Who is Cal's center of the future?

2,898 Views | 49 Replies | Last: 7 days ago by evanluck
barsad
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I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?



stu
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I'd say a transfer or two for the next season or two. To be named later.
calumnus
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barsad said:

I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?






Too soon to worry about it.
HoopDreams
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barsad said:

I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?
I think some are over rating Larsen, with one poster saying he's better than Aimaq

He's been a good role player, and not sure where we'd be without him, but if Larsen is our starting center we will have a very tough first year in the acc

Don't forget we also have Curtis who gives us some length, but he's another role player next year

We need 1 or 2 bigs (a center and a true PF) to compete in the ACC where many teams have a post rotation of 4 players
Johnfox
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I have a good feeling that Aziz Bandaogo will transfer to Cal next season. He's not getting a lot playing time at Cincinnati. Future for playing time is not looking bright either with a lot of veteran bigs on Cincinnati. Mark and him have a good relationship, so I feel that Mark will call him up and tell him you'll be our 5 man (Aimaq's role). I don't really know the transfer rules after they let second time transfers play, but this would be his 3rd transfer.
barsad
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Good flag, Bandaogo (pronounced Ban-dae-go I just learned), would be an incredible pickup. A 7 footer who shoots 58% FG, yes please. He's only played 15 games so far, 24 min/gm, he can't be happy with that. Though I think he chose Cincy over us because he has family/friends there, and the third transfer thing makes it harder.
As far as it being "too soon to think about," I hope Madsen does not share that view…
Facing the ACC teams with a weak 5 could be disastrous, and MM won't want a step backward in his sophomore year.
bearister
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I think Daws is killing it this year. # 4 in Double Doubles.

Cancel my subscription to the Resurrection
Send my credentials to the House of Detention
I got some friends inside
Johnfox
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I wonder if Reuben Chinyelu (WSU) would consider coming to Cal. He has a LOT of potential and is only a freshman right now! That's the future center that you'd like to have.
barsad
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Love the idea of raiding the coffers of the Pac-2 for players (WSU-OSU). It's an easy sell to a freshman who was blindsided by the Pac-12 earthquake (as we all were): Would you rather play the next 3 years in a P5 conference against the best in the country, or are you looking forward to the Mountain West-Pac-2 merger? Easy answer.
6956bear
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calumnus said:

barsad said:

I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?






Too soon to worry about it.
Perhaps. But not too soon to think about it. The transfer portal opens on March 17th. I hope the collective is well funded. They will have to replace 4 starters and really need to add some depth players as well.
RedlessWardrobe
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My guess is that moving forward MM will again hit the transfer portal for maybe 3-4 players and gradually up the percentage of HS recruits until he reaches a balance that he's comfortable with from year to year. Hopefully, the administration won't screw it all up and end up losing him.
Civil Bear
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Johnfox said:

I have a good feeling that Aziz Bandaogo will transfer to Cal next season. He's not getting a lot playing time at Cincinnati. Future for playing time is not looking bright either with a lot of veteran bigs on Cincinnati. Mark and him have a good relationship, so I feel that Mark will call him up and tell him you'll be our 5 man (Aimaq's role). I don't really know the transfer rules after they let second time transfers play, but this would be his 3rd transfer.
Bandaogo chose Cincy because they were willing to pay $$$$ NIL and were willing to take a flyer that he would get his transfer waiver approved, which took the Ohio governor getting involved. His appeal had to do with his mental state and needing to be near family. I seriously doubt he would get another transfer waiver to move across the country.
6956bear
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RedlessWardrobe said:

My guess is that moving forward MM will again hit the transfer portal for maybe 3-4 players and gradually up the percentage of HS recruits until he reaches a balance that he's comfortable with from year to year. Hopefully, the administration won't screw it all up and end up losing him.
Well this years starting lineup has 4 transfers. 3 are out of eligibility and the 4th (Tyson) is a possible NBA draftee. If Tyson somehow decides to return he will be costly. So what 3 or 4 transfers do you think Madsen would be able to bring in that would be able to get the program to an NIT level program? These 4 transfers on this team represented a top 20 transfer class. And all were very experienced. 2 6th year players and one 5th year player.

The team is 10-14 overall 6-7 in conference.

Is the NIL budget such that they can get a better class than last year? It better be. Or their international recruiting will need to pay major immediate dividends. The ACC while down over some past seasons is still a better league than the current P12 that has one team of note. And they recruit the HS ranks much better than has Cal.

I think you are right in the approach, I just have less confidence it will work well. They will need a boffo transfer class or they likely finish near the bottom of the ACC.
OdontoBear66
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6956bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

My guess is that moving forward MM will again hit the transfer portal for maybe 3-4 players and gradually up the percentage of HS recruits until he reaches a balance that he's comfortable with from year to year. Hopefully, the administration won't screw it all up and end up losing him.
Well this years starting lineup has 4 transfers. 3 are out of eligibility and the 4th (Tyson) is a possible NBA draftee. If Tyson somehow decides to return he will be costly. So what 3 or 4 transfers do you think Madsen would be able to bring in that would be able to get the program to an NIT level program? These 4 transfers on this team represented a top 20 transfer class. And all were very experienced. 2 6th year players and one 5th year player.

The team is 10-14 overall 6-7 in conference.

Is the NIL budget such that they can get a better class than last year? It better be. Or their international recruiting will need to pay major immediate dividends. The ACC while down over some past seasons is still a better league than the current P12 that has one team of note. And they recruit the HS ranks much better than has Cal.

I think you are right in the approach, I just have less confidence it will work well. They will need a boffo transfer class or they likely finish near the bottom of the ACC.
This is what concerned me from the get go with the way that MM had to structure a roster after a 3-30 season. Too few returning gems, two HS recruits, now fill a roster. The problem is rinse and repeat. So what I think needs doing is reduce the number of Transfer Portal players year by year and increase the number of top HS recruits.

Why? I think MM already has a reputation out there with HS players, AAU teams, etc. After the U$C game I saw LeBron and MM in a big hug of respect and remembrance. To myself I thought even Bronny might transfer to play under LeBron's friend but that may be a reach with both of them in LA. But at the same time it exemplifies the reputation MM had as a player, a coach and more importantly as a person. He will get it done, the road will be a bit bumpy.

With what I have seen in just this year alone with improved play, improved attendance, improved appreciation, we will get there. We need. 2-3 top 50 or top100 HS recruits in each class along with TP players. Ideal would be TP players who are top grade with a lot of eligibility left.
HearstMining
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HoopDreams said:

barsad said:

I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?
I think some are over rating Larsen, with one poster saying he's better than Aimaq

He's been a good role player, and not sure where we'd be without him, but if Larsen is our starting center we will have a very tough first year in the acc

Don't forget we also have Curtis who gives us some length, but he's another role player next year

We need 1 or 2 bigs (a center and a true PF) to compete in the ACC where many teams have a post rotation of 4 player
Larsen has the build of a David Kravish and I wondered if he'd evolve into a similar role. The problem is Larsen is a RS-Soph, so in his third year of college ball. Kravish was a more developed player than Larsen at this point, both skill-wise and, although never confused with Shaq, stronger physically than Larsen. I think Larsen can get stronger and better, but I don't think he'll have the sort of impact that Kravish did his last two years.
EDIT - Forgot to add my final thought here. Given that big men are late, and uncertain developers as players, Center might be the position where Madsen does focus on transfers and instead expends most of his HS recruiting energy on PGs and guys in that 6-5 - 6-7 range who can shoot (probably the same guys everybody else is looking for).
calumnus
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HearstMining said:

HoopDreams said:

barsad said:

I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?
I think some are over rating Larsen, with one poster saying he's better than Aimaq

He's been a good role player, and not sure where we'd be without him, but if Larsen is our starting center we will have a very tough first year in the acc

Don't forget we also have Curtis who gives us some length, but he's another role player next year

We need 1 or 2 bigs (a center and a true PF) to compete in the ACC where many teams have a post rotation of 4 player
Larsen has the build of a David Kravish and I wondered if he'd evolve into a similar role. The problem is Larsen is a RS-Soph, so in his third year of college ball. Kravish was a more developed player than Larsen at this point, both skill-wise and, although never confused with Shaq, stronger physically than Larsen. I think Larsen can get stronger and better, but I don't think he'll have the sort of impact that Kravish did his last two years.
EDIT - Forgot to add my final thought here. Given that big men are late, and uncertain developers as players, Center might be the position where Madsen does focus on transfers and instead expends most of his HS recruiting energy on PGs and guys in that 6-5 - 6-7 range who can shoot (probably the same guys everybody else is looking for).


Kravish rarely played center. When he first joined the team we had Richard Solomon and in his last years we had Rooks and Okoroh.
Big C
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6956bear said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

My guess is that moving forward MM will again hit the transfer portal for maybe 3-4 players and gradually up the percentage of HS recruits until he reaches a balance that he's comfortable with from year to year. Hopefully, the administration won't screw it all up and end up losing him.
Well this years starting lineup has 4 transfers. 3 are out of eligibility and the 4th (Tyson) is a possible NBA draftee. If Tyson somehow decides to return he will be costly. So what 3 or 4 transfers do you think Madsen would be able to bring in that would be able to get the program to an NIT level program? These 4 transfers on this team represented a top 20 transfer class. And all were very experienced. 2 6th year players and one 5th year player.

The team is 10-14 overall 6-7 in conference.

Is the NIL budget such that they can get a better class than last year? It better be. Or their international recruiting will need to pay major immediate dividends. The ACC while down over some past seasons is still a better league than the current P12 that has one team of note. And they recruit the HS ranks much better than has Cal.

I think you are right in the approach, I just have less confidence it will work well. They will need a boffo transfer class or they likely finish near the bottom of the ACC.

What I see Madsen likely doing is training those legendary people skills of his on the major NIL donors, as well as the recruits themselves. When he first got hired, some donors were still disappointed that the choice wasn't Pasternack... and some were still wrapping their heads around the concept of NIL being necessary to succeed in today's landscape.
stu
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calumnus said:

Kravish rarely played center. When he first joined the team we had Richard Solomon and in his last years we had Rooks and Okoroh.
IMHO Kravish was much more effective at PF.
sluggo
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Interesting that after 17 posts no one has mentioned Okafor, who, if healthy, would I think be the overwhelming choice to be the starting 5. Larsen has been a nice role player, but he gets physically abused. Curtis is tall but raw. Okafor is a good athlete and has the strength to play against almost anyone. Would have been great to have him against Bona on Saturday.

So I think that the depth chart is Okafor (if healthy) and then Curtis or Larsen depending on the opposition and how much Curtis improves. I think Cal needs to add two bigs, hopefully one who score and one who is more a defender/rebounder. I mean better if they get the next Joel Embiid, bit I am trying to be realistic.

HearstMining
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calumnus said:

HearstMining said:

HoopDreams said:

barsad said:

I've been thinking about how Cal is going to succeed in the ACC, a very different landscape from the current one. Without a dominating presence in the middle of the court it seems unlikely that the team will thrive. Then I took a look at the offers we have out and got alarmed:
https://www.espn.com/colleges/basketball/recruiting/school/_/id/25/class/2024/page/offers
No offers to centers, only one PG signed so far. Are we going to grab another transfer? To ensure more than a one-and-done like we had with Daws this year, shouldn't we be finding a frosh that can grow into an elite ACC center?
If others have better knowledge about the recruiting process please correct me on this.
Top 100 Prospects
https://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/playerrankings

These top guys all seem wrapped up already.

So a few other questions:
1. Is Gus Larsen the guy? I like his gritty play but he seems too wiry to be dominating.
2. If Gus is not the guy, who should be? By "the guy" I mean a center that regularly gives us the Daws double-doubles without the greasy hands and short range shooting problems… and do it for 3-4 years.
3. Isn't this Madsen's forte as a former big man himself (just found out he's 6' 9", not classic big)?
I think some are over rating Larsen, with one poster saying he's better than Aimaq

He's been a good role player, and not sure where we'd be without him, but if Larsen is our starting center we will have a very tough first year in the acc

Don't forget we also have Curtis who gives us some length, but he's another role player next year

We need 1 or 2 bigs (a center and a true PF) to compete in the ACC where many teams have a post rotation of 4 player
Larsen has the build of a David Kravish and I wondered if he'd evolve into a similar role. The problem is Larsen is a RS-Soph, so in his third year of college ball. Kravish was a more developed player than Larsen at this point, both skill-wise and, although never confused with Shaq, stronger physically than Larsen. I think Larsen can get stronger and better, but I don't think he'll have the sort of impact that Kravish did his last two years.
EDIT - Forgot to add my final thought here. Given that big men are late, and uncertain developers as players, Center might be the position where Madsen does focus on transfers and instead expends most of his HS recruiting energy on PGs and guys in that 6-5 - 6-7 range who can shoot (probably the same guys everybody else is looking for).


Kravish rarely played center. When he first joined the team we had Richard Solomon and in his last years we had Rooks and Okoroh.
True and what I thought but neglected to write as my opening sentence was, "While Larsen is backing up Aimaq, center does not appear to be his natural position."

Chalk that up to a senior moment, I guess.
RedlessWardrobe
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sluggo said:

Interesting that after 17 posts no one has mentioned Okafor, who, if healthy, would I think be the overwhelming choice to be the starting 5. Larsen has been a nice role player, but he gets physically abused. Curtis is tall but raw. Okafor is a good athlete and has the strength to play against almost anyone. Would have been great to have him against Bona on Saturday.

So I think that the depth chart is Okafor (if healthy) and then Curtis or Larsen depending on the opposition and how much Curtis improves. I think Cal needs to add two bigs, hopefully one who score and one who is more a defender/rebounder. I mean better if they get the next Joel Embiid, bit I am trying to be realistic.


For some reason, I keep visualizing Okafor more as a PF. Not sure why. He has size, but it still feels like he's not a true center. Maybe I'm not convinced he's really 6-9. If you can straighten me out on this one, I would certainly welcome your reply. (or anybody's)
oskidunker
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RedlessWardrobe said:

sluggo said:

Interesting that after 17 posts no one has mentioned Okafor, who, if healthy, would I think be the overwhelming choice to be the starting 5. Larsen has been a nice role player, but he gets physically abused. Curtis is tall but raw. Okafor is a good athlete and has the strength to play against almost anyone. Would have been great to have him against Bona on Saturday.

So I think that the depth chart is Okafor (if healthy) and then Curtis or Larsen depending on the opposition and how much Curtis improves. I think Cal needs to add two bigs, hopefully one who score and one who is more a defender/rebounder. I mean better if they get the next Joel Embiid, bit I am trying to be realistic.


For some reason, I keep visualizing Okafor more as a PF. Not sure why. He has size, but it still feels like he's not a true center. Maybe I'm not convinced he's really 6-9. If you can straighten me out on this one, I would certainly welcome your reply. (or anybody's)


He can shoot threes as well as Fardaiz, btw.
Go Bears!
Big C
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RedlessWardrobe said:

sluggo said:

Interesting that after 17 posts no one has mentioned Okafor, who, if healthy, would I think be the overwhelming choice to be the starting 5. Larsen has been a nice role player, but he gets physically abused. Curtis is tall but raw. Okafor is a good athlete and has the strength to play against almost anyone. Would have been great to have him against Bona on Saturday.

So I think that the depth chart is Okafor (if healthy) and then Curtis or Larsen depending on the opposition and how much Curtis improves. I think Cal needs to add two bigs, hopefully one who score and one who is more a defender/rebounder. I mean better if they get the next Joel Embiid, bit I am trying to be realistic.


For some reason, I keep visualizing Okafor more as a PF. Not sure why. He has size, but it still feels like he's not a true center. Maybe I'm not convinced he's really 6-9. If you can straighten me out on this one, I would certainly welcome your reply. (or anybody's)

Watching Okafor play earlier this year, I thought he had made incremental progress at best, over the off-season, kind of like Newell. He has always had some semblance of offense in the low post and a near-decent shooting touch, but he usually seems to be a step out of position when it comes to rebounding and defense.

I feel like he will need to make significant strides, if he is going to be a big contributor next season. Not impossible!

In terms of position, he is a center in a PF's body.
sluggo
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RedlessWardrobe said:

sluggo said:

Interesting that after 17 posts no one has mentioned Okafor, who, if healthy, would I think be the overwhelming choice to be the starting 5. Larsen has been a nice role player, but he gets physically abused. Curtis is tall but raw. Okafor is a good athlete and has the strength to play against almost anyone. Would have been great to have him against Bona on Saturday.

So I think that the depth chart is Okafor (if healthy) and then Curtis or Larsen depending on the opposition and how much Curtis improves. I think Cal needs to add two bigs, hopefully one who score and one who is more a defender/rebounder. I mean better if they get the next Joel Embiid, bit I am trying to be realistic.


For some reason, I keep visualizing Okafor more as a PF. Not sure why. He has size, but it still feels like he's not a true center. Maybe I'm not convinced he's really 6-9. If you can straighten me out on this one, I would certainly welcome your reply. (or anybody's)
Let's compare to the Warriors 5s. Okafor is a similar size to Looney and Jackson-Davis. He is the same height as Saric but heavier and a better athlete. He is much taller than Green.

The power forward position mostly does not exist any more. Most teams play one big. I am calling that big the 5. Tyson is the starting 4, this year, and he can rebound but is not big. Sometimes Newell comes in at 4, but he does not play with much force. Without portal success I expect Newell to be the starting 4.

Overall, the reason he is a 5 rather than a 4 is the era. And given his skills, you want him close to the basket on both offense and defense.

sluggo
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Big C said:

RedlessWardrobe said:

sluggo said:

Interesting that after 17 posts no one has mentioned Okafor, who, if healthy, would I think be the overwhelming choice to be the starting 5. Larsen has been a nice role player, but he gets physically abused. Curtis is tall but raw. Okafor is a good athlete and has the strength to play against almost anyone. Would have been great to have him against Bona on Saturday.

So I think that the depth chart is Okafor (if healthy) and then Curtis or Larsen depending on the opposition and how much Curtis improves. I think Cal needs to add two bigs, hopefully one who score and one who is more a defender/rebounder. I mean better if they get the next Joel Embiid, bit I am trying to be realistic.


For some reason, I keep visualizing Okafor more as a PF. Not sure why. He has size, but it still feels like he's not a true center. Maybe I'm not convinced he's really 6-9. If you can straighten me out on this one, I would certainly welcome your reply. (or anybody's)

Watching Okafor play earlier this year, I thought he had made incremental progress at best, over the off-season, kind of like Newell. He has always had some semblance of offense in the low post, but he usually seems to be a step out of place when it comes to rebounding and defense.

I feel like he will need to make significant strides, if he is going to be a big contributor next season. Not impossible!
I agree. Every once in a while he shows great footwork, and it seems like he could be something. But his shot is rough, and it looks like he got a late introduction to the sport. He is often a step away from success. Like Newell.

JimSox
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I think the OP was asking here if anyone has knowledge of the recruiting process and can tell us if any new bigs are in the offing to replace Aimaq. No real answer yet.
Larno
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Please, no more projects like Thiemann and any number of big men in the past who never really developed.
sluggo
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JimSox said:

I think the OP was asking here if anyone has knowledge of the recruiting process and can tell us if any new bigs are in the offing to replace Aimaq. No real answer yet.
It was part of what they were asking. Portal opens in mid-March. That is when we know who Cal will get, not from high school recruiting.
barsad
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Right, but I see the portal as only good for short term fixes because it's more likely we get one-and-dones (eg Aimaq) instead of the next Zach Edey.
That's why I was puzzled that we don't have any offers out to centers - I guess something to work on for the '25 recruiting class.
I don't mind a battle between Larson and Okafor for a starting spot, competition is good and will motivate them. I believe Larson has better skills overall and a shot, but he's got to get in the gym in the offseason if he's going to survive the ACC meat grinder.
Big C
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barsad said:

Right, but I see the portal as only good for short term fixes because it's more likely we get one-and-dones (eg Aimaq) instead of the next Zach Edey.
That's why I was puzzled that we don't have any offers out to centers - I guess something to work on for the '25 recruiting class.
I don't mind a battle between Larsen and Okafor for a starting spot, competition is good and will motivate them. I believe Larsen has better skills overall and a shot, but he's got to get in the gym in the offseason if he's going to survive the ACC meat grinder.

Honest question: Do you consistently misspell Larson's name so that we are less likely to guess that he's your relative?
barsad
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What would a dishonest question look like from you Big C? Thanks for the correction, no, just an honest mistake not looking at a roster in a while.
What exactly is your beef with Larson?
6956bear
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JimSox said:

I think the OP was asking here if anyone has knowledge of the recruiting process and can tell us if any new bigs are in the offing to replace Aimaq. No real answer yet.
I believe Madsen and staff are planning on adding via the portal primarily at this point. They did send an assistant overseas to do some scouting which suggests they are looking at international options as well.

The program is in a diffcult position. They needed to add transfers to be reasonably competitive this season.It is likely all 4 leave after the season. 3 will be out of eligibility and the 4th (Tyson) is a possible NBA draftee.If he stays it will likely require a big NIL bag.

So the staff needs to repace those 4 just to stay at the current level of competitiveness. They really need more like 6 or 7 new players that can play. No projects. Curtis is a project now. Larson and Okafor are not starting level major conference players. Newell is not either. Celestine is a nice piece. But he is not Tyson. He is not a potential double/double every time he takes the court. I do have hope for Rodney Brown but next year seems too soon for him to take on a major role.

Some international players that can play now would be very welcome. The transfers are likely to be upperclassmen that will have limited eligibility. At some point you need to build a program while trying to win games. So a mix of proven transfer players with some good internationals seems best to me.

The staff is doing pretty well with 2025 US HS players and could bring in some good players for that class. But if next year is to be a winning one, they will need to add a good transfer class.

Hoping that Larson or Okafor can suddenly develop to the point where either can play around 30 minutes a night against ACC level teams with success seems a very large fantasy to me. They are spot players that can provide some rest for the starters. Will they improve? Sure but the level of improvement needed is steep.

Transfer portal here we come. I hope the collective is well funded.
sluggo
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barsad said:

Right, but I see the portal as only good for short term fixes because it's more likely we get one-and-dones (eg Aimaq) instead of the next Zach Edey.
That's why I was puzzled that we don't have any offers out to centers - I guess something to work on for the '25 recruiting class.
I don't mind a battle between Larson and Okafor for a starting spot, competition is good and will motivate them. I believe Larson has better skills overall and a shot, but he's got to get in the gym in the offseason if he's going to survive the ACC meat grinder.
Cal did go after some higher ranked bigs in the fall but struck out. Perhaps because Madsen has decided to use his precious NIL dollars on players with experience at the college level. It makes sense to me.

Derik Queen from Montverde is the only unsigned big on the ESPN top 100 list. I have seen him play a few times and he is excellent with a style a little like Juwan Howard. I don't think he he has any connection to Cal. I don't see the advantage of signing another developmental player with Curtis and Okafor already here.

This year's team has been fun but also kind of a one year rental. Next year looks difficult. A short term fix would be great.
Johnfox
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We should really look to get some WSU players. They are going to the WCC and some might want to play high major basketball. Those include, Isaac Jones, Andrej Jakimovski, Myles Rice, Reuben Chinyelu, Jaylen Wells.
OdontoBear66
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What about a look at Ugonna Onyenso at UK and Danny Wolf at Yale in the transfer portal for center...The latter should be academically qualified, the former I do not know, but not getting PT at UK...Seems a big would love to play for MM.
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