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Cal Basketball

Bears Add Experienced GCU PG Jovan Blacksher

June 4, 2024
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The Bears added some experienced local talent at the point guard position with today’s commitment from Grand Canyon University senior Jovan Blacksher‍.

Born in Oakland before moving to Arizona, the 5-11/165 got off to a strong collegiate start out of Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix after leading his squad to 3 state championships, averaging 15.9 points, 5.6 assists and 5.7 steals a game as a junior. At GCU where he entered as a frosh in 2019, Blacksher started 98 games, averaging 11 points per game in his career there.

Before suffering an acl injury, Blackshers’ best season was in 2021-22 where he averaged 15.8 points a game with 4 assists and 1.7 steals per game, shooting 41.5% from the field, along with a solid 39.4% from three-point range, earning 1st Team All-WAC. Following the acl injury in the 2022-23 season, Blacksher was able to come back and play limited minutes last season but was granted an extra season of eligibility and is now said to be completely healthy and recovered.

The super senior is known as a stellar defender and should bring an edge to revamped Bears roster on the defensive side of the ball.

Blacksher becomes the 10th commit of the 2024 Cal recruiting class.

Discussion from...

Bears Add Experienced GCU PG Jovan Blacksher

9,989 Views | 64 Replies | Last: 1 day ago by HoopDreams
Eastern Oregon Bear
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Great news! Happy to see us get an experienced point guard. I hope he's fully recovered from his injuries.

Welcome Jovan to the Cal family! I'm looking forward to seeing you on the court this winter as we take on the ACC.
NVBear78
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Welcome to Cal, Go Bears!!!
stu
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I like the "stellar defender" part.
smokeyrover
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Madsen landing another guy he saw first-hand in the WAC. Both 6th year Blacksher Jr and senior Tucker appear to be strong distributors and good FT shooters. Should be quite a battle for the starting spot. Looking at past production, if Jovan is fully recovered from the ACL he would appear to have a slight edge with better 3 pt%. Tucker does have better size though.

Leadership and steadiness at the point will be so crucial with so many new pieces to direct. Really like this pickup.
Pittstop
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Since he's been grant an extra year of eligibility, does he have 2 years of eligibility left?
MoragaBear
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Pittstop said:

Since he's been grant an extra year of eligibility, does he have 2 years of eligibility left?
No this is his 6th season after starting at GCU in 2019
HoopDreams
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calumnus
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Veteran guards help you win close games, win on the road in front of hostile ACC crowds and win in the post season.
dha
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Is that our last roster spot through the portal?
RedlessWardrobe
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dha said:

Is that our last roster spot through the portal?
We should have one left, either via portal or incoming freshman, I think.
brevity
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RedlessWardrobe said:

dha said:

Is that our last roster spot through the portal?
We should have one left, either via portal or incoming freshman, I think.
Andrew Parrish has a 2024-2025 Scholarship Tracker (a Google spreadsheet) for every Division I team. He tends to be on the ball with updates; Jovan Blacksher Jr was added within an hour of yesterday's announcement.

California

Last year of eligibility: Jovan Blacksher Jr, Mady Sissoko, Christian Tucker
2 years of eligibility: DJ Campbell, Joshua Ola-Joseph, BJ Omot, Rytas Petraitis
3 years of eligibility: Devin Curtis, Lee Dort, Vladimir Pavlovic, Andrej Stojakovic
4 years of eligibility: Jeremiah Wilkinson

So, one more scholarship player to reach the limit of 13. (By definition, this tracker doesn't list non-scholarship players, so it will look different from the roster.)
RedlessWardrobe
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brevity, you are the best!
dha
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Thanks. Do we know if are there any impact players left in the portal that are considering Cal?
barsad
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Some great recruiting news, I feel a lot better about our chances today than a few weeks ago.
In other threads I've said I would give my kingdom for a big man given that it's a perennial Cal weakness, and if Sissoko goes down we have no answers there (Dort not a good answer).
But if both of our PGs are one-and-dones in '24, we'd better hand that 13th scholarship to a PG with full eligibility who is willing to sit for a year and feed off the veteran knowledge of Tucker-Blacksher.
Otherwise we're just on the PG transfer merry-go-round every year.
Pittstop
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Thanks.
Pittstop
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barsad said:

Some great recruiting news, I feel a lot better about our chances today than a few weeks ago.
In other threads I've said I would give my kingdom for a big man given that it's a perennial Cal weakness, and if Sissoko goes down we have no answers there (Dort not a good answer).
But if both of our PGs are one-and-dones in '24, we'd better hand that 13th scholarship to a PG with full eligibility who is willing to sit for a year and feed off the veteran knowledge of Tucker-Blacksher.
Otherwise we're just on the PG transfer merry-go-round every year.


Ruff doesn't count until next year, right? We have plenty of open schollies for '25 then, is that correct?
MoragaBear
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Pittstop said:

barsad said:

Some great recruiting news, I feel a lot better about our chances today than a few weeks ago.
In other threads I've said I would give my kingdom for a big man given that it's a perennial Cal weakness, and if Sissoko goes down we have no answers there (Dort not a good answer).
But if both of our PGs are one-and-dones in '24, we'd better hand that 13th scholarship to a PG with full eligibility who is willing to sit for a year and feed off the veteran knowledge of Tucker-Blacksher.
Otherwise we're just on the PG transfer merry-go-round every year.


Ruff doesn't count until next year, right? We have plenty of open schollies for '25 then, is that correct?

Yes
barsad
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Right, but I'm talking about taking a more long-term view. Ruff will be a great addition in '25, but what PG will be distributing to him? Another 6th year grad? I am celebrating the value in transfers Madsen has recruited, but I still would like to see some investment this year in the PG or C of 2025-2027.
calumnus
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barsad said:

Right, but I'm talking about taking a more long-term view. Ruff will be a great addition in '25, but what PG will be distributing to him? Another 6th year grad? I am celebrating the value in transfers Madsen has recruited, but I still would like to see some investment this year in the PG or C of 2025-2027.


Wilkinson will be a freshman PG this Fall, so hopefully he'll be ready to take over in 2025.
MoragaBear
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calumnus said:

barsad said:

Right, but I'm talking about taking a more long-term view. Ruff will be a great addition in '25, but what PG will be distributing to him? Another 6th year grad? I am celebrating the value in transfers Madsen has recruited, but I still would like to see some investment this year in the PG or C of 2025-2027.


Wilkinson will be a freshman PG this Fall, so hopefully he'll be ready to take over in 2025.


Madsen talked about Wilkinson last night at a SoCal donor event and said he's really, really good after seeing him in person for their first two practices. He said they got a steal with him.
Civil Bear
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MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

barsad said:

Right, but I'm talking about taking a more long-term view. Ruff will be a great addition in '25, but what PG will be distributing to him? Another 6th year grad? I am celebrating the value in transfers Madsen has recruited, but I still would like to see some investment this year in the PG or C of 2025-2027.


Wilkinson will be a freshman PG this Fall, so hopefully he'll be ready to take over in 2025.


Madsen talked about Wilkinson last night at a SoCal donor event and said he's really, really good after seeing him in person for their first two practices. He said they got a steal with him.
But he's more of an undersized 2 than a true pg, correct?
MoragaBear
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Civil Bear said:

MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

barsad said:

Right, but I'm talking about taking a more long-term view. Ruff will be a great addition in '25, but what PG will be distributing to him? Another 6th year grad? I am celebrating the value in transfers Madsen has recruited, but I still would like to see some investment this year in the PG or C of 2025-2027.


Wilkinson will be a freshman PG this Fall, so hopefully he'll be ready to take over in 2025.


Madsen talked about Wilkinson last night at a SoCal donor event and said he's really, really good after seeing him in person for their first two practices. He said they got a steal with him.
But he's more of an undersized 2 than a true pg, correct?

I don't think so. He put up great PG numbers his senior season.

sluggo
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MoragaBear said:

Civil Bear said:

MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

barsad said:

Right, but I'm talking about taking a more long-term view. Ruff will be a great addition in '25, but what PG will be distributing to him? Another 6th year grad? I am celebrating the value in transfers Madsen has recruited, but I still would like to see some investment this year in the PG or C of 2025-2027.


Wilkinson will be a freshman PG this Fall, so hopefully he'll be ready to take over in 2025.


Madsen talked about Wilkinson last night at a SoCal donor event and said he's really, really good after seeing him in person for their first two practices. He said they got a steal with him.
But he's more of an undersized 2 than a true pg, correct?

I don't think so. He put up great PG numbers his senior season.


I disagree. >30 points with <5 assists is shoot first and shoot second.

His video from 11th grade does not show great passing ability. But who knows what happened in 12th grade since there is no long form video.
MoragaBear
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5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player
sluggo
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MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player
Given how much he scored he was extremely ball dominant, which I am factoring in. But I am mostly going on having seen him play. He did not show much vision.

I look forward to seeing what the truth is. I hope he has developed his skills.



Pittstop
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MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player


Some folks will find a way to rationalize arguing against any stat you can post in support of certain athletes' particular skills, despite the obvious skills indicated by those stats. Is Steph Curry a PG? His career apg average is 6.4 (in '48 minute' NBA games, over 15 years). I would say 5 apg, in '40 minute' hs games, THIS early in your bb career (with many years of growth and development to improve on before ever hoping to get to Curry's level) is pretty damn promising in a PG prospect.
sluggo
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Pittstop said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player


Some folks will find a way to rationalize arguing against any stat you can post in support of certain athletes' particular skills, despite the obvious skills indicated by those stats. Is Steph Curry a PG? His career apg average is 6.4 (in '48 minute' NBA games, over 15 years). I would say 5 apg, in '40 minute' hs games, THIS early in your bb career (with many years of growth and development to improve on before ever hoping to get to Curry's level) is pretty damn promising in a PG prospect.
Why would someone want to argue something they did not think was true? That is just silly. I would not be surprised if a friend was keeping stats and pumping them up. I have seen Wilkinson play, and he did not show good passing ability. I would not say anything if I had not.

MoragaBear
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sluggo said:

Pittstop said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player


Some folks will find a way to rationalize arguing against any stat you can post in support of certain athletes' particular skills, despite the obvious skills indicated by those stats. Is Steph Curry a PG? His career apg average is 6.4 (in '48 minute' NBA games, over 15 years). I would say 5 apg, in '40 minute' hs games, THIS early in your bb career (with many years of growth and development to improve on before ever hoping to get to Curry's level) is pretty damn promising in a PG prospect.
Why would someone want to argue something they did not think was true? That is just silly. I would not be surprised if a friend was keeping stats and pumping them up. I have seen Wilkinson play, and he did not show good passing ability. I would not say anything if I had not.



This is all in response to me posting:

"Madsen talked about Wilkinson last night at a SoCal donor event and said he's really, really good after seeing him in person for their first two practices. He said they got a steal with him."

He seemed to take a major step forward his senior season so old video may not tell the tale.

I'll get clarification on if he's playing 1, 2 or both.
01Bear
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sluggo said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player
Given how much he scored he was extremely ball dominant, which I am factoring in. But I am mostly going on having seen him play. He did not show much vision.

I look forward to seeing what the truth is. I hope he has developed his skills.
Honest question here as I didn't see him play, but how good were his teammates? Also, did his team need him to score?

I think of Jaylon Tyson last year. He put up almost 20 points per game last year because the team needed him to do that. A good portion of the offense also ran through him because the team needed a ballhandler. His efficiency rating was lower than it would've been had Cal had a point guard who could distribute and hit him with the ball in stride. But is he an inefficient player? Absolutely not! Tyson was a stud! He carried the team offensively for many stretches during the year. But his efficiency rating suffered (especially for s wing player) because of the role he was asked to play.

sluggo
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MoragaBear said:

sluggo said:

Pittstop said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player


Some folks will find a way to rationalize arguing against any stat you can post in support of certain athletes' particular skills, despite the obvious skills indicated by those stats. Is Steph Curry a PG? His career apg average is 6.4 (in '48 minute' NBA games, over 15 years). I would say 5 apg, in '40 minute' hs games, THIS early in your bb career (with many years of growth and development to improve on before ever hoping to get to Curry's level) is pretty damn promising in a PG prospect.
Why would someone want to argue something they did not think was true? That is just silly. I would not be surprised if a friend was keeping stats and pumping them up. I have seen Wilkinson play, and he did not show good passing ability. I would not say anything if I had not.



This is all in response to me posting:

"Madsen talked about Wilkinson last night at a SoCal donor event and said he's really, really good after seeing him in person for their first two practices. He said they got a steal with him."

He seemed to take a major step forward his senior season so old video may not tell the tale.

I'll get clarification on if he's playing 1, 2 or both.
Thanks. Yes, things change. It is encouraging that Madsen says this.
sluggo
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01Bear said:

sluggo said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player
Given how much he scored he was extremely ball dominant, which I am factoring in. But I am mostly going on having seen him play. He did not show much vision.

I look forward to seeing what the truth is. I hope he has developed his skills.
Honest question here as I didn't see him play, but how good were his teammates? Also, did his team need him to score?

I think of Jaylon Tyson last year. He put up almost 20 points per game last year because the team needed him to do that. A good portion of the offense also ran through him because the team needed a ballhandler. His efficiency rating was lower than it would've been had Cal had a point guard who could distribute and hit him with the ball in stride. But is he an inefficient player? Absolutely not! Tyson was a stud! He carried the team offensively for many stretches during the year. But his efficiency rating suffered (especially for s wing player) because of the role he was asked to play.


Yes, it is not selfish if you are the best player to shoot a lot. When I saw him he was not head and shoulders above his teammates. But if he really scored over 30 a game that must have changed as a senior.
Pittstop
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sluggo said:

01Bear said:

sluggo said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player
Given how much he scored he was extremely ball dominant, which I am factoring in. But I am mostly going on having seen him play. He did not show much vision.

I look forward to seeing what the truth is. I hope he has developed his skills.
Honest question here as I didn't see him play, but how good were his teammates? Also, did his team need him to score?

I think of Jaylon Tyson last year. He put up almost 20 points per game last year because the team needed him to do that. A good portion of the offense also ran through him because the team needed a ballhandler. His efficiency rating was lower than it would've been had Cal had a point guard who could distribute and hit him with the ball in stride. But is he an inefficient player? Absolutely not! Tyson was a stud! He carried the team offensively for many stretches during the year. But his efficiency rating suffered (especially for s wing player) because of the role he was asked to play.


Yes, it is not selfish if you are the best player to shoot a lot. When I saw him he was not head and shoulders above his teammates. But if he really scored over 30 a game that must have changed as a senior.


35 ppg on 48% FG and 41+% 3pt, plus 82% FT. Doesn't sound 'inefficient' at all, tbh.
sluggo
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Pittstop said:

sluggo said:

01Bear said:

sluggo said:

MoragaBear said:

5 assists a game is a lot for a prep player
Given how much he scored he was extremely ball dominant, which I am factoring in. But I am mostly going on having seen him play. He did not show much vision.

I look forward to seeing what the truth is. I hope he has developed his skills.
Honest question here as I didn't see him play, but how good were his teammates? Also, did his team need him to score?

I think of Jaylon Tyson last year. He put up almost 20 points per game last year because the team needed him to do that. A good portion of the offense also ran through him because the team needed a ballhandler. His efficiency rating was lower than it would've been had Cal had a point guard who could distribute and hit him with the ball in stride. But is he an inefficient player? Absolutely not! Tyson was a stud! He carried the team offensively for many stretches during the year. But his efficiency rating suffered (especially for s wing player) because of the role he was asked to play.


Yes, it is not selfish if you are the best player to shoot a lot. When I saw him he was not head and shoulders above his teammates. But if he really scored over 30 a game that must have changed as a senior.


35 ppg on 48% FG and 41+% 3pt, plus 82% FT. Doesn't sound 'inefficient' at all, tbh.
If those efficiency numbers are real then he is a knock down shooter. Let's see. Call me skeptical.
RedlessWardrobe
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If I'm playing in a league and my team is winning, and I'm able to average 33 points a game, my assists and assist ratio per minute would certainly not be my first priority.
BeachedBear
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MoragaBear said:



I'll get clarification on if he's playing 1, 2 or both.
I'm hoping he can be the Unicorn that can play BOTH. Then we can finally run the mythical 4-out-2-in offense and the 2-3 zone and 1 defense!

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