Cal has hired David Grace from UCLA to fill out the bench following the loss of Tim O’Toole to Pitt. He is known as one of the best recruiters on the west coast and has helped UCLA sign top five recruiting classes the last few years. What do you expect from this signing? Were you hoping for a more X’s and O’s coach or another stellar recruiter to work with Chris Walker?
boomtho: I’m tremendously excited by this - it seems like a best case scenario for a late coaching departure, given when Coach O’Toole left in the cycle. I will admit I am nervous for one specific reason: the Adidas recruiting scandal, and the fact that UCLA is an Adidas school. I actually thought the BN article was pretty informative (at least for me), and Coach Grace addressed the scandal head-on by pointing out UCLA was the only Adidas school not implicated (not sure if true but taking the article as true for now). Wyking’s staff, including Wyking himself, is now pretty loaded with good recruiters (at least in my only semi-informed view). That’s a marked departure from the Monty days - now all they have to do is close, and coach ‘em up!
thedozen: I like the hire because Cal hoops needs all the recruiting it can get. I appreciate fundamentals as much as the next fan, but it all starts with talent. Grace can also be useful as a scout from what I have read. I imagine that he’ll be very motivated, because he wanted to spend the rest of his career at UCLA and they let him go anyway. Even though Grace won’t be the head coach next season, he strikes me as a solid leader.
Rob Hwang: Well this is an outsanding hire based on the resume of the coach. The question now is, do we have a person on the staff to coach the x’s and o’s and improve the team in terms of play. The start of next season is a TBD at best because the squad last year never really developed an identity and strayed away from the system that Wyking wanted to implement because of the youth and inexperience of the team. Talent helps but coaching needs to be able to cultivate that talent. Can this coaching staff that is full of amazing recruiters progress the talent they recruit? This is going to be a big offseason for the program and the team.