Bears Sign Top 20 Recruiting Class

Nov. 9, 2005

BERKELEY - University of California men's basketball coach Ben Braun announced the signing of four high school players to National Letters of Intent Wednesday - guards Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle and centers Taylor Harrison and Ryan Anderson.

The new recruits include three Top 100 players, as well as three members of the Long Beach Press-Telegram's Best in the West poll, and the group has been rated the 20th-best class in the country by both Scout.com and Hoop Scoop.

Christopher, a 6-4, 190-pound guard who plays at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., is ranked as the No. 38 recruit in the country and the No. 6 player in the state California by Rivals.com. He was also voted to the first-team Best in the West squad. As a junior last season, he played at Mayfair HS in Lakewood, Calif., and averaged 19.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 5.0 apg, helping his team to a 19-10 overall record and a 10-2 mark in the Suburban League. A two-time Suburban League Player of the Year, he was chosen first-state all-state (junior division) by Cal-Hi Sports magazine.

'Patrick has established himself as one of the premier wing guards at the high school level.' Braun said. 'He is explosive to the basket and has excellent range on his jump shot. He is a great defender and will really help us in our transition game.'

Harrison, a 6-9, 225-pound center from San Clemente HS, averaged 16.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg and 2.1 bpg last season. He shot 53.2 percent from the floor and led the South Coast league in both rebounding and blocks. A member of the Best in the West second team for 2005-06, he is rated the No. 15 center prospect in the country by Rivals.com and No. 75 overall prep player by Hoop Scoop.

'Taylor is a fierce competitor who possesses a great work ethic,' said Braun. 'He runs the floor well and excels on the boards. He is a solid mid-range jump-shooter who will be able to play inside and outside at the college level.'

The 6-9, 210-pound Anderson helped Oak Ridge HS of El Dorado Hills, Calif., to the California state championship with a 60-44 victory over Mater Dei HS in the title game last year. His team finished with a 31-4 overall record and a perfect 12-0 mark in the Sierra Valley Conference. Anderson led the league in scoring (17.4 ppg), rebounding (9.1 rpg) and blocks (71), while also shooting 52.0 percent from the floor and 34.5 percent (29-of-84) from three-point range. Like Harrison, he was voted the to the second-team Best in the West squad.

'Ryan is a versatile post player who has the ability to post up and accurately shoot the three pointer,' Braun said. 'He will be a tough match-up for his opponents at the college level.'

Randle stands just 5-9, 150 pounds, but led teams to a pair of championships in 2005. In averaging 12.3 ppg and 5.3 apg as a junior at Chicago's Hales Franciscan HS, Randle - the No. 15-ranked point guard and No. 85 overall recruit according to Scout.com - guided the squad to a 27-4 record and the Illinois state championship. Later, Randle helped his Chicago Ferrari team to the 17-and-Under AAU national title, earning tournament MVP honors. Randle is the fourth Chicago-area player to sign with Cal under Braun, joining Sean Lampley, Dennis Gates (now a Cal assistant coach) and current sophomore Eric Vierneisel.

'Jerome is extremely quick with the ball in transition. and he is a legitimate threat beyond the arc,' Braun said. 'He is highly competitive and knows how to win. He will help take our transition game to another level.'

2005-06 California Recruiting Class

Ryan Anderson         C   6-9   210   El Dorado Hills, Calif./Oak Ridge HSPatrick Christopher   G   6-4   190   Compton, Calif./Dominguez HSTaylor Harrison       C   6-9   225   San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente HSJerome Randle         G   5-9   150   Lynwood, Ill./Hales Franciscan HS
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