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Golden Nuggets: Darius McNeill Is Adjusting to Pac-12 Defenses

Jared Goff made the Pro Bowl!

California v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images


Coming off a season-low-tying, three-point effort against Arizona last week, Darius McNeill sat down with the Cal coaching staff to do some binge-watching.

The Bears’ freshman point guard barely recognized the guy wearing his jersey in videos from games during the previous two weeks.

“I’ve never played like that in my career,” the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder from Houston said. “It was a lot different for me. I was timid. I was unsure.

“I was trying to get a feel and trying to figure out how to score at a high level in the Pac-12.”


After the marathon video session, McNeill responded with a 16-point game against Arizona State and played 38 minutes without committing a turnover. He’ll take that confidence this week with him to play the Los Angeles schools — the ones that started the skid and have arguably the conference’s best point guards.

  • Jaylen Brown will be playing in the Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star weekend in February.


Adding Sirmon and Toler to the staff allows Baldwin — who remains at Cal despite rumors that he had accepted coaching offers at various locations — to focus on the Bears’ inexperienced tight end group, in addition to his role as offensive coordinator.

Down the line, this move frees ups last year’s tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Charlie Ragle to work exclusively with special teams, a group that is set to lose star placekicker Matt Anderson.

With the losses of stars James Looney and Devante Downs, among others, defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has a tough task at hand, even after an admirable job working in conjunction with Wilcox last season. With Sirmon on board, DeRuyter will share defensive strategies with another like-minded personality.

  • Jon Wilner’s projected All-Pac-12 list for 2018 includes a couple Cal players in the second team.
  • Congrats to Jared Goff on making the Pro Bowl!