enough talent and/or athleticism in both cases to hope that these aren’t complete flier pickups either.

Kuany’s size and athleticism is combined enough to think that a defensive coach like Mark Fox can turn him into a valuable rim protector. When you bring in a 3 star big man, the typical expectation is that they aren’t going to be doing much on offense other than finishing easy looks off of guard penetration or fighting on the offensive glass, but considering Cal’s utter lack of size, that’s going to have to be enough.

With Kuany, at least he’s been playing at a high prep level in the USA. Klonaras is muuuuch harder to project out. On one hand, he’s playing within the setup of a legitimate European pro team. On the other hand, he hasn’t gotten any real run at that level. He’s listed as a shooting guard, but his shooting stats in youth play aren’t super encouraging . . . but that was in a small sample size when he was 16 or younger, so who really knows? His offer list (other than Cal) at the D1 level doesn’t really suggest that the coaching community views him as a power conference level player, so we have to hope that he’s either flying well under the radar, or that the current coaching staff has seen something that everybody else is missing.

Nik Jam: Both players look like solid prospects. I think that Kuany can make an immediate impact. Dimitrios is an unknown considering he played for Greece but that means he could even exceed the scouting expectations. We’re going to need some minutes from him early I bet.

thedozen: I’m really looking forward to tracking their development, but if you read my reports then you probably knew that.

Rob Hwang: I’ll keep it short and sweet. Kuany is listed at 6-10 and played small forward for Prolific Prep. I do see him as a frontcourt player that could project out somewhere between the mold of Stanfurd’s KZ Okpala and Toronto’s Pascal Siakam. Yes, broad molds for sure, but thats how hard to tell it is. HIs highlight reel is much of him shooting 3s and dunking. Theres way too much unknown in whether he can do that over smaller competition and if his athleticism carries over into PAC-12 play. I really hope he does.

On Dimitrios? I side with Nick. It’s ridiculously hard to tell. My one gut feeling is the same feeling after watching a kid like Luka Doncic play for the Dallas Mavericks. The guy played against fully grown and aged professional basketball players and yet we constantly overlooked that just because he played overseas. I think that’s just one of the points that could be in Dimitrios’ favor. Playing against professionals and then jumping down in American Collegiate Athletics? Maybe it transfers so much more than we’re all giving him credit. I really hope it does.