The recruiting focus this weekend has largely focused on a pair of high profile 5 star players Cal fans were expecting to hear announcements from at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, but back in Berkeley, another player the Bears badly wanted -Putnam City West (Oklahoma City, OK) High School shooting guard Tyson Jolly- was on an official visit to Cal.
This morning, the Bears heard the word they were hoping for as the athletic wing announced his commitment to Cal after returning home to OKC.
"I was really focused on if I'd feel at home since Cal's so far away from where I live, but I loved it there," said Jolly.
"I was really focused on how the players there feel about the program, too, and if they felt similarly, like Cal was a second home for them, too, and they love it there. Every player I talked to couldn't say enough about how much they love it there and how much they love the coaches there. They have so much love and respect for them.
"The coaches have been so real with me and showed me so much love. It's just a perfect fit for me."
The athletic Jolly averaged 21 points and nine rebounds for his Putnam City West squad in 2014-15.
Another strong impression for Jolly (3.1 gpa, 21 ACT) was how Cal's academics have been improving of late, with the team gpa rising to a level the program hasn't seen in years in the last semester.
"With Cal being the number one academic institution in the country, if you're lucky enough to play in the NBA, you have a lot to fall back on afterwards. There are very few powerful corporations out there without a Cal grad playing a key role.
"I really like the academic support they provide at Cal, too. That's especially important with all our time demands as a collegiate athlete."
The real clincher for Jolly was the relationships he developed with the Cal staff, which far surpassed the relationships he'd established elsewhere during the recruiting process.†
"Coach Yanni (Hufnagel) and Coach (Cuonzo) Martin have been my main recruiters through the process," said Jolly. "I love those guys. They check in with me every day and make sure I know they love me and care about me as a person since day one. That's something that really made me want to come.
"When teams recruit you, you usually just talk to assistant coaches, but every day, I talk to Coach Martin and Coach Yanni.
"Coach Yanni's like a big brother to me. He's still a coach but also like a big brother at the same time.
"Coach Martin, he's like my high school coach now. You know he cares about you.†
"Coach Nick (Christopher), Cal's strength and conditioning coach, he seems like a real cool guy, too. You can talk to him about anything.
"I really didn't get to see Coach Webster since he's out on a recruiting trip but he seems like a good guy, too."
Jolly fills the bill for the hard-nosed style of play that Martin values.
"I feel like I fit in perfectly there at Cal with my game," said Jolly. "They defend and run. That's how I play with my high school team.
"I like to get to the rack, I like pull up jumpers, putbacks off the rim, 3's -but defending and rebounding's really my thing. And I like to be a leader on and off the court. I hold my teammates to a higher standard."†
Jolly is the second commitment for Cal's 2015 class, joining Our Savior New American School wing Davon Dillard, with the Bears looking to pick up at least one more player to add for the upcoming season.†
Jolly hopes to pursue a communications major at Cal.†
The Bears beat out Oklahoma State, Gonzaga, TCU and SMU for Jolly's services.†