BERKELEY-Out of the several big men prospects at Cal's elite hoops camp this past weekend, there were two real standouts-the aforementioned Ricardo Gathers and 2011 power forward Ryan Anderson.
Anderson-a 6-foot-8, 215-pounder out of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly-was a constant presence down low crashing the boards, showed a lot of polish skill-wise and had great instincts in the paint and was a vocal leader getting back on defense during games.
"They liked my aggressiveness and my versatility that I showed them," said Anderson of how the Bears' coaches evaluated his camp performance. "They think that I can be a really good fit, and they just want to continue to watch me progress and get better over the summer."
Though this was Anderson's second year in a row at Cal's elite hoops camp, he still attacked it with the same verve and enthusiasm as he would were it his first time.
"I liked meeting all of these new people," Anderson said. "I've never met any of these kids before, but they're all funny. You get out, and you meet people, you meet other basketball players who have the same interests as you and you get a chance to compete. There's a lot of good players out there, and that's the main thing. Sometimes, at your high school, you don't get as much competition, but out here, you get a chance to see how you match up.
"It's easier for me, this year. Last year, I was younger, not as strong, not as big, and it was harder for me to be effective. This year, I'm bigger, stronger and I'm one of the older players here, so it's a lot easier for me. That's the biggest thing I noticed."
Anderson camped with the Bears in hopes of getting an offer, and, though one wasn't extended, he made progress in the eyes of the Cal coaching staff, including
"No offer yet, but they said that really liked how I did at the camp, and they're going to keep looking at me really hard over the summer," Anderson said on Sunday. "(Director of Operations) John Montgomery said that he really liked my game."
After the camp concluded on Saturday, Anderson and his mother met with coaches and made arrangements to get the Bears his transcripts. Then, he quickly left for a flight back home to attend USC's team camp with his Jackrabbits teammates.
"We did alright as a team," Anderson said. "We won two games on Saturday and lost both of our games (Sunday), but overall, we did OK."