BTTV: Scouting Cameron Oliver

BearTerritory hits the road to check out Cal basketball target Cameron Oliver, who dropped 28 points in 19 minutes against Sacramento (Calif.) Johnson on Thursday night. After his performance, Oliver chatted with BT about his recovery from an ACL injury and the latest on recruiting.



STOCKTON, Calif. -- With coaches from California and Missouri on hand Thursday night at the Edison Classic, three-star forward Cameron Oliver of Sacramento (Calif.) Grant put on quite a show, going 9-of-12 from the field, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 6-of-9 from the free throw line en route to a 28-point night against overmatched Sacramento (Calif.) Johnson.

Oliver and the Pacers – wearing green and gold Norte Del Rio throwbacks (Grant was known as Norte Del Rio until 1962) – trounced the Warriors, 85-40, with Oliver playing just 19 minutes, adding eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block to his line.

It's hard to tell much from Oliver's game, given the strength of his opponent, but it's clear that he's comfortable at both the three and the four, though he's decidedly more of a three, at closer to 6-foot-7 than his listed 6-foot-8. That said, a source familiar with the thinking of the Bears' staff -- which, after missing out on Thomas Welsh, is looking for the third member of the 2014 class to be more on the big-man end of things -- said that they're comfortable with taking Oliver, since he can adeptly defend the four, in a similar fashion to how Ricky Kreklow has played the four at times for Cal this season due to a limited big man rotation, which will be bolstered next year with the addition of 6-foot-10 signee Idrissa Diallo.

I didn't get to see much of that defense on Thursday, as Oliver was fairly passive on that end of the floor, given that Johnson didn't really have anyone much taller than 6-foot-4 to challenge him, and he spent more time at the three than the four, occasionally moving to a point-forward role. That said, seven of his eight boards did come on the defensive end.

Oliver runs the floor very well, and physically, he's certainly got the tools. He's a legitimate 210 pounds with a broad, well-muscled frame and good length. What really stuck out were Oliver's handles. His final two points of the game came on a yo-yo fake up top, after which he drove the lane for a one-handed jam. He clearly doesn't have any confidence issues with his surgically-repaired knee, and drives with authority.

The one hold up, it seems, is that schools want to see his grades and test scores improve. He's shown marked improvement in the classroom, though, and once semester grades come out, it's hard to think more schools won't jump on him, because he's got the potential to be a pure shooter with a very polished jump shot.

On the season, Oliver is averaging 22.2 points per game. Oliver and Grant will next see action at 6:30 on Friday against Fresno (Calif.) Central East in the quarterfinals of the Edison Classic at Stockton (Calif.) Edison.

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