Bears Sign Two Frontcourt Players to Letters of Intent

Nov. 12, 2003

BERKELEY - The California men's basketball program added two front court players to its 2004-05 roster on Wednesday, the first day high school seniors can sign their National Letters of Intent. Joining the Bears next season will be Eric Vierneisel, a 6-7, 190-pound forward from Algonquin, Ill., and Sam Rayburn, a 6-10, 230-pound center from Portland, Ore.

Vierneisel, who is rated the No. 92 recruit in the country by Rivals.com and considered a Top 100 recruit by OCSN.com, earned fourth team all-state honors as a small forward at Jacobs High School in suburban Chicago last season. He averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds in leading his team to a 21-7 record in 2003.

'Eric is a versatile player who can knock down threes and get to the rim.' Cal head coach Ben Braun said. 'He rebounds well and sees the floor as a passer. We are very pleased Eric has chosen Cal over a number of schools that recruited him. He is a very accomplished student-athlete who has excelled on and off the floor.'

Vierneisel (pronounced: VERN-ih-sul) is the third Chicago-area recruit to sign with the Bears during Braun's tenure at Cal, joining Chicagoans Sean Lampley (1998-01) and Dennis Gates (1999-02).

Rayburn, who plays at Sunset High School, is a preseason first team all-state for selection for 2003-04 by Northwesthoops.com. Last season, he averaged 16.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg, while shooting 66.7 percent from the floor and 67.4 percent from the free throw line. A two-time all-league performer, Rayburn also averaged 14.6 ppg and 7.7 rpg as a sophomore.

'Sam is a solid post-up player who can also shoot the three,' Braun said. 'His touch and passing ability make him a serious post threat. Sam was the first to commit to Cal in this year's class. He is an excellent student and an outgoing person who fits in well with our players. We are very pleased to have Sam in our program.'

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