Kevin Riley is optimistic heading into his final season at Cal. Knowing he has a shot at NFL, he is especially motivated to succeed this year.
"I feel great about this year," Riley said. "We lost Jahvid Best from last year, and he was an awesome player, but we return all but one guy up front and they’re already better now than they were last year at this time."
"Winning seven or eight games isn’t good enough," he said. "Winning the Pac-10 is our goal and we think that’s doable. We’ve got a lot of senior guys on the team this year, and when you’re a senior, you have a different mentality, knowing it could be your last football season ever."...
"Maturity-wise, I’m already playing better and I’m throwing the ball better," he said. "It’s just knowing your check-downs and getting there quickly, then getting those second-and-fives — that’s how you continue drives. That and watching a lot of film has made me a better player."
Still, individual success is the last thing on Riley’s mind as he prepares for 2010.
He knows that, if he’s successful he might have a chance to extend his career as a professional, but he also knows that team success is the best path to individual honors and accolades.
"In games where you run (the football) a lot, it means you’re winning, and if we’re winning I don’t have any problem handing the ball off at all," he said, adding that his future "is all wrapped up in the team goals, If we win the Pac-10, then I’ll have had a great season."
After the jump more details come into focus for the Pac-12, Randle plays his last NBA Summer League game, and Wilner projects the 2010-2011 basketball season.
- Wilner gives an update on how the league may divide up the Pac-12. It looks like football is the only sport that will have separate divisions in the conference. A "Zipper Plan" is gaining traction and the California schools insist that they all play each other each year.
- Randle played his final game in the NBA Summer League and contributed eight points, two rebounds, and an assist. His shooting improved when he switched to Washington (47% as opposed to 24% when he was with Orlando), but he still struggled with the 3. He was only 1 for 15 during the summer (including a missed potential game-winner last night against the Knicks).
- Wilner revised his Pac-10 projections and bumped Cal from 8th to 6th. He believes Cal will exceed expectations with a healthy Harper Kamp and a solid freshman class.