As the college basketball season draws closer and recruits continue to announce their commitments, we take a look at the state of Cal Basketball recruiting for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
4-Stars: Justice Sueing, Juhwan Harris-Dyson, Darius Niel
3-Stars: Deschon Winston
Unranked: Grant Anticevich, Austin McCullough
Head coach Wyking Jones will boast a group of solid recruits in his first year at Cal. Although most of the recruits can be linked to former coach Cuonzo Martin, who is known for his recruiting abilities, Jones has been able to bring in top-100 talent, along with an international prospect.
Justice Sueing and Juhwan Harris-Dyson will fight for time at the starting small forward position, as former starter Jabari Bird was drafted this past week. Darius Neil is in prime position to become the starting point guard after the departures of Sam Singer and Charlie Moore.
The rest of the recruits will also find ample opportunities on the court next year, as the Bears lost four of their five starters and their top five scorers.
The Bears had also signed four-star SG Jemarl Baker in the summer of 2016, but the California native decommitted after Martin left the program. Baker later committed to Kentucky, where he will join the number one recruiting class in the country.
With only two meaningful players from last year’s squad returning, the incoming freshmen will have little help around them. These future Bears will have to mature quickly at the college level for Cal to have any success.
4-Stars: Jacobi Gordon, Matt Bradley
5-Stars: Jordon Brown
4-Stars: Gerald Liddell, Nassir Little, Alex Lomax, Kevin Porter
Two four-star recruits headline Cal’s 2018 recruiting class, as Wyking Jones brings in two quality players in his first recruiting class at Cal. Jacobi Gordon and Matt Bradley may not be the only ones, however, as many talented recruits are considering the Cal program.
Gordon, a Texas native, will join the overcrowded position of small forward. Gordon is ranked 69th in the class of 2018, and chose Cal over Iowa State, Oregon, Oklahoma, and many others. Jones displayed his recruiting abilities in the acquisition of Gordon, as he crossed state lines to bring him in. If Jones can continue to bring in recruits outside of California, the Bears will become a force to be reckoned with in the recruiting world.
The focal point of the 2018 class is big man Jordan Brown. Brown is ranked 8th in ESPN’s Top 100 and may be the best center in his class. The five-star recruit would be a great addition to the Cal frontcourt and would replace Kingsley Okoroh for the 2018 season. Brown also has offers from UCLA, Kansas, and Arizona, but Cal appears to be one of the frontrunners.
Also considering Cal are four-star recruits Gerald Liddell, Nassir Little, Alex Lomax, and Kevin Porter. All four players rank in the top 100 and are well sought after. While it is unlikely for all four to commit to Cal, Lomax and Porter have Cal at the top of their list.
The plethora of four-stars and five-stars in the 2018 class coupled with the talented 2017 class could put Cal back in national conversations in a few years. The new recruits could bring Cal back to its first NCAA tournament since 2015 and start a new era in Berkeley.