Photo credit: gostanford.com
By: Ana Kieu
In case you missed it, Stanford men’s basketball unveiled its 2019 recruiting class, which includes four standouts from California, Minnesota and Kansas. Those standouts are point guard Tyrell Terry (Minneapolis) and forwards Spencer Jones (Roeland Park, Ks), James Keefe (Los Angeles) and Neal Begovich (San Francisco).
“This group of four represents everything that is right about college athletics,” Jerod Haase, the Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men’s Basketball, said. “They are true scholar-athletes that come to Stanford with a plan to help the Cardinal win at the highest level.”
Terry, a 6-1, 160-lb point guard out of DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, is a consensus four-star prospect and one of the top point guard’s in the class of 2019. He led DeLaSalle to the Minnesota Class 3A state championship in 2019, capping his stellar scholastic career with 19 points and 10 assists in the title game victory over Waseca.
Terry, who was named to the all-tournament team in 2019, completed his decorated high school career with three state championships in four seasons. The Islanders finished 21-5 this past season.
Terry was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball, the state’s player of the year award. He was also a finalist for the McDonald Award, honoring the senior player of the year by the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association.
Terry was an Associated Press First Team All-State selection, as well as a First Team ALL-USA Today Minnesota Basketball Team pick. He collected First Team All-Metro honors by the Minnesota Star Tribune and was a three-time Tri-Metro All-Conference selection.
Terry finished among the state’s scoring leaders with a 22.6 scoring average, while recording 7.1 assists per contest. He averaged 17 points and seven assists per game as a junior, guiding the Islanders to a 21-4 record in 2017-18. He also competed with the USA Select Team at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany and was a standout for D1 Minnesota on the AAU circuit.
Terry is ranked No. 75 by Rivals and No. 82 by ESPN. He’s the third-ranked prospect in the state of Minnesota by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports. He’s rated as the ninth-best point guard in the class by 247Sports, while Rivals ranks him No. 11 at his position and ESPN has him at No. 19 in their positional rankings.
“Tyrell is the consummate point guard,” Haase said. “He is an elite shooter and, more importantly, a leader and a playmaker on the floor. Tyrell continues to build his strength and quickness, which will enable him to compete at this level when he steps on campus. He is a true Stanford student-athlete, a high character person who is extremely intelligent. I believe he will thrive in this environment.”
Jones, who starred at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Ks., is a 6-7, 195-lb forward. He had a breakout senior season for the Stags, where he was a finalist for the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association DiRenna Award, recognizing the most outstanding basketball player in the Greater Kansas City area.
He was also a Sports In Kansas First Team Class 4A All-State selection, First Team All-Eastern Kansas League pick and a Second Team Class 4A selection by the Kansas City Star. He led Bishop Miege in scoring (18.8 ppg), rebounding (8.0 rpg), steals (3.0 spg) and blocks (2.5 bpg), as the Stags finished 19-3 with an appearance in the Kansas sub-state finals.
As a junior, Jones helped guide Bishop Miege to a 20-2 record and the 2018 Class 4A state championship, earning Sports In Kansas Most Outstanding Player honors in the state tournament. The Stags won three state titles during his four seasons at Bishop Miege.
Rated one of the best prospects in the state of Kansas, Jones is a top-40 prospect at his position in the 2019 class by both Rivals (31) and 247Sports (39).
“Spencer fits in so well to our plans,” Haase said. “He is a tremendous scholar-athlete that has really blossomed late in his high school career. He is another member of our program that joins us after winning championships in high school. Spencer’s shooting, ball skills and versatility will be an immediate asset for our team.”
Keefe is a 6-9, 200-lb standout forward out of Loyola High School in LA. He was a First Team All-CIF Southern Section Division I pick and a First Team All-Mission League selection as a senior this past season. He guided the Cubs to the regular-season Mission League championship. Loyola reached the quarterfinals of the CIF tournament, finishing 23-7 this past season. Keefe averaged a double-double with 15.6 points and 10.8 rebounds his senior season.
A force on both ends of the court, Keefe also averaged 1.4 blocks. He ranked third in the Mission League in rebounding, eighth in scoring and led the league in offensive rebounds (93). The forward posted 16 double-doubles for the Cubs as a senior. He’s among the top prospects in the state of California and a top-100 forward nationally.
Keefe’s the son of Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Adam and Kristin Keefe.
Adam Keefe was a consensus All-America selection during his standout Cardinal career from 1988-92. He’s Stanford’s career rebounding leader (1,119) and ranks third in program history in career scoring (2,319). Adam Keefe was the 10th overall pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1992 NBA draft.
Kristin Keefe (nee Klein) was a four-time All-American volleyball player at Stanford (1988-92) and a member of the 1996 US Olympic Team. Both were inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000. James Keefe joins sisters Caitlin and Michaela, who are in their fourth year on the Stanford women’s volleyball team. The program captured the NCAA Championship in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
“James will add a spirit that is contagious for our program,” Haase said. “He competes at a high level and his body is developing quickly, adding versatility to his skillset. While his family’s imprint at Stanford is certainly legendary, I know James will make his own presence felt in a unique and important manner.”
Begovich, a 6-9, 220-lb forward out of St. Ignatius College Prep in SF, was the 2019 San Francisco Examiner Senior of the Year. The standout was also a San Francisco Chronicle All-Metro selection, a Bay Area News Group All-Area pick and a San Francisco Examiner All-City selection this past season. He was named Most Valuable Player of the San Francisco City Basketball All-Star Game and was selected to the Bay Area team for the All-NorCal Games.
Begovich, who helped lead St. Ignatius to the West Coast Athletic League title as a junior, earned All-West Catholic Athletic League honors his senior season, averaging a double-double. The Wildcats reached the CIF Central Coast Section quarterfinals this past season. Begovich was the recipient of the Hank Luisetti Scholar-Athlete Trophy at the San Francisco High School Awards Banquet in May. He played for the Oakland Soldiers on the AAU circuit.
Neal Begovich joins his older brothers, Daniel and Joseph, at Stanford. Daniel is also a member of the men’s basketball program. Their late father, Dan, played college basketball at Cal in the 1970s.
“Neal’s combination of size and shooting ability will be welcomed in our program,” Haase said. “His achievements in basketball and in the classroom continue to be recognized, as he was recently presented with the Hank Luisetti Scholar-Athlete Trophy at the San Francisco awards banquet.”
The four-member Class of 2019 follows consecutive top-20 recruiting classes for the Cardinal in 2017 and 2018, respectively.