San Diego State picked up a graduate transfer big man for next season late this week when Cal center Kameron Rooks committed to the Aztecs.
The 7-foot-1 Rooks is the first recruit of the Brian Dutcher era for the San Diego State as he will be immediately eligible this season.
Rooks was injured during a good chunk of his time at Cal as he missed one season with an ACL injury, had surgery on his foot last summer, and then had surgery on the same knee again last season. A reserve big man at Cal the past two seasons, Rooks averaged a little over 17 minutes per game each of the last two seasons.
During the 2016-17 season, Rooks averaged 4.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and just less than a block per game. If healthy, Rooks gives San Diego State an experienced post presence who should be able to be a solid rotation piece for next season.
Cal has quietly put together a very strong week on the recruiting trail as new head coach Wyking Jones added his second top-100 commitment in back-to-back days on Thursday.
A day after getting a pledge from Texas wing Jacobi Gordon, the Golden Bears grabbed a pledge from four-star guard Matt Bradley on Thursday.
The 6-foot-4 Bradley was only offered a scholarship by Cal on Tuesday as they quickly closed the deal on the No. 81 overall prospect in the Class of 2018. By landing Bradley and Gordon, Cal can focus its attention on landing a lead guard or a standout big man to go along with these two quality pieces on the wing.
Jones has yet to coach a game at Cal, but he’s already pulled in some quality commitments and appears to be off to a solid start when it comes to roster building.
Cal landed its first Class of 2018 commit on Wednesday night as four-star wing Jacobi Gordon made it official. The 6-foot-7 Gordon is the No. 75 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national Class of 2018 national rankings as the wing is a nice grab for new head coach Wyking Jones.
Gordon is a nice first commitment for the Golden Bears in 2018 as he should be able to be versatile on both ends of the floor at the next level. With ideal size and a growing scoring package, Gordon has intriguing offensive upside and the has the potential to defend multiple spots on the floor.
Running with Houston Hoops in the Nike EYBL this spring, Gordon put up 11.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field.
Cal will promote interim head coach and former assistant coach Wyking Jones to head coach, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The story was first reported by Jon Rothstein of FanRagSports.com
A native of Inglewood, California, Jones has been an assistant coach for the Golden Bears for the past two seasons as he replaces former head coach Cuonzo Martin, who departed to take the Missouri job. This promotion comes as a bit of a surprise for some since Jones has never been a head coach at the Division I level.
Jones has spent 15 years as an assistant coach at the Division I level at places like Cal, Louisville, New Mexico, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount — where Jones spent his playing career.
Helping Louisville to the Final Four in 2013, Jones is a respected coach and recruiter who gets a great opportunity for his first head coaching job at the Division I level with Cal.
The Golden Bears made the NCAA tournament last year but finished 21-13 this season as they missed making the field of 68. Sophomore big man Ivan Rabb has already declared for the NBA Draft and it will be interesting to see what kind of roster Jones gets to work with right away.
One of the reasons Jones might have been retained is to help Cal keep its solid five-man recruiting class from bolting. While the Golden Bears don’t have any five-star talents coming in, it is a solid foundation for the program’s future led by a four-star guard in Jemarl Baker.
Cal will be without big man Kameron Rooks for the next 4-to-6 weeks as he will have knee surgery, according to multiple reports.
The 7-foot-2 junior was a key rotation player for the Golden Bears last year and has appeared in four games this season before the injury. Rooks was putting up 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 21.8 minutes, so he was productive playing only about half of every game.
Rooks left Friday’s win over Wyoming and didn’t return. He previously had a torn ACL that cost Rooks the 2014-15 season. Cal is also missing senior wing Jabari Bird right now as he’s been dealing with back spasms.
The Golden Bears are dealing with injuries early in the season but freshman point guard Charlie Moore is playing well and sophomore Ivan Rabb has looked like one of the Pac 12’s best players by averaging over 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Cal opened its season with a win over South Dakota State on Friday night as the victory came without preseason All-American big man Ivan Rabb.
Rabb, a 6-foot-11 sophomore, sat out the game to rest a sprained toe that happened two weeks ago during a closed scrimmage with Saint Mary’s. According to a report from Jeff Faraudo of The Mercury News, Rabb was not cleared to play on Friday as the team is listing him as day-to-day.
“Hard to say when we expect him back. I don’t think he’ll be out long,” Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said to reporters after the win. “He’s been in practice but not contact.”
Without Rabb, Cal cruised to an 82-55 victory as they jumped out to an early 21-5 lead and never looked back. South Dakota State made it an eight-point game in the second half but the Golden Bears made another 30-3 run to close out strong.
It’s obvious to say that Cal is going to need Rabb to compete for the Pac-12 title this season but they have to be encouraged by how well their defense played without him. Holding any team to 11 minutes without a field goal is impressive and it looks like the Golden Bears might be a better defensive team than I thought.
When you also factor that freshman point guard Charlie Moore — who started on Friday — didn’t shoot very well, this Cal team can still make a lot of improvements going forward.