NAPA, Calif. -- Abu Kigab shows all the signs of being an elite defender, both on the ball and off the ball, and that's exactly what California head coach Cuonzo Martin prizes in his recruits. That's what the Bears have seen from Kigab, a Canadian transplant, and that's why they're so interested. Luckily for Cal, Kigab plays just an hour up the road for Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep, along with another one of Cal's top 2017 prospects, Ira Lee.
Both of them made it out to Berkeley for the Bears' upset of then-No. 11 Arizona last week.
"It was a great game," Kigab said of the 74-73 win. "We really got to see how Cal plays, and the speed they play at, and how they move the ball. Really great."
Kigab and Lee were on campus for more than an hour following the game, and he got a chance to get some quality time with the Bears coaching staff.
"I was talking to the coaches, mostly Yanni [Hufnagel]," Kigab said. "It's a pretty good relationship. We talk, he texts me, asks me how I'm doing. It's pretty good."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1635503-recruit-reaction-l... Cal being close to Kigab's current home means he intends to see more games this year, "for sure."
As for the Wildcats game, it was the first time he'd been to a Cal game.
"It's a great first impression," Kigab said. "You really see how they play in the clutch, and they came out with a win."
The Bears like Kigab as a shooting guard, but want him to improve his offensive game, but, defensively, he has a lot of very good tools. He moves well both on and off the ball, and his length allows him to play bigger than he is.
"[Martin] likes the way I defend, and tells me to keep getting after it," Kigab said.
On Saturday, Kigab and Lee had the unenviable task of defending 7-foot-2 DeAndre Ayton of Phoenix (Ariz.) Hillcrest Academy. Though Ayten finished with 27 points and six rebounds, there were times where Kigab's length frustrated him.
"Containing DeAndre, a big body, 7-2, just containing him, we don't want to let him go off, so we had to contain him, and that was the toughest part," said the 6-foot-7, 215-pound Kigab. "It's tough, but it's all about competing. I think if you compete, you'll be able to do it."
That's what he signed up for when he decided to come to Prolific Prep.
"We're playing the Grind Session, against the best teams in the country, you've got the best players out here competing every single night. That's great," Kigab said.
"To be honest," Kigab said, "they're all even right now."
Kigab got most of his 17 points in the paint and on lay-ups, and said that the biggest weakness in his game is his jumper. He's not a spot-up shooter, but has good instincts in the lane. If that's paired with even a mid-range pull-up game, he's going to jump up a lot of boards.
"I want to work on my shooting," Kigab said. "If I can shoot, it'll make it harder to guard me. I could be coming off screens, shooting. We played this one guy, and he was an excellent shooter, and I realized that shooters like that, you can't really stop them. He's a good shooter, and he can drive."
He's willing to put in the work to be that kind of player.
"I want to be great," Kigab said, "so I want to shoot 50-40-90. That's my goal right now. It's just repetition. I've got to get a lot more reps, get into the gym a lot more, get more reps, and that will help my confidence."