The California Golden Bears are losing three roster players in David Kravish, Dwight Tarwater, and Christian Behrens. They have one extra spot available from last season. It remains to be seen if Tyrone Wallace will turn pro or anyone else on the roster might consider a transfer, but a lot is in play as we get ready for the decisions to pour in the next few weeks.
We have open three spots for the 2015 class (Cal currently has one commitment all set up from Davon Dillard). If the Bears can get some of the names on this list, they will make room regardless, but let's guesstimate.
Jaylen Brown: Number one recruit in the country. Potential number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. I can't even believe his name is even close to being on the radar, but with Michigan probably being eliminated, there has been no noise at all as to which way he's leaning.
My inclination is that Brown commits to one of the bluebloods in the end (although to be honest I don't put much stock in playing for an Adidas school rumor), but the fact that he's taken an unofficial visit all the way across country to Berkeley and has been in constant contact with Ivan Rabb prior to the visit sure does mean something in my book.
Ivan Rabb: The local prospect. Top five recruit in the country. Top ten prospect for the 2016 NBA Draft. If anyone commits to Cal, it will be Rabb. However, despite all the constant speculation surrounding the Bishop O'Dowd big man that he favors Cal, Rabb has been ominously silent since the conclusion of his season.
Why hasn't Rabb committed yet? If I had to guess, it's because he wants to bring one of the other names on this list to Cal to ensure that the team he joins in Berkeley next season is a force. If it's Rabb, Dillard, and whomever else, Cal is probably a tournament team, but are probably not the biggest threat to go all that deep.
But if it's Rabb, Caleb Swanigan, Brown and Dillard? This team might not just do damage, it would be favored to win the Pac-12, get to the second weekend, even win the whole enchilada. I'm dead serious. Rabb and Brown are prodigies who are going to be playing pro ball, Swanigan is an elite collegiate center, and the Bears are loaded with solid wing talent. With Arizona losing a good chunk of their talent and UCLA, Utah and Oregon losing significant contributors, the Bears could be poised to make huge moves.
Caleb Swanigan: Swanigan's decision comes this Saturday, and I'd expect the dominoes to fall soon after that regarding the elite prospects. It's hard to believe that Swanigan is probably the dark horse among this talented trio, but Michigan State has made him priority uno since the beginning, and there are plenty of other national programs to swoop in if he doesn't want Sparty. However, the Swanigan relationships with Rabb and Cuonzo Martin cannot be discounted. The prospect of dominating the Pac-12 for a year has to sound tantalizing.
Tyson Jolly: Jolly is visiting Cal this weekend. I expect if Brown and/or Swanigan commit elsewhere, Jolly will get an actionable offer pretty quickly. I think we're in a good space to land Jolly if Cal doesn't get all of their dream targets. Cal would certainly improve defensively landing prospects like Jolly and Dillard, who are known for their athleticism and long arms on the wing.
Shonn Miller: If Cal strikes out on both Brown and Swanigan, I expect the Cornell transfer to be the next big target on the board. He was a legitimate starter at Cornell, he should be able to play in a Tarwater-type role as an undersized four.
Mark Tollefsen: Another recent transfer (this one local, from USF), this might be a backup plan in case Miller doesn't end up working out. Tollefsen actually is taller at 6'9" and could work in that undersized four role that Behrens and Tarwater platooned last season. It's something to watch for sure.
Cal is interested in Mark Tollefsen from the University of San Francisco as a possible grad transfer: http://t.co/vwmnvPBYtV
— Mike Vernon (@M_Vernon) April 1, 2015
Lindsey Drew: With Herb Sendek gone at Arizona State, Cal has taken a new-acquired interest in the ASU point guard decommit. Drew fits the Martin mold of being a tall point guard (6'4") that fits the defensive mold Martin is trying to instill at Haas. We probably only pick up our interest in Drew if Wallace decides to enter the NBA Draft.
Cal fans, what do you think about all of this? Project what class we end up with!