LITTLE ROCK — Go west young man, but come back home soon. Could that end up being the mantra for Connor Vanover, the Little Rock native who played most of his high school career at hometown Baptist Prep before trekking out to the desert to play as a senior at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas followed by playing as a college freshman on the “left coast” at California-Berkeley?
According to sources, Vanover (7-3, 225, stretch-5) has set up an official visit to Arkansas (May 9-10) and Vanderbilt (May 7-8) for next week, and it’s also possible that he’ll remain at Cal. Vanover entered the transfer portal after averaging 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 17.5 minutes per game while shooting 46.9% field goals, including 35.5% from 3, and 66.7% free throws as a freshman at Cal.
Unless he is granted a waiver for immediate eligibility to play in 2019-20, Vanover will have a transfer-redshirt season in ’19-20 with three seasons to play beginning in ’20-21.
Vanover started 15 of the 28 games he played in last season at Cal, and he had a strong three-game stretch to close out the regular season by averaging 17.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks in 28.0 minutes per game as the Bears enjoyed a three-game winning streak that halted a 16-game losing skid.
On the season, Vanover’s per-40-minute production was strong — 17.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks — at Cal, which finished 8-23 overall and 3-15 for last place in the Pac-12.
Vanover helped Baptist Prep in Little Rock to two 4A state titles before transferring to independent Findlay Prep for his senior season in ’17-18.
Vanover’s Mom, Robyn Irwin Vanover, played center for the Razorbacks women’s team in the 1980s. Connor Vanover has two borthers — Brandon and Justin — who each stand at least 7-0 in height.