An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
Cal freshman Ivan Rabb’s body transformation (PHOTO)
Ivan Rabb has been putting in the work since he arrived on campus at Cal.
The consensus top ten recruit has added 12 pounds of muscle in 44 days, according to a source. And while he wasn’t exactly out of shape when he arrived on campus, he should be able to handle the rigors of the Pac-12 just that much easier.
Part of what makes this so important for Cal is that they really don’t have many other options in the paint. Their perimeter attack is loaded: Jaylen Brown is the biggest name, and he’s joined by future NBA Draft pick Tyrone Wallace, former McDonald’s All-American Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews, another talented perimeter scorer.
Cal is going to have the weapons to play four-around-one.
And having at least an extra 11 pounds of muscle on that one is certainly going to help when it’s February and Rabb is averaging 34 minutes in league play.
Cal announces non-conference schedule with some tough games
Cal is trotting out a talented lineup for the 2015-16 season that includes the return of some veterans like Tyrone Wallace joining some talented newcomers like big man Ivan Rabb and wing Jaylen Brown.
The Golden Bears test themselves towards the end of the non-conference schedule, which they announced via the team’s Twitter page on Tuesday. To end the non-conference portion of the schedule, Cal will go back-to-back against two NCAA tournament teams with a road game at Virginia on Dec. 22 and a home game against Davidson on Dec. 28.
Other highlights on the schedule for Cal include a tough road game at Wyoming on Dec. 5 and back-to-back games in Las Vegas against San Diego State and either West Virginia or Richmond on Nov. 28 and 29. Looks like Brown and Rabb will get some decent games in non-conference play but maybe not the showcase game against a top-flight team that would have been nice to see Cal play early in the season.
Virginia and Cal announced on Monday that the two schools will be playing a home-and-home series for the next two seasons.
The first game will be played in Charlottesville on Dec. 22nd of this season, meaning that Virginia — a preseason top ten team and the winner of the last two ACC regular season titles — will be hosting a Cal team that will be ranked in the top 15 of the preseason polls and could feasibly challenge Arizona for supremacy in the Pac-12.
That’ll be a nice way to send us off to the December holidays.
The return game will be played in Berkeley during the 2016-17 season.
Cal lost two commitments, including a top 75 recruit, on Wednesday
Then late on Wednesday, the school announced that Tyson Jolly would not be enrolling at the university this summer. Jolly, the No. 73 player in the class, according to Rivals, will instead attend prep school for the 2015-16 season. He’s still committed to Cal for the Class of 2016, per Scout.com.
Losing Jolly and Dillard is a blow for the Bears, but those aren’t the most important members of their recruiting class. Ivan Raab and Jaylen Brown, two top ten prospects, are. And with Jabari Bird, Jordan Mathews and Ty Wallace all returning to school, Martin still has a roster that will be ranked in the preseason top 25 and should end up competing for a spot at or near the top of the Pac-12.