Cal Coaches Caravan Los Angeles 2019

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Fyght4Cal
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Hi all. This is my brief report on last night's Coaches Caravan. I'm writing this off the top of my head. I apologize in advance for any rambling. Please feel free to ask me anything (AMA) about the event.

@CalRho and I were both at the event, so I'll consult with her about the answers to your questions.

Todd McKim moderated this year's panel format. The topics were much more about their experiences and philosophies of head coaches. For this reason, Coaches Fox and Wilcox were the only panelists.

Since I wasn't taking notes, I'll give some general observations.

Both coaches credited their parents for teaching them accountability and integrity. Coach Fox also mentioned the coach at his very small high school, who coached every sport. Fox said that since his own father is deceased, he called this coach on Father's Day to thank him for all of the guidance and time he put into Fox's we age development.

On that subject, Fox and Wilcox talked about the calls they get from former players years after their graduation. Wilcox and Fox felt gratitude for being part of the small circle of trust that players call with important life news, whether good or bad. Fox told a funny story about getting a 2am call from Ramon Sessions about turning down $3 mill. to return to the Lakers. Perhaps someone from OC will share the punchline after their event tonight.

I think most of us have heard Coach Wilcox talk about what they look for in recruiting. They look at academic and athletic talent. The first they see on paper, the second, on film. Of course, they looks not only at grades, but the quality of the school itself.

Of course, they also look at character and "fit". Is this a player who loves football, or someone who just likes being a football player? Does he want the steak, or just the sizzle? Does he have integrity? Does he hold himself accountable? Is he disciplined?

Wilcox said that there are many, many people involved in the process over many years. The initial evaluations start 3 years out, so the team that handles those are working in both the 2021 and 2022 entering classes.

Today with so many services, camps, etc. there are very few overlooked diamonds-in-the-rough. In fact the easiest part these days is getting names, as opposed to years past. The hardest part is getting to know the person behind the film.

Wilcox related a story about the culture he is creating at Cal. Without mentioning names, he told of a "17-star" [LOL!] visitor who ticked the academic and athletic boxes. The staff was very high on him. But, there was the question of "fit".

After the visit, Wilcox talked to the 3 current players who hosted the recruit. To his surprise, all three said they didn't want him on the team, that "he wouldn't do the right thing". Wilcox was extremely pleased that the players understood the expectations that come with being a Golden Bear, and that they recognized and honestly related the inability of the recruit to meet them. Despite the stars and the grades it was not a fit, and the staff quickly moved on.

Fox also talked about recruiting. He noted that the main difference between hoops and football is that his coaches generally get to see the players in live action, because of the summer leagues. He listed the top characteristics he looks for in a player. Unfortunately, the only one I remember is the desire to win. Hopefully an OC reporter can talk more about this.

Todd McKim asked Fox about his experience chairing the NCAA Basketball Rules of Play Committee. Fox's replies were great. He said it made him realize how much he didn't know about the depth and details of the rules. Now, when he pulls an official aside to dispute a call, there's an increased chance that he might actually be right. LOL!

Fox also talked about the reasons the NCAA moved the 3pt line to the international distance. The 3pt shot has come to dominate the college game. The committee wanted to make it more difficult and to create more space to open up inside play. I think the new distance is 14 inches farther from the basket.

An Old Blue in the audience asked a great question about toughness. Wilcox defined toughness mainly as the ability to overcome the obstacles to high performance. In evaluating a player, he looked for displays of toughness on or off the field. Can the make the play? In the 2nd or 3rd week of camp, can they focus in a meeting? Can they do the right thing in difficult circumstances - i.e. can they resist retaliating when the refs didn't see the first hit by the opposing player? Will they buckle down on their school work despite being dead-tired? It was enlightening.

One thing Wilcox said is that on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not tough at all, and 10 being the toughest guy you know, it's not possible to turn a 4 into a 7. If the staff recruits a 4, and 4 years later you figure out he fails the test of toughness, that's on the staff, not the player. This is why toughness is an important part of the recruiting evaluation.

Coach Fox talked about "the toughness of we". He looks for willingness to be tough within a team concept. He believes that team toughness can develop individual toughness. I hope I got that right...

In our side conversation with Fox, @CalRho talked about how the opposing teams with kids from tough backgrounds try to "punk" Cal. Fox assured us that our teams will be not be punked on the court. They will be tough.

During the panel Fox talked about a technique he uses to build mental toughness on the court. He holds practices with terrible music the players hate turned up to full volume. The music continues until they get the play(s) right. Only then does he change the music to something they like. He says after about the third time (third practice?) they get it right much sooner rather than later.

Fox gave examples of how hard it is to evaluate football players from just watching the game. He himself played high school football, so he thought he had sufficient knowledge of the game. But then he spent three days in film study (I missed which school). He said he came to the conclusion that he knew absolutely nothing about football.

Three notes on side convos:
1. Wilcox is very proud of the teams academic progress. He noted that the team GPA was over 3.0 for the Spring.

2. @CalRho asked about restarting "Pigskins & Pearls". Wilcox seemed to be unfamiliar with it. He asked her a bunch of questions. He seemed interested and said he'd look into it.

3. On a similar note, I mentioned the basketball team luncheons with Old Blues on the LA roadswing during the Braun era. It piqued his interest. Perhaps he'll restart the tradition.

This leads me to my concluding impressions.

1. Coach Fox is much more engaging than indicated in that initial team video we all hated. He's funny, humble and caring, with the right degree of toughness underneath. @CalRho and I were very relieved to see it. He won our support. I hope he wins yours too.

2. Coach Wilcox is really growing into his role. He is a modern coach with old fashioned values. He talked about how students on campus are developing valuable analytics that are helping the team. Just another example of how our football program and our campus are getting more in-step.

3. The event was smaller than previous LA swings. I talked about that with our new development head, Brian Mann, and his SoCal guy, Ryan. They are really open to discussions about future events, so I hope OC attendees will take time to share their thoughts.

4. I liked the new format. It gave us a chance to learn more about the coaches and the challenges of competing in the Power 5, in a Berkeley context.

5. The NeueHouse venue was superb. We were on the 2nd floor rooftop on Sunset, during sunset, in the heart of Hollywood. The weather was perfect and the sunset was sublime.

5. If you still can, get to tonight's event in OC.

There's so much that I didn't get to in this report. So, again, feel free to AMA.

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LACalFan
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Thanks for this summary. Good stuff.
85Bear
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Great summary; thanks for typing it up! I am cautiously (well, I AM a Cal fan ) optimistic on both the football and men's basketball fronts.

p.s. The vignette about the "17-star" recruit was very interesting.
SmellinRoses
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Great report - thanks for taking the time.

Unfortunately, i found the Wilcox story about the "17-star" recruit to be self-serving. ha.
Fyght4Cal
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85Bear said:

Great summary; thanks for typing it up! I am cautiously (well, I AM a Cal fan ) optimistic on both the football and men's basketball fronts.

p.s. The vignette about the "17-star" recruit was very interesting.
I thought so, as well. It shows the integrity of and commitment to the team culture for coaches and players. Keeps me convinced that Wilcox is the right man for the job. The major donors seem to know it. I hope that the entire fan base gets it and commits the resources to keep him in Berkeley, win or lose.

It was my pleasure to write it up. Thanks to BearGreg for asking.
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KoreAmBear
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Wow you didn't even take notes? Thanks for such a detailed account of the event. Lots of great nuggets. For Fox, it just shows me he knows so much more than Wyking (which is not a knock on him necessarily, but he was just thrust into a job he never should have gotten).
Cal_79
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SmellinRoses said:

Great report - thanks for taking the time.

Unfortunately, i found the Wilcox story about the "17-star" recruit to be self-serving. ha.

How so? In what ways is this story self-serving?
89Bear
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Thanks for the info!!! Any talk of facilities? Especially BB?
Fyght4Cal
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89Bear said:

Thanks for the info!!! Any talk of facilities? Especially BB?
Surprisingly, facilities did not come up.
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The Rotterdam Dutch and Tim DeRuyter 🎶
TheSouseFamily
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Great stuff, Fyght! Thanks for sharing. Really appreciate your insights.

And PS: Not all of us hated that initial Fox video or assumed the worst from it.
79 Bear
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Great write-up, thanks very much! I didn't see it on the Basketball board. You may want to post it there also.
Cal8285
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Thanks for the report, good stuff!

From everything I've heard and seen from both Wilcox and Fox, it seems like they are right for the job, especially if we ignore the issue of winning and losing.

You pointed out that in looking at academic talent versus athletic talent, the academic talent shows on paper. Same with winning and losing, we can think a guy is right for the HC job all we want, but if he continually puts a losing team on the field/court, then he's not right for the job. At Cal, it will never be (and should never be) all about winning and losing, or about being one of the elite teams in the country, but it will be a requirement of the job to avoid being a bottom dwelling wanker, or even TOO mediocre.

I'm concerned that Fox got the job by winning the interview, as opposed to any showing on paper that he can win at this level (in spite of having nine years to do so). Your report (and what wiaf has said) affirmed that Fox has the qualities to win the interview. Let's hope that both Fox and Wilcox can be coaches who are right for the job at Cal outside of winning and losing AND bring in winning programs.

I'm confident that if Wilcox can get over last year's offensive stumble, the football program can be a winning program under Wilcox. Fox's start on the recruiting front gives me hope for basketball, perhaps he has a formula for recruiting success that can work at Cal. If he can have recruiting success AND produce better offense than he has in the past, basketball can be a winning program. In terms of X's and O's, the biggest issue for both Fox and Wilcox is making things happen offensively. Let's hope they can, but as always, I'll be there to support the team and the HC, win or lose.
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
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Cal8285 said:

At Cal, it will never be (and should never be) all about winning and losing, or about being one of the elite teams in the country, but it will be a requirement of the job to avoid being a bottom dwelling wanker, or even TOO mediocre.

Cal "SHOULD" "NEVER" be about being one of the better teams?

It's all right for us to be Mediocre so long as we're not at the Bottom?

Mediocrity = The Cal Way?





Why even pretend to "Compete" in something when being one of the best is not the goal, and sometimes actually achieving that lofty goal? If being Mediocre is A-OK, then that's what we'll always be; thank the mighty empyrean heavens for oregon state.

If being the best carries too high a cost, why then not at least always carry a standard for Excellence? Short of that, we're not really Competitors; we're merely bourgeois poseurs doing the bare minimum for the status symbol of having a wanking mediocrity of a team almost perpetually situated at the bottom half of the P5.

I hope "Respectable Mediocrity" (an oxymoronic absurdity) is not the self-defeating, needle-di<ked standard held by the Cal administration, donors, and fans.
wifeisafurd
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Cal8285 said:

Thanks for the report, good stuff!

From everything I've heard and seen from both Wilcox and Fox, it seems like they are right for the job, especially if we ignore the issue of winning and losing.

You pointed out that in looking at academic talent versus athletic talent, the academic talent shows on paper. Same with winning and losing, we can think a guy is right for the HC job all we want, but if he continually puts a losing team on the field/court, then he's not right for the job. At Cal, it will never be (and should never be) all about winning and losing, or about being one of the elite teams in the country, but it will be a requirement of the job to avoid being a bottom dwelling wanker, or even TOO mediocre.

I'm concerned that Fox got the job by winning the interview, as opposed to any showing on paper that he can win at this level (in spite of having nine years to do so). Your report (and what wiaf has said) affirmed that Fox has the qualities to win the interview. Let's hope that both Fox and Wilcox can be coaches who are right for the job at Cal outside of winning and losing AND bring in winning programs.

I'm confident that if Wilcox can get over last year's offensive stumble, the football program can be a winning program under Wilcox. Fox's start on the recruiting front gives me hope for basketball, perhaps he has a formula for recruiting success that can work at Cal. If he can have recruiting success AND produce better offense than he has in the past, basketball can be a winning program. In terms of X's and O's, the biggest issue for both Fox and Wilcox is making things happen offensively. Let's hope they can, but as always, I'll be there to support the team and the HC, win or lose.
Fox went right down the line like a veteran coach with things that need to change in the program. It was not said vindictively, but rather these are things that we have to fix. He is very analytical, as if he was an engineer, reviewing a sideways project. I have expectations that he will take Cal to at least a competitive level. Will he be able to get Cal to a conference championship, or deep in the NCAAs? He didn't at Georgia, buy maybe Cal is a better situation/fit for him, or maybe he doesn't. But he is an experienced, competent coach, not learning on the job like his predecessor, so this is a serious upgrade.
Goobear
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Agreed Wife
71Bear
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wifeisafurd said:

Cal8285 said:

Thanks for the report, good stuff!

From everything I've heard and seen from both Wilcox and Fox, it seems like they are right for the job, especially if we ignore the issue of winning and losing.

You pointed out that in looking at academic talent versus athletic talent, the academic talent shows on paper. Same with winning and losing, we can think a guy is right for the HC job all we want, but if he continually puts a losing team on the field/court, then he's not right for the job. At Cal, it will never be (and should never be) all about winning and losing, or about being one of the elite teams in the country, but it will be a requirement of the job to avoid being a bottom dwelling wanker, or even TOO mediocre.

I'm concerned that Fox got the job by winning the interview, as opposed to any showing on paper that he can win at this level (in spite of having nine years to do so). Your report (and what wiaf has said) affirmed that Fox has the qualities to win the interview. Let's hope that both Fox and Wilcox can be coaches who are right for the job at Cal outside of winning and losing AND bring in winning programs.

I'm confident that if Wilcox can get over last year's offensive stumble, the football program can be a winning program under Wilcox. Fox's start on the recruiting front gives me hope for basketball, perhaps he has a formula for recruiting success that can work at Cal. If he can have recruiting success AND produce better offense than he has in the past, basketball can be a winning program. In terms of X's and O's, the biggest issue for both Fox and Wilcox is making things happen offensively. Let's hope they can, but as always, I'll be there to support the team and the HC, win or lose.
Fox went right down the line like a veteran coach with things that need to change in the program. It was not said vindictively, but rather these are things that we have to fix. He is very analytical, as if he was an engineer, reviewing a sideways project. I have expectations that he will take Cal to at least a competitive level. Will he be able to get Cal to a conference championship, or deep in the NCAAs? He didn't at Georgia, buy maybe Cal is a better situation/fit for him, or maybe he doesn't. But he is an experienced, competent coach, not learning on the job like his predecessor, so this is a serious upgrade.
Experienced, yes. Competent, maybe, serious upgrade, yes. However, Walt Harris was thought to be a serious upgrade over Buddy Teevens and we all know how that worked out. Cal needs a lot more than a serious upgrade. They need a monumental upgrade.
grrrah76
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Was this event well publicized? I make it a point to go every year, but saw no notification on Bear Insider this year.. Maybe the organizers can send out an email notification next time to those of us who would like to attend.
Goobear
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grrrah76 said:

Was this event well publicized? I make it a point to go every year, but saw no notification on Bear Insider this year.. Maybe the organizers can send out an email notification next time to those of us who would like to attend.

I already complained to the Athletics Office. They need to be way better organized.
Golden One
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Nasal Mucus Goldenbear said:

Cal8285 said:

At Cal, it will never be (and should never be) all about winning and losing, or about being one of the elite teams in the country, but it will be a requirement of the job to avoid being a bottom dwelling wanker, or even TOO mediocre.

Cal "SHOULD" "NEVER" be about being one of the better teams?

It's all right for us to be Mediocre so long as we're not at the Bottom?

Mediocrity = The Cal Way?





Why even pretend to "Compete" in something when being one of the best is not the goal, and sometimes actually achieving that lofty goal? If being Mediocre is A-OK, then that's what we'll always be; thank the mighty empyrean heavens for oregon state.

If being the best carries too high a cost, why then not at least always carry a standard for Excellence? Short of that, we're not really Competitors; we're merely bourgeois poseurs doing the bare minimum for the status symbol of having a wanking mediocrity of a team almost perpetually situated at the bottom half of the P5.

I hope "Respectable Mediocrity" (an oxymoronic absurdity) is not the self-defeating, needle-di<ked standard held by the Cal administration, donors, and fans.
I'm with you! If we aren't willing to strive for excellence and being the best, we shouldn't field a team. Given the choice between having the highest APR in the Pac-12 and winning the Pac-12 championship, I'll take the latter. Obviously, we should strive to be the best both in the classroom and on the field. But we should never be satisfied with mediocrity on the field, and that's what we've been since the glory years of Tedford.
Another Bear
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Nice to hear Fox ticked off all the needed fixes, a positive sign. That said, knowing what needs fixing and the ability to fix the fixes are very different. I hope he can get it done.

p.s. Nice bit of writing Fyght4Cal, thanks for the break down.
wifeisafurd
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71Bear said:

wifeisafurd said:

Cal8285 said:

Thanks for the report, good stuff!

From everything I've heard and seen from both Wilcox and Fox, it seems like they are right for the job, especially if we ignore the issue of winning and losing.

You pointed out that in looking at academic talent versus athletic talent, the academic talent shows on paper. Same with winning and losing, we can think a guy is right for the HC job all we want, but if he continually puts a losing team on the field/court, then he's not right for the job. At Cal, it will never be (and should never be) all about winning and losing, or about being one of the elite teams in the country, but it will be a requirement of the job to avoid being a bottom dwelling wanker, or even TOO mediocre.

I'm concerned that Fox got the job by winning the interview, as opposed to any showing on paper that he can win at this level (in spite of having nine years to do so). Your report (and what wiaf has said) affirmed that Fox has the qualities to win the interview. Let's hope that both Fox and Wilcox can be coaches who are right for the job at Cal outside of winning and losing AND bring in winning programs.

I'm confident that if Wilcox can get over last year's offensive stumble, the football program can be a winning program under Wilcox. Fox's start on the recruiting front gives me hope for basketball, perhaps he has a formula for recruiting success that can work at Cal. If he can have recruiting success AND produce better offense than he has in the past, basketball can be a winning program. In terms of X's and O's, the biggest issue for both Fox and Wilcox is making things happen offensively. Let's hope they can, but as always, I'll be there to support the team and the HC, win or lose.
Fox went right down the line like a veteran coach with things that need to change in the program. It was not said vindictively, but rather these are things that we have to fix. He is very analytical, as if he was an engineer, reviewing a sideways project. I have expectations that he will take Cal to at least a competitive level. Will he be able to get Cal to a conference championship, or deep in the NCAAs? He didn't at Georgia, buy maybe Cal is a better situation/fit for him, or maybe he doesn't. But he is an experienced, competent coach, not learning on the job like his predecessor, so this is a serious upgrade.
Experienced, yes. Competent, maybe, serious upgrade, yes. However, Walt Harris was thought to be a serious upgrade over Buddy Teevens and we all know how that worked out. Cal needs a lot more than a serious upgrade. They need a monumental upgrade.
I don't known if Fox is a monumental upgrade. I don't mean that negatively. Have to see how the program progresses, etc. Really way too early to tell in that regard. The good news is he is in a crappy conference, so I actually think the program will get competitive sooner than probably most people think (probably toward the end of Fox's second season). Gotta remember it is a brand new day in college basketball with the transfer portal.
Fyght4Cal
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79 Bear said:

Great write-up, thanks very much! I didn't see it on the Basketball board. You may want to post it there also.
Good suggestion. Done.

Which reminds me, Fox addressed the issue of reporting times for the Internationals. Thiemann is in camp for the German U20 team. If he makes the team, we will see him in the Fall.

Dimitrios Klonaras made the Greek U18 National Team. He will play in the FIBA 2019 European Championship in late July-early August.

Joel Brown will represent Canada in the FIBA U19 World Cup. Greece will host these games, as well. The tournament runs June 29-July 7, 2019.

So, we'll see all three of them later in the summer/fall.

Funny story from the Coaches Caravan: An Old Blue asked Coach Fox if he had enough resources to support his international recruiting efforts. Fox joked he has no idea, he's just spending the money until someone says stop. He said he'd take checks immediately from anyone in attendance.
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northendbear
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Please restart the "Women's Huddle" that was started under Tedford, not the "Pigskins and Pearls" that was run under Sonny.

My daughter would love to go to a Wilcox Cal football event, but not one that is called Pigskins and Pearls.

okaydo
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Fyght4Cal said:

Hi all. This is my brief report on last night's Coaches Caravan. I'm writing this off the top of my head. I apologize in advance for any rambling. Please feel free to ask me anything (AMA) about the event.

@CalRho and I were both at the event, so I'll consult with her about the answers to your questions.

Todd McKim moderated this year's panel format. The topics were much more about their experiences and philosophies of head coaches. For this reason, Coaches Fox and Wilcox were the only panelists.

Since I wasn't taking notes, I'll give some general observations.

Both coaches credited their parents for teaching them accountability and integrity. Coach Fox also mentioned the coach at his very small high school, who coached every sport. Fox said that since his own father is deceased, he called this coach on Father's Day to thank him for all of the guidance and time he put into Fox's we age development.

On that subject, Fox and Wilcox talked about the calls they get from former players years after their graduation. Wilcox and Fox felt gratitude for being part of the small circle of trust that players call with important life news, whether good or bad. Fox told a funny story about getting a 2am call from Ramon Sessions about turning down $3 mill. to return to the Lakers. Perhaps someone from OC will share the punchline after their event tonight.

I think most of us have heard Coach Wilcox talk about what they look for in recruiting. They look at academic and athletic talent. The first they see on paper, the second, on film. Of course, they looks not only at grades, but the quality of the school itself.

Of course, they also look at character and "fit". Is this a player who loves football, or someone who just likes being a football player? Does he want the steak, or just the sizzle? Does he have integrity? Does he hold himself accountable? Is he disciplined?

Wilcox said that there are many, many people involved in the process over many years. The initial evaluations start 3 years out, so the team that handles those are working in both the 2021 and 2022 entering classes.

Today with so many services, camps, etc. there are very few overlooked diamonds-in-the-rough. In fact the easiest part these days is getting names, as opposed to years past. The hardest part is getting to know the person behind the film.

Wilcox related a story about the culture he is creating at Cal. Without mentioning names, he told of a "17-star" [LOL!] visitor who ticked the academic and athletic boxes. The staff was very high on him. But, there was the question of "fit".

After the visit, Wilcox talked to the 3 current players who hosted the recruit. To his surprise, all three said they didn't want him on the team, that "he wouldn't do the right thing". Wilcox was extremely pleased that the players understood the expectations that come with being a Golden Bear, and that they recognized and honestly related the inability of the recruit to meet them. Despite the stars and the grades it was not a fit, and the staff quickly moved on.

Fox also talked about recruiting. He noted that the main difference between hoops and football is that his coaches generally get to see the players in live action, because of the summer leagues. He listed the top characteristics he looks for in a player. Unfortunately, the only one I remember is the desire to win. Hopefully an OC reporter can talk more about this.

Todd McKim asked Fox about his experience chairing the NCAA Basketball Rules of Play Committee. Fox's replies were great. He said it made him realize how much he didn't know about the depth and details of the rules. Now, when he pulls an official aside to dispute a call, there's an increased chance that he might actually be right. LOL!

Fox also talked about the reasons the NCAA moved the 3pt line to the international distance. The 3pt shot has come to dominate the college game. The committee wanted to make it more difficult and to create more space to open up inside play. I think the new distance is 14 inches farther from the basket.

An Old Blue in the audience asked a great question about toughness. Wilcox defined toughness mainly as the ability to overcome the obstacles to high performance. In evaluating a player, he looked for displays of toughness on or off the field. Can the make the play? In the 2nd or 3rd week of camp, can they focus in a meeting? Can they do the right thing in difficult circumstances - i.e. can they resist retaliating when the refs didn't see the first hit by the opposing player? Will they buckle down on their school work despite being dead-tired? It was enlightening.

One thing Wilcox said is that on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not tough at all, and 10 being the toughest guy you know, it's not possible to turn a 4 into a 7. If the staff recruits a 4, and 4 years later you figure out he fails the test of toughness, that's on the staff, not the player. This is why toughness is an important part of the recruiting evaluation.

Coach Fox talked about "the toughness of we". He looks for willingness to be tough within a team concept. He believes that team toughness can develop individual toughness. I hope I got that right...

In our side conversation with Fox, @CalRho talked about how the opposing teams with kids from tough backgrounds try to "punk" Cal. Fox assured us that our teams will be not be punked on the court. They will be tough.

During the panel Fox talked about a technique he uses to build mental toughness on the court. He holds practices with terrible music the players hate turned up to full volume. The music continues until they get the play(s) right. Only then does he change the music to something they like. He says after about the third time (third practice?) they get it right much sooner rather than later.

Fox gave examples of how hard it is to evaluate football players from just watching the game. He himself played high school football, so he thought he had sufficient knowledge of the game. But then he spent three days in film study (I missed which school). He said he came to the conclusion that he knew absolutely nothing about football.

Three notes on side convos:
1. Wilcox is very proud of the teams academic progress. He noted that the team GPA was over 3.0 for the Spring.

2. @CalRho asked about restarting "Pigskins & Pearls". Wilcox seemed to be unfamiliar with it. He asked her a bunch of questions. He seemed interested and said he'd look into it.

3. On a similar note, I mentioned the basketball team luncheons with Old Blues on the LA roadswing during the Braun era. It piqued his interest. Perhaps he'll restart the tradition.

This leads me to my concluding impressions.

1. Coach Fox is much more engaging than indicated in that initial team video we all hated. He's funny, humble and caring, with the right degree of toughness underneath. @CalRho and I were very relieved to see it. He won our support. I hope he wins yours too.

2. Coach Wilcox is really growing into his role. He is a modern coach with old fashioned values. He talked about how students on campus are developing valuable analytics that are helping the team. Just another example of how our football program and our campus are getting more in-step.

3. The event was smaller than previous LA swings. I talked about that with our new development head, Brian Mann, and his SoCal guy, Ryan. They are really open to discussions about future events, so I hope OC attendees will take time to share their thoughts.

4. I liked the new format. It gave us a chance to learn more about the coaches and the challenges of competing in the Power 5, in a Berkeley context.

5. The NeueHouse venue was superb. We were on the 2nd floor rooftop on Sunset, during sunset, in the heart of Hollywood. The weather was perfect and the sunset was sublime.

5. If you still can, get to tonight's event in OC.

There's so much that I didn't get to in this report. So, again, feel free to AMA.





I saw this video and I'm like, wow, "That's my neck of the woods." I live not far from there.

(I can never go to these things because I'm busy working on weekday evenings. I couldn't make another event a few blocks away near Hollywood Blvd a couple years ago.)




Anyways, for those who don't know: A random fact: Hollywood was named by a Wilcox.

I have no idea if Justin Wilcox is related to the Hollywood Wilcoxes.

But the Wilcox family owned the land that became Hollywood.

Maybe next time Justin Wilcox is in Hollywood, he can pose for an image on Wilcox Avenue, where the Hollywood Division of the LAPD (as seen on Bosch) is located.








Fyght4Cal
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okaydo said:

Fyght4Cal said:

Hi all. This is my brief report on last night's Coaches Caravan. I'm writing this off the top of my head. I apologize in advance for any rambling. Please feel free to ask me anything (AMA) about the event.

@CalRho and I were both at the event, so I'll consult with her about the answers to your questions.

Todd McKim moderated this year's panel format. The topics were much more about their experiences and philosophies of head coaches. For this reason, Coaches Fox and Wilcox were the only panelists.

Since I wasn't taking notes, I'll give some general observations.

Both coaches credited their parents for teaching them accountability and integrity. Coach Fox also mentioned the coach at his very small high school, who coached every sport. Fox said that since his own father is deceased, he called this coach on Father's Day to thank him for all of the guidance and time he put into Fox's we age development.

On that subject, Fox and Wilcox talked about the calls they get from former players years after their graduation. Wilcox and Fox felt gratitude for being part of the small circle of trust that players call with important life news, whether good or bad. Fox told a funny story about getting a 2am call from Ramon Sessions about turning down $3 mill. to return to the Lakers. Perhaps someone from OC will share the punchline after their event tonight.

I think most of us have heard Coach Wilcox talk about what they look for in recruiting. They look at academic and athletic talent. The first they see on paper, the second, on film. Of course, they looks not only at grades, but the quality of the school itself.

Of course, they also look at character and "fit". Is this a player who loves football, or someone who just likes being a football player? Does he want the steak, or just the sizzle? Does he have integrity? Does he hold himself accountable? Is he disciplined?

Wilcox said that there are many, many people involved in the process over many years. The initial evaluations start 3 years out, so the team that handles those are working in both the 2021 and 2022 entering classes.

Today with so many services, camps, etc. there are very few overlooked diamonds-in-the-rough. In fact the easiest part these days is getting names, as opposed to years past. The hardest part is getting to know the person behind the film.

Wilcox related a story about the culture he is creating at Cal. Without mentioning names, he told of a "17-star" [LOL!] visitor who ticked the academic and athletic boxes. The staff was very high on him. But, there was the question of "fit".

After the visit, Wilcox talked to the 3 current players who hosted the recruit. To his surprise, all three said they didn't want him on the team, that "he wouldn't do the right thing". Wilcox was extremely pleased that the players understood the expectations that come with being a Golden Bear, and that they recognized and honestly related the inability of the recruit to meet them. Despite the stars and the grades it was not a fit, and the staff quickly moved on.

Fox also talked about recruiting. He noted that the main difference between hoops and football is that his coaches generally get to see the players in live action, because of the summer leagues. He listed the top characteristics he looks for in a player. Unfortunately, the only one I remember is the desire to win. Hopefully an OC reporter can talk more about this.

Todd McKim asked Fox about his experience chairing the NCAA Basketball Rules of Play Committee. Fox's replies were great. He said it made him realize how much he didn't know about the depth and details of the rules. Now, when he pulls an official aside to dispute a call, there's an increased chance that he might actually be right. LOL!

Fox also talked about the reasons the NCAA moved the 3pt line to the international distance. The 3pt shot has come to dominate the college game. The committee wanted to make it more difficult and to create more space to open up inside play. I think the new distance is 14 inches farther from the basket.

An Old Blue in the audience asked a great question about toughness. Wilcox defined toughness mainly as the ability to overcome the obstacles to high performance. In evaluating a player, he looked for displays of toughness on or off the field. Can the make the play? In the 2nd or 3rd week of camp, can they focus in a meeting? Can they do the right thing in difficult circumstances - i.e. can they resist retaliating when the refs didn't see the first hit by the opposing player? Will they buckle down on their school work despite being dead-tired? It was enlightening.

One thing Wilcox said is that on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not tough at all, and 10 being the toughest guy you know, it's not possible to turn a 4 into a 7. If the staff recruits a 4, and 4 years later you figure out he fails the test of toughness, that's on the staff, not the player. This is why toughness is an important part of the recruiting evaluation.

Coach Fox talked about "the toughness of we". He looks for willingness to be tough within a team concept. He believes that team toughness can develop individual toughness. I hope I got that right...

In our side conversation with Fox, @CalRho talked about how the opposing teams with kids from tough backgrounds try to "punk" Cal. Fox assured us that our teams will be not be punked on the court. They will be tough.

During the panel Fox talked about a technique he uses to build mental toughness on the court. He holds practices with terrible music the players hate turned up to full volume. The music continues until they get the play(s) right. Only then does he change the music to something they like. He says after about the third time (third practice?) they get it right much sooner rather than later.

Fox gave examples of how hard it is to evaluate football players from just watching the game. He himself played high school football, so he thought he had sufficient knowledge of the game. But then he spent three days in film study (I missed which school). He said he came to the conclusion that he knew absolutely nothing about football.

Three notes on side convos:
1. Wilcox is very proud of the teams academic progress. He noted that the team GPA was over 3.0 for the Spring.

2. @CalRho asked about restarting "Pigskins & Pearls". Wilcox seemed to be unfamiliar with it. He asked her a bunch of questions. He seemed interested and said he'd look into it.

3. On a similar note, I mentioned the basketball team luncheons with Old Blues on the LA roadswing during the Braun era. It piqued his interest. Perhaps he'll restart the tradition.

This leads me to my concluding impressions.

1. Coach Fox is much more engaging than indicated in that initial team video we all hated. He's funny, humble and caring, with the right degree of toughness underneath. @CalRho and I were very relieved to see it. He won our support. I hope he wins yours too.

2. Coach Wilcox is really growing into his role. He is a modern coach with old fashioned values. He talked about how students on campus are developing valuable analytics that are helping the team. Just another example of how our football program and our campus are getting more in-step.

3. The event was smaller than previous LA swings. I talked about that with our new development head, Brian Mann, and his SoCal guy, Ryan. They are really open to discussions about future events, so I hope OC attendees will take time to share their thoughts.

4. I liked the new format. It gave us a chance to learn more about the coaches and the challenges of competing in the Power 5, in a Berkeley context.

5. The NeueHouse venue was superb. We were on the 2nd floor rooftop on Sunset, during sunset, in the heart of Hollywood. The weather was perfect and the sunset was sublime.

5. If you still can, get to tonight's event in OC.

There's so much that I didn't get to in this report. So, again, feel free to AMA.





I saw this video and I'm like, wow, "That's my neck of the woods." I live not far from there.

(I can never go to these things because I'm busy working on weekday evenings. I couldn't make another event a few blocks away near Hollywood Blvd a couple years ago.)




Anyways, for those who don't know: A random fact: Hollywood was named by a Wilcox.

I have no idea if Justin Wilcox is related to the Hollywood Wilcoxes.

But the Wilcox family owned the land that became Hollywood.

Maybe next time Justin Wilcox is in Hollywood, he can pose for an image on Wilcox Avenue, where the Hollywood Division of the LAPD (as seen on Bosch) is located.









LOL!

Nobody:

Absolutely nobody:

Me: I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille.

I was wondering how they were going to use that interview. Thanks for the find okaydo! Go Bears!
🎵There’s the Highland Dutch and the Lowland Dutch
The Rotterdam Dutch and Tim DeRuyter 🎶
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