We've got the first word from official visitor Alex Illikainen and his father Darin as they board a…
VISIT REPORT: Exceeding Expectations
"The things that we spoke about, meeting with the coaches and what-not, they emphasized what they said – you could see it in their play," McGee said. "What they were telling you, translated to the game play. They're players have developed – look at those kids. I've seen some of those kids grow. You look at Kameron Rooks. I'd seen him last year, and he's improved so much to this year, and I can't imagine what he'll be in just a year or two, or three years."
The game, McGee said, "was fantastic," and provided her son with the opportunity to not only see how the Bears operate on the court, but to see how the campus reacted to the Bears off of it.
"Yeah, yeah, he got to hang out a little bit. He had a good time," McGee said of Comanche getting to play the part of Big Man on Campus and enjoy some of the spoils of victory. "That's what it's going to be, so you want to be able to go out, mingle and jingle and see if the vibe is what you're looking for, along with the school and the coaching and all of that. It's all a part of the same thing."
The unofficial visit went much like an official, in that McGee wanted to get her son the full inside look at the program.
"We went and met with the head coach and met with all of the assistant coaches and the trainer and toured the campus and went through all of the facilities," McGee said. "We went just all over the campus, got a good tour from a guy named Muhamad, and saw a lot of stuff. It was really a very beautiful campus, very historic, a lot of good stuff there."
In fact, it was the academics that impressed the mother-son duo the most.
"The academic part went above and beyond," McGee said. "Being No. 1, the historic value is there, plus the fact that you have a great coach with a great reputation and they really work on player development. That's really important to me. I think the style of play would fit my son well. It was kind of a couple of things: The academics and the coaching, player development-wise, probably spoke the most to me, as a parent."
The academic side was, admittedly, more of an attraction for Mom than it was for Comanche, who really vibed on the atmosphere of a sold-out and raucous Haas Pavilion.
"I would probably say that it's always going to be the game, being around the kids and getting to hang out," McGee said. "He got the experience of seeing what college life is going to be like. I can't say one particular thing, but I know he always enjoys the games and spending time with the players, because that's potentially somebody that you're going to live around, if he decides to go there."
In all, the pair came away more than impressed. McGee said that the visit exceeded their expectations. Two big visits, two visitors going home happy and upsetting the No. 1 team in the country? Not a bad weekend. Not bad, at all.
"The game was fantastic. It was a fantastic game. I was happy for Cal, actually," McGee said. "That was a heck of a win, against the No. 1 team, an undefeated team, at that point. That was a big win for them."
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