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Scouting 2018 Cal Basketball Commit Matt Bradley

The wing figures to be a big part of Cal basketball’s future.

Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Swingman Matt Bradley has verbally committed to the California Golden Bears and would begin playing college basketball during the 2018-19 season. His stock had been rising in recent weeks after several very impressive showings. Indeed, Bradley’s versatility has helped put him among the top 100 players in his class according to multiple outlets. Bradley will spend his senior year of high school at Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. Prior to his decision, other colleges interested in signing him included Utah, Utah State, Yale, and San Diego.

Bradley can handle the ball proficiently, but he’s far from a one-dimensional player. At least at the high school level, Bradley has mastered a fluid approach that includes playing with his back to the basket and creating havoc by running the floor. His shot blocking in particular is impressive: at the 0:13 mark of the above video, he anticipates where his man is going to pull up and elevates ahead of time before he swats the ball away.

Bradley played the past three seasons in California at San Bernardino High. His 2016-17 averages were jaw-dropping: 33.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 1.7 blocks. Only LiAngelo Ball scored more points per game within the state. He tallied a whopping 72 points in an 88-55 victory over Rubidoux this past January 11. That came after games in which he scored 38 against Vista Murrieta and 42 versus Rialto. During the 72-point outburst, he went 14-17 from the charity stripe and made two attempts from three-point range in the process. He also contributed three steals and two assists. If that weren’t enough, 9 of his 15 rebounds came on the offensive end.

Bradley displayed a willingness to cut to the hoop and make himself available for an entry pass leading to another easy two points.

It’s hard to argue that his instincts are usually right. After he notices a vulnerable opponent trying to retrieve a pass, he swoops in for the steal and is off to the races for a slam. With his confidence soaring, Bradley elevates for a deep three and drills it despite two defenders in the vicinity, one of which actually contests the surprise shot.

By the end, Bradley is either making easy layups or drawing frustration fouls when he arrives at the rim.

In this clip from May 29, Bradley is playing as #33 for the Team Eleate travel squad. Bradley performs with a confident edge, using his 6’6” frame to his advantage. It helps that he possesses uncanny body control, able to weave through traffic with ease on his way to layups and dunks. He’s not afraid to play mind games with his opponents at times, but Bradley rarely seems to lose focus on the task at hand. While a scorer at heart, he has an unselfish side. Bradley can use his crossover to baffle defenders and then find a teammate who’s wide open behind the arc.

Bradley showed off a polished jab step move before freezing his defender, spinning around, and scoring. Later, he elevated for a rebound and went coast-to-coast to grab an offensive board and subsequent bucket. In a later impressive display of strength, he bulled his way to the hoop before drawing a foul that could have been charged to any one of a trio of Compton Magic players. While the favored Compton team emerged victorious, it was undoubtedly an eye-opening performance on Bradley’s part.

Considering his tremendous production as a junior, Bradley was considered a very underrated prospect in light of how he was being recruited. Many in the scouting community thought it was a coup when Wyking Jones landed his verbal commitment at this early stage. According to Bradley: "I didn't need to wait. They're the best school that has offered me. They didn't play any games. They said they wanted to see me against top competition and then they were ready to give me that offer."