Before the 2019-20 season has even started, Cal men’s basketball coaching staff is already securing the Bears’ future seasons. As of Wednesday morning, three-star recruit Monty Bowser has committed to Cal men’s basketball as the first member of its 2020 recruiting class.
According to 247Sports, Bowser is a 6’5” 175 lbs. small forward who is listed as the No. 28 recruit in California and No. 238 nationally. He plays in nearby Oakland for Bishop O’Dowd High School, home to former five-star recruit and NBA draft pick Ivan Rabb, who played two seasons for the Bears.
The last year Cal had a recruiting class ranked in the top half of the Pac-12 was 2015, the same year Cal snagged Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown. Unfortunately, there is not much of a chance that Mark Fox changes this.
In Fox’s nine recruiting classes from 2010-2018 as the head coach of the Georgia men’s basketball team, he averaged ninth-best in the SEC, and his highest class was ranked sixth in the SEC. Additionally, his only five-star recruit in nine years was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2011.
Fox did manage to do some damage control this offseason after many prominent players transferred. Cal coaching staff was able to land a number of players to round out the roster, including Kuany Kuany from Australia and Kareem South, a transfer student from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
“When I got the job in April, we wanted to get the best players, players that could help us win, and obviously in the United States, most of those guys that signed early were already committed. So we were able to find some kids that were in Europe,” Fox said. “Even though we have an international flavor, it doesn’t quite feel as strongly as maybe some of the stories are making it out to be, if you will.”
Considering Cal’s exceptionally poor performance over the last two years, Fox will have an even harder time convincing recruits to commit to the program. Nevertheless, landing a promising prospect like Bowser is huge for the Bears.
Trilok Reddy covers men’s basketball. Contact him at