(Photo credit via Cal men’s basketball)
Cal men’s basketball has their first two additions via the transfer portal to the 2023 in Texas Tech big Fardaws Aimaq (and Mark Madsen’s former center at Utah Valley) and Northern Arizona guard Jalen Cone, as previously reported.
Here’s the press release on Aimaq’s commitment from CalBears.com:
Aimaq was the 2021 and 2022 Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, 2021 WAC Player of the Year and a two-time All-WAC first team selection in two seasons played under Madsen at Utah Valley before spending last season with the Red Raiders. He started his collegiate career at Mercer in 2018-19 and will have one season of eligibility remaining at Cal.
A 6-foot-11 forward from Vancouver, British Columbia, Aimaq has recorded 1,178 points (12.5 points per game), 1,005 rebounds (10.7 RPG), 102 blocks (1.1 BPG) and 77 double-doubles – the seventh most among active players in the country at the end of the 2022-23 campaign – through four seasons and 94 career games played. He led the nation with 15.0 rebounds per game in the 2020-21 season at Utah Valley, becoming the first Division I player to average over 15.0 rebounds in a season in over 40 years.
"Daws is a physically imposing player with a proven ability to impact both ends of the court at a high level," Madsen said. "His work ethic in the gym and the weight room, paired with natural skill on the block and the perimeter will make him an immediate difference-maker for our program next season. I know Daws to be a tremendous young man who was raised the right way and who is incredibly hungry to succeed. I'm excited to reunite with him in Bear Territory."
Here’s the press release on Cone’s transfer from CalBears.com:
Cone, a 5-foot-11 guard from Walkertown, North Carolina, with one year of eligibility remaining, was a two-time All-Big Sky Conference selection in two seasons played at Northern Arizona, where he averaged 18.2 points and 3.1 assists per game in 65 contests. An electric shooter from deep, Cone shot 40% (96 of 240) from behind the arc last season and has knocked down 290 3s in his career. In 112 career games played over four collegiate seasons – the first two of which were played at Virginia Tech (2019-21) – Cone has amassed 1,575 points (14.1 PPG) on 40% shooting from the floor and 39% shooting from 3-point range.
"Bringing Jalen to Berkeley was a top priority for our coaching staff," Madsen said. "He's an elite shooter who will boost our offense immediately and bring a mature, calming presence to our team. Jalen is also a tremendous playmaker who gets into the paint at will. Jalen's work ethic fuels his hunger to win, and that's the type of player every program benefits from. He's a true winner in every sense of the word and an outstanding teammate both on and off the court. We are incredibly excited to welcome Jalen and his family to the community and can't wait for him to arrive on campus."
Welcome to Cal Jalen and Fardaws!
However, Cal will have another player lost to the portal. Guard DeJuan Clayton has decided to move on, seeking a nearly unheard of eighth season of eligibility. He played eight games with the Bears, averaging 9 points and 3 assists a game.
Clayton is yet another Golden Bear to enter the portal from Mark Fox’s 2022-23 squad, joining Joel Brown, Jarred Hyder, Marsalis Roberson, Obinna Anyanwu, Sam Alajiki, Kuany Kuany, and Lars Thiemann.
Did Clayton get an MBA from Haas? While it would be easy to make a joke about him majoring in social security or something, he may have used his athletic scholarships to build his future better than anyone. And got to humiliate Furd.
Still hoping that Jerome Randle is named Cal's fifth and last assistant coach, which I think he wants. Could be wrong, but I think the assistant coach recruiting position is still open, which Randle says, in the article below, he would love to do. If I'm wrong, please let me know.
"“I feel like being able to connect with players, being able to recruit players . . . I’ve been developing players all over the world,” he said. “So the connections that I have to bring in five-star athletes are at the snap of a finger for me. My passion is developing kids. Especially here, I feel like I came here for a reason, to be able to connect with kids that don’t have opportunities to go to college.”