Vincent Edward Mendoza
When it comes to the one of the most sought after big men in the recruiting class of 2016 you don’t have to look too far away from the powerhouse that is Mater Dei. Coach Gary McKnight is a legendary teacher and with the talent that has come through the program over the years you can see how that has helped him establish Mater Dei as one of the nation’s premier programs. Heading into the 2015-16 season the team will be lead by one of the most talented big men on the west coast in MJ Cage. The 6’9 235 pound F/C is set to enter his senior year and looking to end the recruitment process sooner rather than later.
PGU caught up with Cage this weekend at the Pangos All American Camp in Carson, CA to ask about how the process is going and what his plans are moving forward as his official visits will be done during the summer.
“Arizona, UCLA, SDSU, Washington and Kentucky are all great schools that I am considering but I’m not too sure which ones ill visit yet. I’ll talk with my dad before we cut down my list then we’ll decide on what schools to visit during the summer.”
When asked which Arizona coach Cage is hearing from the most, he said “Pasternack most definitely. He’s a really cool guy and he checks in on me and we’ve developed a great relationship.”
Michael Cage Sr. was also in attendance and was a bit more open in explaining the recruiting process as a whole and gave more insight as to what direction he wants his son to take as his recruitment winds down.
“We’re definitely taking a visit to Kentucky, SDSU and Arizona.” Cage Sr. who played 15 years in the NBA, knows the ins and outs of the recruitment process and is looking for his son to end the process and decide on a school by the end of the summer. “I just want the process to be completed so he can focus on his senior year of high school. The summer just started and the coaches are really on him and to be honest he doesn’t like the attention and interviews as much as other players and my phone doesn’t stop ringing either so we just want to get the visits out of the way and make a commitment.”
Cage Sr. has really been impressed with the way the Arizona coaching staff has handled the recruitment of his son and what stood out to him is the fact that not only has coach Pasternack been “relentless in trying to get Michael to Arizona,” but that the staff was on him so early in the process. “The fact that they were on him early. They have always told us that in a few years your son is going to be a load to deal with and now a few years have gone by and now the time has come.”
When a head coach extends himself in the recruitment process that leaves an impression with the players and their family and with MJ Cage there is no difference. “The fact that Sean was on him and not just Joe made a difference and that is why Arizona is one of our favorites.”
Cage, who has already taken an unofficial to Arizona, enjoyed the fact that the staff had a focus on the academic aspect as well. “I just really like how they set you up for success with the programs that are offered and the whole tutoring process will help with my academics.” Cage will look to plan an official visit and you can bet the staff will not settle for anything less than a commitment from the 2016 big man while on campus.