Cal Report Card
Wallace was the leading scorer for the Golden Bears during this past season, but suffered a hand fracture right before the tournament began. He averaged 15.3 points per game during his senior year as well as finishing the regular season averaging 5 rebounds and 4 assists per game. He will finish his college career in the top 15 in Cal history in points, rebounds and assists, honors that can only help his draft stock. As a fan, we could have only wished to see how well he performed in the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament, but wish him nothing but the best in pursuing his NBA dreams
Matthews was an instrumental part of the Cal offense and was also a workhorse on the defensive end as well as providing long range scoring when Wallace or Brown were being guarded heavily. While Mathews’ contribution was seen as lower level, he was able to ignite the team from deep and was the leading scorer for the Golden Bears in their lone tournament game. He was not known as being the most prolific player in the starting five, but his sporadic scoring and determined defense helped the Bears throughout the regular season.
Bird, just like Jordan Matthews gained notoriety for being very streaky. There was a stretch of time where it seemed like Bird would only stuff the stat sheet, which resulted in Golden Bear victories, but then there were some games where he was non-existent. Bird was second on the team in 3 point percentage, shooting at a 41% clip, but ranked last amongst starters in points per game with only 10 PPG. While streaky, when he was hot, he was red hot, but when cold, he was brick city.
Brown was possibly the most hyped up player to graze the Berkeley campus since the arrival of Jason Kidd in the early 90’s. Brown certainly lived up to the astronomical expectations that were set by the draft boards and college basketball analysts as he was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and First Team All Pac-12. He averaged 14.6 PPG 5.4 RPG and started all 34 games that the Golden Bears played. He was widely regarded as a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and as the year went on, rose to the top 5 in the latest Mock Drafts created by both Bleacher Report and ESPN. He has already entered the draft and is looking forward to hearing his named called relatively early in the night. While he had a less than stellar performance in his only tournament game, he certainly made a lasting impression on all NBA scouts.
Rabb was in the same recruiting class as Jaylen Brown and both were seen as a package deal as time went on. Rabb and Brown settled on Cal and helped lead the Golden Bears to the tourney. Rabb played well enough to grab 2nd Team All Pac-12 in his freshman year. He averaged roughly 9 RPG and shot a staggering 62% from the field, while starting all games for the Golden Bears. However, to the surprise of many, Rabb decided it would be best to hone in on his craft and stay at Cal for one more year, as he was a projected late 1st round pick in the upcoming draft. He hopes this decision will pay off and hopefully be able to get all of his numbers up in his sophomore year. Rabb will be the “Big Man” on campus as well as the Big Man on the court for this upcoming year. Expect him to help lead the 2016-2017 Bears to hopefully another appearance in the tournament.
Coach Martin stayed with the same heavy dose of the dynamic trio of Wallace, Brown and Rabb throughout the entire year and worked around those three players for most of the game. While this strategy was rather effective, it did not give many opportunities for lots of success for the rest of the team, however it paid off for the regular season and Pac-12 tournament. He coached the Golden Bears to a berth in the NCAA tournament, which was expected considering the roster he was given to work with. But once one of his star pieces got injured, Coach Martin did not have any major replacement for Wallace and fell to Hawaii in the first round. More was expected from Martin, but he certainly did an excellent job of leading the Bears to a high seed in the tournament.