Basketball: Cal’s most impactful homegrown players

While Cal fans eagerly await Monday night’s announcement from five-star basketball recruit Ivan Rabb about whether he will play his college basketball in Berkeley or at Arizona, here is a look back at the best homegrown players to play for the Golden Bears:

* Andy Wolfe, Berkeley: Cal’s first 1,000-point scorer, Wolfe earned All-America honors as a senior in 1948.

* Bob McKeen, Piedmont: An All-American center as a senior in 1955, McKeen retired as Cal’s career leader in points and rebounds. Still owns the record in the latter, 60 years later.

* Charlie Johnson, Redwood City: A three-time team captain and all-conference guard in 1969, Johnson went on to contribute to the Warriors’ 1975 NBA championship team.

* Phil Chenier, Berkeley: An all-Pac-8 selection as a junior in 1971, when he averaged 18.3 points in conference play, Chenier later enjoyed a productive nine-year career.

* Gene Ransom, Berkeley: At 5-foot-8, Ransom averaged 14.8 points over three seasons and played 63½ minutes in a five-overtime win over Oregon in 1977.

* Lamond Murray, Kennedy: Scored 28 points as a sophomore in Cal’s upset of Duke in the 1993 NCAA tournament, then averaged 24.3 points as a junior before leaving for the NBA as Cal’s career scoring leader.

* Jason Kidd, Oakland: The greatest player in Cal history, Kidd led the Bears to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament as a freshman in 1993 and earned consensus All-America at point guard the following season.

* Leon Powe, Oakland: A two-time all-Pac-10 power forward, Powe posted 20 rebounds and 41 points on consecutive nights in the 2006 Pac-10 tournament.


Basketball: Ivan Rabb to name college Monday night

Bishop O’Dowd High five-star forward Ivan Rabb will announce his college choice Monday night at 7 p.m., according to his coach.

O’Dowd coach Lou Richie said the 6-foot-10 senior has not told him what his decision will be.

Rabb announced a couple weeks ago that he had trimmed his list of suitors to Cal and Arizona.

Rated a consensus top-10 prospect, Rabb would be Cal’s highest-rated recruit in years and the centerpiece in second-year coach Cuonzo Martin’s second recruiting class. Already, the Bears have commitments from three-star wing players Davon Dillard and Tyson Jolly.

Caleb Swanigan, a five-star center from Fort Wayne, Indiana, was expected to pick Cal but surprised everyone Friday by announcing he will sign with Michigan State.

The official spring signing period begins Wednesday.

Rabb led O’Dowd to the California state open-division title and has played in two prestigious postseason all-star games, the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Hoop Summit. He is scheduled to participate Friday in the Jordan Brand Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Rabb’s resume includes winning gold medals the past two summers with USA national age-group teams. He helped win the FIBA Americas U16 Championships in 2013 and the FIBA U17 World Championships in 2014.


Basketball: Bears get commit from 3-star Tyson Jolly

Tyson Jolly, a three-star shooting guard from the Oklahoma City area, gave Cal an oral commitment Friday night after an official campus visit.

“I really already had my mind set. Nobody knew, but I had my mind set,” Jolly said in a phone interview Saturday morning. “Getting there and seeing everybody . . . everybody looked happy. Playing with the team, they were talking up the coaches.

“It just felt like a home environment.”

Jolly picked Cal over Gonzaga and Minnesota, both of whom also had made scholarship offers.

Jolly said Cal fans should be optimistic that five-star power forward Ivan Rabb of Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High will choose the Bears.

“I think we are going to get him,” Jolly said.

A 6-foot-4 senior at Putnam City West in the Oklahoma City suburb of Bethany, Jolly averaged 20 points and nine rebounds this season, leading his team to a 24-3 record and into the state semifinals.

Jolly is rated a three-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals.

Jolly’s road to Berkeley was at times a frightening one. He overcame a health ordeal a year ago when pulmonary embolism blood clots in his legs and lungs threatened more than his basketball career.

“Doctors told me I could have been dead seven times,” Jolly said.

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Recruiting: A win for football, a big loss for hoops

The news on two recruiting fronts came back-to-back Friday:

— Five-star basketball center Caleb Swanigan of Fort Wayne, Indiana, announced a day ahead of his own schedule that he will attend Michigan State. The news apparently was a surprise to coach Tom Izzo’s staff, as it likely was to Cal coach Cuonzo Martin.

Swanigan originally said he would announce Saturday at the Hoop Summit all-star game in Portland. Swanigan and Bishop O’Dowd High’s Ivan Rabb were thought to be plotting a joint commitment somewhere — possibly to Cal.

Cal has been considered the favorite for Rabb, a 6-foot-11 five-star power forward. But he didn’t announce two weeks ago after winning the state title — at Haas Pavilion, no less — and still hasn’t shared his decision.

It’s just speculation, but you have to wonder if Rabb delayed his announcement because he was trying to close the deal with Swanigan.

I am hearing Rabb is unlikely to announce Saturday. Perhaps he is planning something when he returns to the Bay Area.

— The news was better for football, where the Bears nabbed their second quarterback in the class of 2016. Max Gilliam, a 6-3, 192-pounder from Thousand Oaks High, was on campus Friday for an unofficial visit. Cal offered and he accepted, then tweeted his decision.

Gilliam is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247 Sports.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Gilliam passed for 2,920 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior last fall and rushed for 625 yards and 12 TDs.

He joins Armani Rogers, a 6-5 dual-threat quarterback from Hamilton High in Los Angeles in the Bears’ 2016 class. Cal also got a commitment earlier this week from offensive lineman Daniel Juarez, a 6-5, 292-pounder from Corona-Centennial.


Basketball: Cuonzo Martin says Tyrone Wallace is smart to take his time on NBA draft decision

On the day seven Kentucky underclassmen declared for the NBA draft, Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said junior point guard Tyrone Wallace still hasn’t made a decision about his future.

“I think Tyrone is weighing his options, which is fine,” Martin said. “He’ll assess who’s going in the draft, who’s returning to school. Then he’ll make his decision from there, but he’s still (up) in the air.”

The deadline for early entry into the NBA draft is April 26, and Martin said his first-team all-Pac-12 should take all the time he needs.

“There is no timetable for him,” Martin said.” This is a very important decision. You owe it to a young man to take his time and make the right decision.

“The thing we talked about when the season was over was what’s best for Tyrone Wallace, putting himself in position to be the best he can be and where he sees himself as far as the draft’s concerned, where he’s projected.”

Wallace is not projected to be a first-round pick, but Martin said that won’t necessarily mean Wallace says no to the pros.

“I don’t know if he’s necessarily said, `If I’m not in the first round I won’t go in the draft.’ I don’t think he’s said that,” Martin said.

Martin believes a player taken in the top half of the second round likely has a good future, but called anything later than that a “gray area where you’ve got to be lucky.”


Martin said he has received a large number of inquiries from potential candidates for the coaching staff vacancy left when Jon Harris was hired as head coach at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. Included, he said, are NBA assistant coaches.

Martin said he may not hire a replacement for Harris for a couple weeks, and will be careful to find someone who is a good fit for his staff.


Basketball: Assistant Jon Harris gets HC job

Cal assistant Jon Harris, who has worked with Cuonzo Martin for the past seven seasons, was hired as head coach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville of the Ohio Valley Conference.

Harris is a native of Edwardsville.

“I am incredibly thrilled for Jon,” Martin said in a statement. “He has worked tirelessly on our staff over the past seven years. Jon is a great coach, leader and friend. He has an opportunity to make a tremendous impact on his hometown program.

“I wish him, his wife Heidi and their three children all the best in their new endeavors.”

Harris served on Martin’s coaching staff at Cal and previously at Tennessee and Missouri State.


Basketball: What will Bears’ roster look like?

With the unsurprising news that Christian Behrens will not return for his senior season, Cal now has one additional scholarship available for next season.

Division I men’s basketball program are allowed 13 scholarships, and the Bears currently have four open spots.

One of those is committed to Davon Dillard, a three-star small forward who committed to Cal last month and is expected to sign April 15.

That leaves three open scholarships.

Coach Cuonzo Martin would love to hand those out to power forward Ivan Rabb, small forward Jaylen Brown and center Caleb Swanigan.

There is one other variable at play: What will junior point guard Tyrone Wallace decide?

Wallace reportedly has not made a decision on whether he will forgo his final college season and enter the NBA draft. In current mock drafts, draftexpress.com envisions Wallace as the No. 8 pick in the second round, and nbadraft.net does not show Wallace being taken in the two-round draft.

Here is Cal’s current roster breakdown:

— Guards (6): Jabari Bird, Brandon Chauca, Stephen Domingo, Jordan Mathews, Sam Singer, Tyrone Wallace.

— Forwards (1): Roger Moute a Bidias.

— Centers (2): Kingsley Okoroh, Kameron Rooks.

Yes, with seniors David Kravish and Dwight Tarwater gone and Behrens departing, the Bears are a little light at the forward spots. Regardless of whether Martin is able to sign the five-star talent he wants, expect Cal to add one or two players who can operate at the 3 or 4 spots.

In particular, the Bears need a power forward with some girth and muscle. A grad-student transfer or JC player could wind up filling that role.


Basketball: Behrens won’t return next season

Junior forward Christian Behrens, a part-time starter who is on schedule to graduate with a degree in American Studies this spring, will not return to the Bears’ roster next season.

Cal sent out a news release Thursday saying that Behrens has decided “pursue professional opportunities,” but the reality is Behrens’ playing time with the Bears likely would have been reduced next season.

Here is Behrens’ statement:

“I want thank the entire California Athletics family for giving me this tremendous opportunity to represent the Golden Bears. I am on track to graduate in May with a degree from the world’s No. 1 public institution, which is a great honor. I believe at this time, I want to start a new chapter in my basketball career and pursue professional opportunities. I cherish my experiences here at Cal and have created friendships here that will last a lifetime. I will always be a Golden Bear.”

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