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Golden Nuggets: Marcus Lee Not Giving Up on NBA

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The Daily Cal interviews Jim Knowlton. Plus, a lot more academic awards.

California v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Football

“I was planning on doing the full day, the morning and afternoon session [at the Farm],” Gulbranson said, “but we were already up there, so we just did the morning session and went up to Cal in the afternoon.”

That led to a visit with the Cal coaches, seeing the facilities, the campus, and it left an impression on Gulbranson, enough for him to commit late Friday night.

”That night, we were like, why not just commit now?” Gulbranson noted, “I can’t really think of any school I’d rather play for, so why not just commit now, secure my spot there.”

Basketball

“For me, it wasn’t about moving up the draft boards. I was trying to get on the draft boards,” said Lee, who turns 24 in September. The first senior wasn’t selected Thursday until Utah drafted Duke’s Grayson Allen at No. 21. “But summer league is still a chance to battle. I have no idea what’s happening, but I’m excited for the opportunity to battle.

“The summer league is a chance to show why I should have been picked.”

Lee has been trying to make that case for months. He averaged 10 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots at April’s Portsmouth Invitational, and he was able to land pre-draft workouts with Toronto and the Lakers.

He would have worked out for Phoenix, too — if it weren’t for travel issues.

“The pre-draft process is a love-hate relationship,” Lee said. “I’m exhausted. My body hurts. I feel the stress, but it’s exciting. I’m loving it. I’m excited I even have the chance to do this.

  • The Daily Cal reviews the first season of Tyrone Wallace with the LA Clippers, and speculates whether he will still be with the team next season.

Misc.

DC: Do you have any ideas as to how you’re going to improve attendance for the smaller, less popular sports on campus?

JK: We’re working right now on marketing plans for all of our sports. You know, how do we get the word out? And we’re going to really start with football, using that as a way to mobilize and get students excited. We’ll have some pretty big announcements coming up that I think are going to get our students fired up. We want to make (it) so that our students want to go and support our different teams.

And as I said in my press conference, I’ve used food — I used pizza, I used chicken, I used a little of everything — and I think that when people go to one of these games once, they want to come back.

So really, our challenge is: Get them to go once, and then they’re going to get hooked.

“Wow, I can go support our students and watch rugby or go support beach volleyball” — whatever it is. I think our job is to make it exciting — make it a great game day experience and then once they go once, hope that we can continue to bring them back.

DC: How do you manage to keep track of the campus debt and the football program, along with everything else in the athletic department?

JK: I think what I have to do is really focus on 30 sports. But I also have to know that football drives — it’s the economic engine that drives our athletic department. And so we have to continue to get better in football. And I think we have a phenomenal coaching staff. I think coach (Justin) Wilcox is world-class, and I think we just have to continue to rally around him, keep his assistant coaches here, because he wants to win the right way. And to me, that’s really important; winning is not everything — it’s winning the right way. And at Cal, I think that’s what we expect.

So I have to balance it. It means that you don’t sleep as much as you’d like. It means you get off a plane in Oakland at 12:15 and have a meeting early the next morning, and you just have to kind of balance it all.

  • Men’s Golf’s schedule was announced and it features a lot of travel. The Bears will compete in four different time zones in the Fall (Eastern, Central, Pacific, and Hawaiian) but will play its entire Spring portion of the schedule in the Pacific time zone. Remember that star Collin Morikawa still has a year of eligibility left!
  • Six men and NINETEEN women from the Swimming & Diving programs received Scholar All-American honors from the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America.
  • Congrats to Daniel Carr and Pawel Sendyk for making the first team (3.5+ GPA and Championship level play), and Nate Biondi, James Daugherty, Jarod Hatch and Zach Stevens for making the honorable mentions list (3.5+ GPA and “B” level play). On the women’s side: Kathleen Baker, Amy Bilquist, Keaton Blovad, Sarah Darcel, Ali Harrison, Robin Neumann and Noemie Thomas are on the first team. Alexa Buckley, Alexa Cacao, Jenna Campbell, Chenoa Devine, Dannie Dilsaver, Jackie Im, Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou, Jasmine Mau, Courtney Mykkanen, Kathleen Navas and Maija Roses are honorable mentions. In addition, both squads made the Scholar All-American lists as a team (the 17th consecutive semester the women have made the list, AKA every semester the award has existed).

Vai Ursos!