Mike Montgomery

Is Mike Montgomery in for a big 2013 recruiting class at Cal?

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California coach Mike Montgomery got perhaps the biggest commitment of his tenure this month when highly rated 2013 prospect Jabari Bird pledged his name to the Golden Bears.

Bird was following in the footsteps of his father, who also played basketball for Cal, and it was widely expected that he, too, would be a Golden Bear.

But the biggest question for Montgomery and Cal is whether Bird’s commitment will attract other top-25 players from the class that have played with or been associated with Cal’s first 2013 commit.

The first name mentioned is Marcus Lee, a 6-9, 200-pound forward from Antioch, Calif., who, according to Sports Illustrated, is down to California and Kentucky. He cut Louisville from his list after the Cardinals scored a commitment from Akoy Agau.

Lee is a top-30 player in the class.

And the other major name for Montgomery and California is Aaron Gordon, a top-5 national player and another in-state prospect.

Montgomery knows that he has to keep up in the Pac-12 arms race, considering the recent high-level classes hauled in by schools like UCLA and Arizona, and scoring Gordon and Lee would certainly help.

“We’re after a monster class,” Bird told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I don’t think Marcus had shown a lot of interest in Cal, but they’re definitely on his radar now. Aaron will make his own decision, but I know he was impressed.”

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.