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Cal Basketball

Bears Add Final Piece of their '23 Class in Serbian PG Vlado Pavlovic

August 2, 2023
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The Bears picked up their final piece of their ‘23 class this week with the addition of former U18 Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade Serbian PG Vlado Pavlovic. The 6’3/190 PG played this last season in the U.S. at Hoosac Academy, a largely international prep school program run by Serbian nationals playing at the highest level of prep school ball.

The newest Bear was set to play for Dartmouth in 2024 but the Bears’ combination of academics and new-found competitive program under new head coach Mark Madsen convinced him to reclassify to 2023 and join the Cal program immediately this fall, choosing the Bears over several potential ‘23 suitors, including Seton Hall.

“They saw some of my film when I was playing at Hoosac,” said Pavlovic, describing how Cal got on his radar. “Also, Brandon Goble (co-owner of Verbal Commits and a JC advocate) talked to the coaches about me while they were still at other schools. Later I got in touch with Coach Matt (Scherbanske) and Coach Adam (Mazarei) and then with head coach Mark Madsen.

“Cal was the right choice for me because of its strong academic reputation and one of the strongest conferences in America, the Pac-12. I was looking for a program that could offer both an excellent academic experience and a chance to play basketball. Cal has a strong basketball program now and is also known for its academic excellence.”

Though Pavlovic is a proven scorer on the offensive end, he prides himself on full effort on the defensive end.

“I believe that a player’s greatest virtue is giving the team energy with full effort,” Pavlovic said. “In my case, that shows itself most on defense. When the team plays good defense, it gets everybody up.”

“I think Vlad’s the best pick and roll point guard that I've seen out of high school in a long time,” Goble said. “He's very athletic. He's big, like, built like a tank looks like a linebacker-type guy. He played in one of the best youth programs in the world with Red Star in Serbia and was a team captain for the youth club over there. So that just speaks a lot about the holistic picture of his character and ability. But you know, with academics being such an important piece to him and his parents, he decided to come here to Hoosac and pursue a college education rather than a pro contract.”

While the strength of Pavlovic’s game is his ability to score in the paint, his perimeter game is a work in progress, shooting a fairly respectable 31% from the perimeter.

“His jump shot’s fine,”Goble said. “I would say that's probably the thing he needs to improve on the most. It's not bad. It’s just not the highlight of his game at this stage. His pull-up game is very good. It's just a very European thing for somebody his size to get downhill into the paint and be able to pull up like that. So that's something that's got a lot of experience with. He's super, super athletic, finishes everything at the rim. And so as he continues to improve that jump shot, that's just going to really elevate him even more.

“What's interesting is he could hit the ground running and play minutes right away. Because of his experience. His IQ, his physicality - he's already got a grown man body. But the bare minimum that you're getting out of that kid is somebody that's literally going to come into practice, and try and take your minutes every day. So having somebody like that with his character, with his toughness, with his, ‘Hey, I'm not backing down from anybody attitude,’ It's just gonna make everybody else around him better.”

Though he doesn’t have Pavlovic’s stats as the Hoosac staff doesn’t publish them, Goble noted:

“They're high. In a game against South Kent, which is a top program, their point guard who is going to Kansas - Vlado locked him up and I think he had high 20s low 30s against them. Stats from your local high school didn't really mean much most of the time, but he was playing against strong competition so his would.”

For now, the newest Bear is counting down the days till he’ll be on campus and join the program.

“I’m most looking forward to living in California in the San Francisco bay area,” Pavlovic said. “Whenever I change the environment I live in, which has happened often so far, I feel like a child exploring every detail.

“I’m definitely looking forward to meeting all the coaches in person as well as the team and the professors. I expect to be on campus in about 20 days. I’m already training a lot and preparing for everything that awaits me at Cal.”

Discussion from...

Bears Add Final Piece of their '23 Class in Serbian PG Vlado Pavlovic

5,645 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 9 mo ago by BearHunter
HoopDreams
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this player is really intriguing and good to hear he has a mid range game because there weren't any in his highlights besides 1 floater

also good to hear his pick and roll PG play is good

I keep imagining Vlad and Askew doing battle everyday in practice
bearsandgiants
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"one of the strongest conferences in America, the Pac-12."

Yes! That's what I'm talking about!
Civil Bear
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His under-the-radar recruiting and desire to play hard and physically are giving me Jorge vibes. Well, yeah, and the hair too.

p.s. I'd love to get his FT stats.
BearHunter
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You see him crossover and getting to the rim?
calumnus
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bearsandgiants said:

"one of the strongest conferences in America, the Pac-12."

Yes! That's what I'm talking about!



At least for one more season!
bearmanpg
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From those highlight tapes, he looks like he could compete for minutes this fall....I hate to evaluate a player off of highlight tapes but he looks good....I like this recruit...
BearHunter
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bearmanpg said:

From those highlight tapes, he looks like he could compete for minutes this fall....I hate to evaluate a player off of highlight tapes but he looks good....I like this recruit...

He passes the eye test for me, I think we're really lucky to get him at this late stage of the game.
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