California Golden Bears Basketball Details
The California Golden Bears began competing in 1907, and have since been a staple of the Pacific-12 conference. Compete in their home gym of Haas Pavilion (formerly known as Harmon Gym), Cal has been the Pac-12 conference regular season champion 15 times, most recently in 2010. The Bears also have a rich postseason history, with 19 total tournament appearances, and one NCAA Tournament Championship in 1959. The golden era, if you will, for the Golden Bears was under Coach Pete Newell from 1955-1960. Newell led the team to four conference titles out of his five years as coach, and delivered that landmark 1959 NCAA title. The Golden Bears have numerous alumni in the NBA, including standout players such as Jason Kidd, Shareef Abdur-Raheem, Kevin Johnson, and most recently Jabari Bird, who was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Golden Bears finished the 2016-2017 season with a 10-8 conference record, good for sixth in the Pac-12. The team’s overall record was 21-13, which earned them an NIT Tournament berth during which the team lost to Cal State Bakersfield in the first round. The upcoming 2017-2018 brings new head coach Wyking Jones, an assistant coach from 2015-2017 who should be familiar with the team and its players. Among the list of challenges is the loss of point guard Charlie Moore, a top player who transferred to Kansas during the offseason, but the team will welcome five new recruits. Two of the top incoming freshmen are Deschon Winston, a guard from Southern California who averaged 18 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists in his senior year of high school and four-star recruit forward Justice Sueing. Some stronger returning players for this season are Kameron Rooks and transfer Marcus Lee. The Bears are hoping to make a return to the NCAA Tournament this season, but it will be up to some new faces – Coach Jones among them – to get the job done.