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Golden Nuggets: Looking Back at Ivan Rabb’s and Jabari Bird’s NBA Debuts

DeCarlos Brooks breaks down his commitment to the Bears.

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Greetings from Poland.

Football

“For me, Cal had the best of both worlds academically and on the football field,” Brooks said. “When I took my unofficial visit there, they made me feel like I was family and that made me feel at home. They treated me real well and like I was already a part of the team. I really appreciated that. There was the feeling that they wanted me just as much as I wanted them, and that really sold me.

”I talked to the offensive coordinator, Beau Baldwin, and the running backs coach, Burl Toler, and I was able to pick their brains a little bit and ask questions. The plays and how they scheme really translates to what I do now at Chandler. I feel like I’ll have a good head start with my understanding of what they’re doing.”

Gerald Alexander said of Bynum, “I think you’ve got a guy who played as a redshirt freshman, who started 12 games and was able to evaluate his body of work, and he’s going into his sophomore season a little bit more confident. That guy has been doing a lot of great studying of different corners, and he’s asked me a lot of questions, and we’ve had a lot of meetings, so you just see him continuing to fine-tune his game, in order to be a dominant corner.”

Basketball

  • CalBears.com has begun a series of articles with strength and conditioning coach Jordan Jackson to see what the Bears are doing in the workout room. Here is Part 1.

Player Spotlight

Darius showed a lot of promise as a freshman, and he wasn’t here at this time last year. He didn’t get a summer of strength and conditioning. He put a little weight on last year – 10 lbs. in season, which is hard to do in season. This year, since he got back to Berkeley on June 2, he went straight to work. He made a jump in size already, and you can tell he’s getting stronger. He just really came back and got to work, put on 6 lbs. his first week, so I think he’s primed for a really good sophomore year. Darius is already jumping higher than he was, dunking everything in practice.

  • Last time I linked the Daily Cal’s write up of Tyrone Wallace’s NBA debut. Now they have articles on Ivan Rabb and Jabari Bird.

Because of injuries, Rabb began receiving an influx of extended playing time starting in mid-January, beginning with a 14-minute appearance against the New York Knicks.

Consistent playing time wasn’t a guarantee, as a couple of short appearances and DNPs were sprinkled in here and there. When granted the opportunity, Rabb had no trouble flashing his abilities.

Rabb ended his first campaign with averages of 5.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 14.3 minutes per game over 36 contests.

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As a second-round pick selected by a team destined for the playoffs, Bird’s lack of playing time on the big show was to be expected.

With the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics’ G League affiliate, Bird found his wings as a scorer, putting up 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game over 20 games.

Despite his stellar play, a back injury put Bird out of commission for nearly two months, forcing him to miss the back end of the Red Claws’ season.

Bird rejoined the Celtics in mid-March upon recovering from injury, seeing a couple minutes here and there, but as the season reached its conclusion, the rook would have his chance to shine.

Cal Athletics

  • The Daily Cal ended Pride Month by showing pride at Cal’s (and the Pac-12’s) lead in openly LGBTQ+ student-athletes. (Nine in 2016 for Cal, 56 for the Pac-12)
  • Cal ranked 19 in ESPN’s Ultimate Draft rankings. That is a ranking of high draft picks by schools across 10 different leagues (football, men and women’s basketball, baseball, soccer, among others) and notes that the Bears have had consistent high draft picks recently in football, men’s soccer and baseball.

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