We continue on from last week’s edition of the California Golden Bears Men’s Basketball futures, by looking into 2019. From a scholarship perspective, the Bears are only set to lose Don Coleman. If the Bears were to land Jordan Brown for 2018, he would then most likely be heading for the NBA at that point. For the sake of looking two years into the future, let’s assume the Bears landed Jordan Brown plus one of the other center prospects. Let’s also assume that the Bears do not lose any players to early graduation (Roman Davis and Paris Austin would be candidates) and transfers.
Shall we begin?
The Bears would have to replace a wing player and a big in the 2019 class, and already quite a few offers have gone out. There are some interesting bigs that hold offers from Cal, namely Onyeka Okongwu, Isaiah Mobley and Kofi Cockburn. All three players rank in the top 50 prospects of 2019. Okongwu and Mobley seem more realistic targets as both are in California and have some ties to the Bears. Both players play for the Compton Magic and have a Cal offer.
Besides that, Cal has offers out to two other Compton Magic teammates in 2018 SF Timmy Allen and 2018 SG Jules Bernard. Okongwu would be a solid long and athletic big that can run the floor and be good in the pick-and-roll. Mobley is the new prototype for the small ball PF spot. He shoots very well inside the arc and is very comfortable anywhere in the high post. Cockburn has a vastly different skill set as well. He’s a powerful center who is best around the basket, and has great hands to catch passes. Any one of the three prospects would be interesting. Coach Jones would have a very different scheme depending on which of the 3 were to commit.
The wings on the other hand is in a very different situation. You could take a point guard or shooting guard since you lost Don Coleman, but you could also use a SF/PF hybrid player to shore up your flexibility in playing a small or traditional lineup. The Bears currently have offers out to a good mix of them. PG Tyrese Maxey, SF Josh Green, PG De’Vion Harmon, SG Grant Sherfield, SF Charles Smith IV, SG P.J. Fuller, and SF Majok Deng all currently hold offers from the Bears. Any one of these players would be an immense addition to the team, but the west coast products in Green, Fuller, Deng could be higher on the priority list. The interesting part about the list of wings is that it includes big time Texas talent in the likes of Maxey, Harmon, and Sherfield. Assistant coach Chris Walker’s connections in the state seem to be paying off early on.
It’s still to be seen how the roster will shake up in two years time, but the Bears have a solid base level of talent and the roster turn-over should be fairly leveled off by that time. It’s exciting times ahead for Bears Basketball and the future looks fairly bright jumping into the next few seasons.
I’ll be back in a few weeks time with a look at 2020 and beyond so look out for the drop on that.