- Wyking Jones spoke with local media about the Bears’ lousy season and here’s some highlights. RECAP from SF Gate’s Rusty Simmons and also Bear Territory’s Ryan Gorcey.
“Reflecting on the season, and having had a chance to look at it all objectively, I see some things that I would do a lot differently — some mistakes that I have made, … Ultimately, I’m excited about what the future holds, and I know my players and staff are anxious to get back to playing games after a season we’d like to forget.”
“I’ve never lost like this. It was tough, it was tough, but it made me, I feel like I’m a better coach, because it made me really try — I was turning stones trying to figure out what’s the right thing to do. We’ve exhausted all avenues throughout the season. We switched up the defense — which I always wanted to do — but it revealed some things to me that, OK, moving forward, this is what we need to do.”
“I want to start the new season now. I want to get to playing some games and getting some wins, so that we can all forget about this past season.”
“If we have Charlie, we win six, seven, eight more games,” Jones said. “Nothing against Darius. Darius is an off-guard, and he did the best that he could. Charlie would have made Marcus Lee look like a superstar. Marcus Lee would have been a first-team All-Pac-12 player. ...
“Losing Charlie was tough, because we didn’t have a pure point guard with experience. … That’s like being in a football game and not having a quarterback. It’s going to be hard to run an offense.”
“Having Paris — an experienced point guard with two years of college basketball under his belt and a year with us — we all feel a lot more comfortable with how things will be executed and run, moving forward,”
Jones took solace in a late-season conversation with Pete Newell, Jr. -- son of Cal’s legendary coach, and the last Bears head men’s basketball coach to win a national title -- which he called the best thing to happen to him this year.
”He said, ‘Coach, you’ll be fine.’ I said, ‘Really?’” Jones said. “He said to me, he said, ‘My dad was 1-11 in conference his first year, 9-16 overall. You’ll be fine.’ It made me feel better.”
Jones received reminders of the team’s struggles daily on his social media feeds, but said he never muted them.
“No. No. I read it, and I say, ‘That person’s writing something negative, and when we’re good, I’ll remember that,’” Jones said. “That’s it. Just take mental notes of who decides to be negative and who tries to stay positive. That’s it.”
That last part was news for some of our writers... who are blocked by Wyking Jones on Twitter.
- Andrew Vaughn’s 12th homer of the year helped the Bears avoid a sweep at Oregon. All of them are dedicated to his grandfather who sadly passed away a couple weeks ago.
“It hurts pretty bad ... Honestly, I want to say they’re all for him,” Vaughn said. “He was one of my biggest fans, and one of my true supporters. It’s been tough, and he’s dearly missed, so any time I can do something and help our team win a game, it feels really good.”
- Ten Men’s Swimming athletes received Pac-12 Academic Honors. Congrats to Pawel Sendyk (first team Pac-12 All-Academic), Spencer Farrar, Ivan Grigorishin, Matthew Josa , Andy Song, and Jack Xie (second team), and Karl Arvidsson, Nick Silverthorn, Zach Stevens and Mike Thomas (honorable mention). The team also made All-Academic honors.
- Lastly, congrats to Women’s Gymnastics for being selected to the Salt Lake City regional where they will face five other teams, including Utah and Furd, and will compete to finish in the Top 2 and make the NCAA Championships.
- Go Bears!