Cal Men's Basketball will look very different from last year as the team loses 7 players from their 2010 Pac-10 Championship team. 5 seniors have graduated, DJ Seeley decided to transfer, and Omondi Amoke was kicked off the team for a violation of team rules (Omoke was also expelled from Berkeley). That leaves a ton of room for the newbies to make a solid impression right from the start, and their initial impression has already impressed me.
4 of Cal's incoming freshman will play in this year's Academic All-America Classic, the most of any other school. That includes players from Stanfurd, MIT, and Virginia; basically the Cal guys are the smartest and best at basketball! Gary Franklin, Richard Solomon and Allen Crabbe will be members of the American All-Stars while Alex Rossi will be on the National All-Stars. Student-athletes were selected based on the following criteria: grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, strength of high school curriculum, college selection, community service involvement, extracurricular activities and basketball ability. This year's participants have an average grade point average of 3.6. This proves that Mike Montgomery is recruiting not only talented basketball players, but also true student-athletes who deserve to be at Cal both academically and athletically.
The Bears have the #23 rated recruiting class in the country according to ESPN; that was also before we signed guard Emerson Murray earlier this week. We'll be inexperienced and new, but with some good coaching from Monty we should be in the hunt. After all, the Pac-10 wasn't exactly a juggernaut league last year and I'm not sure many teams drastically improved.