The Team that Works Together Stays Together
When 2016 San Diego (Calif.) Francis Parker power forward Tim Harrison visited California and Stanford just under a week ago, he was quite taken by what he saw in the Golden Bears' 6 a.m. weight-lifting session.
"They were both great, but what stood out about Cal coaches was that it seemed like a real family atmosphere. That's one thing I liked. The coaches were even in the weight room," said Harrison. "They were in there lifting weights. That really impressed me, because they actually walk the walk. It's not like the coaches are over here and the players are over here. They were in the weight room with them, so that really stood out. The whole program was in there, working."
That June 27 visit was Harrison's first to Berkeley, and the Cal staff made a big impression.
"We went and we watched their 6 am weight workout, and then afterward, they had a skills workout in the gym. They were doing drills, and we got to watch that, and then afterwards, we went on a little tour of the campus," Harrison said. "My favorite part about the whole day was just getting to see the whole college. It's one thing to talk on the phone, but once you actually see it in person, it becomes more real, and putting names to faces of the coaches that you're talking to, and also seeing the facilities and the gym, it makes it seem like more of a reality, versus just talking through a phone."
The 6-foot-8 junior-to-be has been on the Bears' radar for some time, as assistant Yanni Hufnagel had already started recruiting him while he was at Vanderbilt.
"Cal showed some interest, and I thought that I would make the trip," Harrison said. "A couple weeks before June 15, coach Yanni came. He was recruiting me at Vanderbilt, and then he came [to Cal], and then he said that Cal was interested in me."
Harrison can play big, but he profiles more as a wing at the next level, and that's just the kind of player that Cuonzo Martin wants to bring into the program.
"They see me as a 3-4, but they also said that they don't like to put numbers on players," said Harrison. "They said they like my versatility. They like that I don't have a specific number attached to me."
As for an offer? That will likely come with time, once the Bears get to watch him perform in person.
"They haven't seen me yet, but they said that, once they see me, and they see me perform and work hard, then they said they'll probably offer," Harrison said.