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Golden Nuggets: Cal MBB’s Practices Are Getting More Stressful (In a Good Way)

Women’s Water Polo begins team practices for the season.

California v San Diego State Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Men’s Basketball

  • Cal returns to action tonight facing off against USC. Find out how the coaching staff has made practices a lot tougher. (This system was in place prior to Stanford, as well)

When the team returned to practice Dec. 26, the sessions took on decidedly different feel. Every time someone on the bench wasn’t cheering for the players on the court, practice stopped and running started.

Dare not hustle. Run.

Fail to communicate. Run.

Miss an assignment. Run.

“There’s a price if you make a mistake,” Jones said. “… It’s an accumulation of little things that add up to big things. If we see you make a little mistake, you’ve got to pay for it. …

“We’re getting in really good shape.”

But Cal isn’t just running to run. Jones is trying to set the foundation for a team that recognizes its mistakes and works together to solve them.


Cal head football coach Justin Wilcox stated that recruiting players who know how to win is important, and that they will help “build and maintain a winning culture.”

On a national scale, Cal’s recruiting class has been ranked thus far in the top 50 by Rivals (38), 247Sports (39) and ESPN (49). According to both Rivals and 247Sports, Cal has the fifth-ranked recruiting class in the Pac-12. The Bears’ incoming batch of players includes a few four-star recruits, but the bulk of the athletes have three-star ratings.

When Wilcox was brought into Cal, one ideal that he stressed, most publicly supported by alumnus Aaron Rodgers, was to bring the Bears’ locale of recruiting back to the West. When former head coach Sonny Dykes was in command, Cal’s roster largely strayed from its California roots.

Of Cal’s 49 recruits in 2015 and 2016, only 26 came from programs on the West Coast, but in the latest lineup of incoming Bears, only one does not hail from a program in the western part of the country.

  • Jon Wilner elaborates on the plan to create a “competition committee” to help the Pac-12 get more competitive.
  • Josh Yuen laments the Pac-12’s poor showing in bowl season, and says Cal will hopefully someday “get their own shot to lose in December as well.”


  • Women’s Water Polo has started Training Camp. Find out how Dora Antal and Anna Illes feel about playing in their last seasons this spring.
  • Cal sweeps the Pac-12 Swimmer of the Month awards for December. Justin Lynch and Abbey Weitzeil took the awards for men and women, respectively.
  • Congrats to Emily Boyd and Indigo Gibson who will get to participate in Training Camp for US Soccer’s Under-23 WNT.

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