In the words of Everclear, everything was wonderful this past weekend for four-star hoops prospect Kerwin Roach, on his official visit to California. That’s the one word the Houston (Tex.) North Shore shooting guard used to describe his weekend in Berkeley, and he used it over and over.
“Wonderful, it was wonderful,” Roach said. “The weather, the campus, the people, the teachers that I met with – everyone was just grinning, and the weather was great. The setting was overwhelming.”
Roach – who has a 3.9 GPA – said the most crystalizing moment of the visit was when he met in Soda Hall with a computer science professor.
“I was like, ‘Woah,’” Roach said. “He showed me what was happening in Silicon Valley, and he gave me so much information.”
Computer science is a possible major for Roach, he said, and for a good reason.
“There’s going to come a time when you have to put the ball down, and right now, you look at technology, everything revolves around computers,” Roach said. “It’s a solid future.”
Roach was accompanied on his visit by his father and his mother, who really gravitated towards the coaching staff.
“They really trust them, and the people that around the program,” Roach said.
Roach also saw two of the Bears’ practices over the weekend – Friday’s closed-door session that BearTerritory covered exclusively and Saturday’s open practice at Haas Pavilion.
“At Cal, there was lots and lots of energy,” said Roach, who saw individual workouts on his official visit to Wichita State, but not a full-team session. “I was watching it very closely. I was paying attention to details. Their defense, they want to pick up the energy all up and down the court, even in practice. I can’t imagine what they’d do in a game. I was paying attention to all of that.”
As much as the energy of practice – which was a marked departure from the practices run by Mike Montgomery -- was a factor for Roach, it was some of the quieter moments that really helped him feel what this staff was all about.
“Just chilling with the coaches, we had a really good time with them,” said Roach. “They’re humble. They’re humble and genuine, in their words and their personality. They were just sincere. They all fit together, as a family.”
In fact, it was the Cal coaching staff that’s helped set them apart in Roach’s final three, which includes the Shockers and presumed favorite Texas.
“I’ve got to say the coaching staff and just the setting. The setting was nice,” Roach said. “I like all three schools. If I could, I’d go to all three of ‘em.”
Roach will take an official visit to Austin on Oct. 17, with an eye towards deciding on his birthday – Oct. 24. What goes into that decision?
“Just me seeing myself being there for four years – being there, living there, having a good time there and not worrying about coming home and all that,” Roach said.
How did the Bears score on that account?
“Plus plus plus plus,” Roach said.
Roach sheepishly admitted that what made him feel most comfortable in the Bay Area was the weather – a big departure from what it’s like back home in Texas.
“You might think it’s weird for me to say this, but the weather. I couldn’t get over the weather,” Roach said. “In Wichita, it was kind of cold, and in Houston, it’s kind of hot. California, that’s just right. It was just right for me.”
When it finally comes time to make his decision, though, the temperature won’t be what Roach follows.
“It’s just following my heart.”