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Golden Nuggets: To the future... Pac-12 FB schedules and Cal MBB. Can they get better?

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McKenzie Forbes has influenced high school basketball in her home town and she will be joining Cal this fall.

California v Stanford Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Football

  • Larry Scott talked about the future of the Pac-12... including most of the topics you’d want to think about. Jon Wilner has the recap. Unfortunately a lot of the answers aren’t what you’d wanna hear (No DirecTV [but that’s been known for a while] and late night football kickoffs aren’t going anywhere) but there’s some good notes about how to fix college basketball.
  • Future OLB Leon White talks to Rivals on why he committed to Cal and what he likes about us.

Basketball

“We learned so much as freshmen,” said forward Justice Sueing, one of seven freshmen on the roster and one of three who started most of the season. “Next year, I think we have to use all of that knowledge and bounce back. Next year, 100 percent, it won’t be like this.”

Cal doesn’t have a player taller than 6-foot-8 returning, and the tallest, freshman Grant Anticevich, averaged 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds per game and had three blocked shots in 171 minutes.

The Bears do return quite a bit on the perimeter, including Sueing and guards Darius McNeill and Juhwan Harris-Dyson — each of whom showed signs of becoming solid Pac-12 players.

  • Wilner usually hasn’t mentioned Cal in his Pac-12 basketball reports, but this time he has. Basically he says that good coached teams don’t set Pac-12 records for most double-digit losses in the season (they had 12) and he will be on a short leash with the new AD... so basically what we’ve been saying in the comments sections.
  • On the women’s side, McKenzie Forbes’s stellar Folsom High career, that boosted WBB in her region, came to an end and now she looks forward to starting her career at Cal.

“She’s got it all, fundamentals to flair, and she adds to the crowd appreciation because she has something for every basketball fan,” [former star WBB player Cici] Robinson said. “When you’re McKenzie Forbes, five-star recruit, McDonald’s All-American, you can go your own way, but she’s so grounded.”

Forbes learned humility from her father, a showman in his global travels with the Globetrotters, but also one who stressed team ball during hundreds of clinics. He is an assistant coach to [head coach Lynn] Wolking.

”Kenzie plays the right way, and she has fun with it,” [McKenzie’s father] Sterling said. “And yeah, it’s great to watch.”

Misc.

  • The Pac-12 Hall of Honor, originally only meant to showcase the best basketball players, has been expanded to include all sports... the first Cal player to benefit from this is Matt Biondi and he was honored during the MBB Tourney last week.

Biondi was responsible for 12 of those [504 Pac-12 championships], swimming to three consecutive NCAA titles in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle from 1985-87, two in the 50 free, four more in relays and two in water polo. An 11-time Olympic medalist, he has earned just about every honor as an adult.

But that wasn’t always the case. Friday’s event reminded Biondi of his teenage years at Moraga’s Campolindo High, where he was 6-foot-1 and 132 pounds at 16. Even though he was the fastest sprinter in the history of public high schools, he wasn’t even among the five nominees for athlete of the year as a senior.

“People judged me on how I looked and my sport, which was considered a minor sport,” Biondi said. “When I went to Cal, it was totally different. We’ve had some great athletes, like Kevin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch, in the top sports, but I was voted top athlete my sophomore, junior and senior years. It really was a place where I didn’t feel like I was being judged anymore.

  • Daily Cal’s feature on women’s tennis player Olivia Hauger, and her use of analytics to win matches, is worth the read.

Go Bears!