Cal basketball, which has been quiet on the recruiting front, got some good news this week with DaRon Holmes II — a top-50 national prospect — included the Bears among his final four teams.
Holmes, a 6-foot-8, 195-pound power forward, said via Twitter that he also continues to consider Arizona, Dayton and Marquette. Cal coach Mark Fox is still seeking his first commitment from a player in the class of 2021.
Holmes is playing this season at Montverde Academy in Florida, but be grew up in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear, Arizona, so the home-state Wildcats would seem to have a recruiting edge.
The Arizona Republic reached out to Holmes and got his evaluations on the four schools still on his list:
— Arizona: "The atmosphere is amazing (at Arizona). The coaching staff is always engaged and they have really good development also like the style of play.”
— Cal: "I really like the style of play. (They have a) great culture in their program. I like that it’s a high academic, the coaching staff is great, nice development as well.”
— Marquette: "Marquette has a great support system. The school has no football program and the students really come and support the basketball games. The coaching staff is really cool and they have a great culture.”
— Dayton: "Dayton Flyers have a really nice program (that's) also underrated to me. They do a great job with their players and the coaching staff is really cool."
Holmes is no doubt a recruiting priority for Arizona coach Sean Miller. The Wildcats have just one commitment so far — four-star guard K.J. Simpson — and Holmes was a star at Millennium High. He started for the varsity team since his freshman season and led the Tigers to the state’s 5A championship game the past two years.
A consensus four-star prospect, Holmes averaged 23.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.8 blocked shots while earning the 2019-20 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year award.
He is on scholarship and living on campus at Montverde this year, according to the Republic.
Cal is among just three Pac-12 programs without a basketball recruiting commitment yet this year, joining Utah and Washington State.
These five schools are off to strong starts in their pursuit of 2021 talent:
— Stanford: The Cardinal’s two-player class is ranked No. 8 by Rivals, No. 16 by 247Sports. The headliner is five-star small forward Harrison Ingram of Dallas, who is rated the nation’s No. 9 prospect by Rivals and No. 11 by 247Sports.
— UCLA: The Bruins check in at No. 10 on the Rivals list, No. 17 by 247Sports. Among their two commitments is five-star small forward Peyton Watson of Long Beach, a consensus top-20 prospect. Cal offered him, as did Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, USC and Washington.
— Colorado: The Buffaloes are off to a good start, rated No. 14 by Rivals, No. 27 by 247Sports. Their four commitments includes 4-star prospects Quincy Allen, a forward from Washington D.C., and Lawson Lovering, a 7-foot center from Cheyenne, Wyo.
— USC: The Trojans’ class is ranked No. 9 by 247Sports, No. 15 by Rivals. Among four commitments are a pair of four-star guards from California, Malik Thomas and guard Reese Dixon-Waters. Cal also pursued Dixon-Waters.
— Oregon: The Ducks have just one commitment, but he’s a good one — five-star center Nathan Bittle of Napa, who also was recruited by the Bears. Oregon’s early class ranking is No. 29 by Rivals, No. 49 by 247Sports.
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo
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