What are Fox’s priorities for rebuilding this program after the last 2 years?
Nik Jam: Keeping the team together. We already lost Darrius and more transfers could be coming. Fox has to limit the damage and have the current players, and incoming freshmen, buy into the system. He has to talk to fans and convince us to give our time and money to go to games. If there was an improvement that Wyking made in Year 2 compared to Year 1, it was no mind-blowing blowout losses to bad teams at home. This time around, we should start seeing less blowout losses in conference play and against strong opponents. Even if we have a “bad” season record wise, no games should be over before halftime. The team needs to look competent on both sides of the ball. A solid non-conference schedule should be made, which gives the program a chance to make a statement win (or even a so-called “moral victory” against a Top-10 team) even if that doesn’t wind up happening.
boomtho: In no particular order, Fox needs to focus on: (1) retaining the existing players (while Wyking’s tenure will quickly be forgotten, his recruiting was at least mid-conference and it’s critical to retain those players for the next 2 years) (2) filling out his coaching staff with a mix of recruiting prowess (Trent Johnson is a really positive start there!) and X’s and O’s expertise (3) finding a way to re-engage and re-invigorate the fanbase (4) start to re-build connections with key Bay Area and West Coast programs. Fox can do all these things - compared to Wyking, he should hit the ground running given he has, ya know, actually done this before.
thedozen: The main goal should be to reestablish Cal basketball as a point of pride for the greater community. Making connections with alumni and fans is key. Obviously, winning and attracting on-court talent can help with that.
Ruey Yen: So much of college athletics is about recruiting, so the main thing for Mark Fox to do is to assemble a coaching staff with deep ties to the west coast. As much as I would love for the current players to stay at Cal, making them happy is a distant 2nd in importance.
Rob Hwang: I guess the first thing would be to hire an established recruiter on the back end of the staff. The big picture goal for the next couple of years should be establishing a foothold in recruiting along the west coast. Granted roster sizes are smaller than football, but they should take the same approach as they do with football. There is a good pool of talent in the Bay Area and LA that we should be able to establish some sort of solid connections with AAU teams and High Schools in the area.