Bears Sign Highly Touted Recruiting Class
Nov. 13, 2002
BERKELEY - Led by power forward Leon Powe - the highest rated local player to join the Golden Bears since Jason Kidd a decade ago - the Cal men's basketball team signed a three-player recruiting class Wednesday that should rank among the best in the country.
Powe, a 6-8, 230-pounder out of Oakland Technical High School, is rated as high as the No. 7 prep prospect in the country by Athlon magazine. Joining Powe as National Letter of Intent signees with the Golden Bears are a pair of players ranked No. 1 at their positions on the West Coast - point guard Ayinde Ubaka from Oakland High and small forward Dominic McGuire from San Diego's Lincoln High.
Powe averaged 28 points, 14.8 rebounds and three blocks per game while leading Oakland Tech to a 28-4 record and the state Division I title game in 2002. A Street & Smith's first team prep All-American, Powe is ranked as the No. 1 player in California by TheInsiders.com, and he received state Junior of the Year honors from Cal-Hi Sports last spring. Other rankings for Powe include No. 11 overall by The Sporting News and RivalsHoops.com, and No. 13 overall by FoxSports.com.
'Leon is a powerful and skilled player,' Cal head coach Ben Braun said. 'He is mentally and physically tough, and he has been a winner on every team he has played for. Leon is one of the most competitive players I know. He really loves to win, and he makes the players around him better.'
Ubaka, who stands 6-3 and weighs 190 pounds, was tabbed the top point guard on the West Coast by PacWestHoops.com after averaging 23 ppg, 8 apg and 8 rpg as a junior last season. FoxSports.com rated him the 26th-best prospect in the country, while he was ranked No. 39 by ESPN.com and RivalsHoops.com, as well as No. 43 by The Sporting News.
'Ayinde is a very competitive and explosive player with the ball,' Braun said. 'He is very tough to contain in the open court and loves to distribute the basketball.'
McGuire, a 6-7, 195-pound guard/forward, averaged 16.8 ppg during the 2001-02 season. Rated the No. 20 small forward in the country by ESPN.com and No. 1 at his position on the West Coast by PrepWestHoops.com, he also pulled down a No. 88 overall ranking from FoxSports.com.
'Dominic is a multitalented player who can use his size to post up guards or use his quickness to attack bigger players,' Braun said 'Dominic is very skilled and athletic, and he continues to improve every time he plays. He may be the most versatile player we have signed.'
Cal hosts the first of two exhibition games Friday night at 7 p.m. when the Bears play the California All-Stars in Haas Pavilion. The regular season tips off at New Mexico at 7 p.m. Nov. 23, with the home opener slated for Dec. 3 against Howard.