Cuonzo Martin and the California men's basketball program hosted its second official visitor in as many weeks, following up a trip from Jayce Johnson last weekend with one from 2016 four-star forward Vance Jackson and his father this weekend.
Jackson -- who transferred from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei and then on to Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep -- made the trip with his father, following a heralded official visit to UConn last weekend.
Jackson's father -- Vance, Sr. -- spoke for his son about the official visit after dropping him off back in Napa.
"I think it went really well," Jackson, Sr., said. "He really liked the school, the community it was in. It was real cool. We got a chance to see them practice. The coaching staff was real impressive. Those were the major things. It's a good school, and it was a good situation. We liked it."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1569933-vegas-reading-vanc... The biggest difference between the visit to UConn and the visit to Berkeley was the fact that the Jacksons got to see the team actually in the midst of a formal practice.
"They get after it," Jackson, Sr., said. "They're really committed to the kids. They constantly, after practice, nine o'clock at night, kids are going to work out. They're really into the kids, and they really go after it in practice. They had some pretty intense practices while we were there. It was pretty cool. It was nice to see."
Jackson, Sr., said that, other than the practice experience, the visits were "pretty similar."
"We liked to see them practice, and we got a chance to see them practice," he continued. "That was one of the things, for me, that was really cool about Cal, was that we got a chance to see them practice."
Seeing the crowd support for Homecoming against Washington State was nice to see, Jackson, Sr., said, but he added that "it was football, so it's different. It was nice to see the kids around the campus excited about the team being undefeated."
This year's edition of Martin's bunch figures to generate even more excitement, with some predicting a very deep tournament run. The main event was getting to really hash out just what kind of role Jackson, Jr., would have.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1544799-martin-building-re... "We talked about how he would fit into the Cal system, and that was pretty much the main thing: How would he fit in to what they're doing," Jackson, Sr., said. "They said they give their guys a lot of freedom to shoot. He wouldn't get questioned on any shot he took, stuff like that. That was the major thing. They give their guys the freedom to play."
With Jackson, Jr., gearing up for his season with Prolific Prep, he and his father haven't discussed any future unofficial trips over to Berkeley, which could be a reality given the proximity.
"He's going to be pretty busy with Prolific Prep come the season, so we haven't discussed any unofficials," Jackson, Sr., said.
Jackson, Jr., is playing for Prolific -- full appelation: the Prolific Prep Basketball Academy -- but, like many of his teammates, he actually attends class at Napa (Calif.) Justin-Siena.
"Most of the kids go to the same school, so they're pretty much all representing Justin-Siena, and they travel so many places that they're never really in town, anyway," Jackson, Sr., explained.
With the season fast approaching, the Jacksons have "no plans right now" to visit any other schools.
"He's just trying to buckle down and get ready for the season," Jackson, Sr., said. "We're going to discuss some things, here, next week, and see what he wants to do, but no plans so far."
The fact that Cal got the last word -- at least, for now -- doesn't carry much weight, Jackson, Sr., said.
"Really, we just haven't had a chance to sit down and really talk about it," Jackson, Sr., said. "We were really impressed by Cal, but I told Vance, it's his decision, if he wants to go look somewhere else. This next week, we'll talk over the phone and see if he wants to see somewhere else or if he just wants to sit back and wait for a while. It's up to him. I'm just playing it by ear right now."