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Cal Mens Basketball Practice Notebook: Welcome to the Danger Zone.

Let’s Get It Started!

California Golden Bears v Oregon Ducks Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The Bears started practice for the start of their season in just under a month. We got an inside look into one of their practices. So instead of a write-up I figured it would be easier if you guys got to see my notes! Here we go!

General notes:

  • Energy around the practice is renewed. Very energetic and excited with everyone.
  • New Kicks: Curry 2 Luxe (Blue Leather, Metallic Gold Heel). Curry 3Zer0 (All Gold, White Sole). UA Team Drive 4. Curry 3 Low.
  • Justice Sueing - Out with a Fibula Stress Fracture. Should be available by Season start.
  • Kingsley Okoroh - Out with a nagging ankle injury hes dealt with all career.

Position Groups:

  • Wings: Don Coleman, Roman Davis, Austin McCullough, Juhwan Harris-Dyson
  • Point Guards: Jacob Orender, Deschon Winston, Paris Austin, Darius McNeill
  • Stretch 4: Grant Anticevich, Jules Erving
  • Center: Cole Welle, Marcus Lee

Practice specifics:

  • Guards learning to come off screens as the handler in P-n-R.
  • McNeill looks good. Real good. His jump shot mechanic is sound and can make shots from beyond the arc. He’s a lefty shooter but can finish at the rim with either hand consistently.
  • Wings practiced coming off screens, moving without the ball, catching and shooting.
  • A key point of emphasis: Movement without the ball on cuts, curls, and footwork stepping into their shooting spot. Clearly Theo is bringing alot of his experience and knowledge from the Warriors and Lakers.
  • Theo making sure about the small steps to get his footwork down before the shot.
  • Theo coaching the wings. *Happy Tear*
  • Paris Austin is taking on the role of the vocal leader. Making sure to talk the guys up, making sure they know the small things and what theyre doing in each drill.
  • Marcus doesnt take a break. He grabs some water then gets up to work on his free throw shooting during breaks. Theo coaching him up.
  • The coaches broke down the 2-3 Zone defense they want to play by splitting up the 2 (the guards) and the 3 (the front court)
  • Initial thought is Coach Wyking wants to run a 2-1-2 Full Court Press and settle back into a 2-3 Zone, while aggressively trapping in the corner.
  • PGs learning to play the top of the zone together.
  • Deschon Winston and Darius McNeill were paired up the most for the guard group.
  • Bigs and Wings learning how to play base of the 2-3.
  • Marcus Lee played at the 5 but also out on the wings of the base 3
  • The biggest habit the team needs is to talk on defense, calling out from the weakside on baseline cutters.
  • Coach O’Toole teaching the 4-5 Trap and calls the corner “THE DANGER ZONE”
  • Marcus looks amazing in 1-on-1 defense. Footwork is on point.
  • Juhwan Harris-Dyson’s defense is going to only get better. His instincts, fundamentals, hustle is already outstanding. Will be a lockdown defender as a freshman.
  • McCullough has the nicest shot. Fully developed and NBA range. Mechanics are solid. Only quirk is he brings his ball down to his hip before he goes into his shooting motion on any shot.
  • Marcus Lee and Juhwan Harris-Dyson talked to the media. Check out what they had to say below about how practice is going and also about some of those NBA players at Oracle Arena they got to play with at Haas Pavilion.
  • Coach got some time with the media. See what he said to say below!

Do you have any expectations for the season? Who would be your starting 5? Let us know in the comments below!

California Love. California Rising.