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Cal Men’s Basketball Futures: Part 1. 2018.

Go Bears!

California v Oregon Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It’s a new regime. A fresh start. And the next two recruiting cycles will be of the utmost importance on getting the Bears basketball program on the rise again. The Bears will need to strike gold on the recruiting trail, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 5-star Top 10 players. In this series we’ll delve into the recruiting targets and see who we should prioritize with respect to our roster and graduating players. Today we start with the 2018 cycle.

The Bears currently have two commits for 2018 in Matt Bradley and Jacobi Gordon, both of whom are 4-star wing prospects but have very different skill sets. With the two of them, Cal’s guards and forwards for the 2018-2019 season are Paris Austin, Deschon Winston, Grant Anticevich, Juhwan Harris-Dyson, Don Coleman, Roman Davis, Justice Sueing, Austin McCullough and Darius McNeill. Thats 11 G/F on scholarship, and on top of that Marcus Lee and Kingsley Okoroh will have graduated by the start of the season. That would leave two scholarships to fill out our big man vacancy. With Matt Bradley and Jacobi Gordon in tow, helps not only recruiting top tier bigs, but also allows the coaching staff to focus their attention and prioritize the bigs they wish to go after.

Currently, the Bears have extended a good amount of scholarships to 2018 big men, but with only two open positions it will be interesting to see who and what skill set the staff prioritizes. It’s safe to assume the number one priority is 5-star Jordan Brown out of Roseville, California, but what about the other big man spot? As it currently stands, the bigs that Coach Jones seems to be focusing on are Andre Kelly, Jaedon Ledee, Ignas Brazdeikis and Bryan Penn-Johnson. The question now becomes who commits first and which pairing might be the best fit. Personally? I would love to see either one of Ignas Brazdeikis or Bryan Penn-Johnson be the partner to Jordan Brown. If Jordan Brown were not in the equation, Brazdeikis and Penn-Johnson would be a very intriguing pairing.

Coach Jones has already stated he would want his team to be playing more uptempo along with some pressing defense means that the Bears need athleticism, mobility, and versatility across all five positions. The guard & forward rotation is set for the 2017-2018. They will be young, but they get to play with solid senior bigs in Marcus Lee and Kingsley Okoroh. After a year of playing under their belts, the entire G/F rotation will return for 2018-2019 barring any transfers or early departures. The Bears will then have two stellar wing freshman along with what looks to be two stellar freshman bigs. The outlook for the 2018-2019 season looks promising, and with two Top-100 players already committed the Bears have started to build a talent base that will look great on the court and appeal to those who want to play their collegiate basketball at Haas Pavilion.

Next week will be Part Two of this Basketball Futures Series. Be on the look out for the drop.

California Love. California Rising.