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Cal Men's Basketball HC Mark Fox talks Matt Bradley, LA schools and momentum
Big test for the Bears this week
Cal Men’s Basketball HC Mark Fox addressed the media this week and some of the questions heading into this week’s games against the LA schools. The biggest question was about the availability of star player Matt Bradley, which Fox said that they are taking it day-by-day and he has continued his rehab. Kuany Kuany and Grant Anticevich’s recovery from their respective injuries over the last 3 weeks were also addressed, with Fox saying that those guys are recovering well, and its a body, strength, and conditioning issue and a protocol thing with Kuany’s concussion in terms of how he’s brought along.
Here are some of the key quotes:
On Matt Bradley’s Injury: Matt continues to rehab and he did not, did not play in, you know, five on five today, live play, continues to rehab make some progress. But obviously, a little ways to go.
On Bradley’s availability: We take it day by day I, you know, I'm not gonna say yes, I'm not gonna say no, I think we'll, we'll talk about it like we do every morning with our medical people.
On the momentum of wins without Bradley: Well, you know, what's, what's interesting is, is, you know, the hard thing was when we didn't have, you know, both he and Grant, you know, I think that was, you know, you take away your two top scorers, and, and it was obviously, a big adjustment. And then, and then, you know, to get Grant back was was helpful, and then we lost Kuany. And but, but, you know, obviously, when you whenever you have key players that are out it's an adjustment, we found a way in the games that Matt has not played to win. And but life's better with him, you know, life's better with him. Life's easier with him. But, you know, injuries are part of the game and we have to deal with them.
On Grant’s progress and recovery after the emergency appendectomy: Well, you know, I think the effects of what he went through physically, you know, we knew it would take him a while to, you know, one just to heal, but the loss of weight and loss of strength, the loss of timing, the loss of conditioning, all the things that were subsequent to just, you know, the actual, you know, the actual surgery, all those things to recover those things that was, you know, that that didn't happen overnight. And, and so for him to finally kind of to look like Grant again, you know, I felt like it lifted our entire team because it was, it's been hard without both those guys, but but but for them, for the younger guys and everybody else to see Grant kind of return to form I just felt like it, it lifted a weight off everybody's shoulders like okay, we're gonna, we're gonna start looking like ourselves again. But I was really happy for him. Because it's, it was been hard. It's been a hard month for Grant.
On what UCLA brings to the court: They have so many weapons, you know, they have so many weapons and, and you know that they have a team that, I mean, then sadly, they're all going to be back, you know, you know, so, but they have, they have scoring at every place. And you know, a lot of teams will have talented players and guys, multiple guys who can score, but not every team also has a great point guard who's getting them all the ball. And I think that when you look at UCLA, obviously Campbell's able to make everybody better. But you know, those guys are all getting their chances to finish plays. And so they have such a balanced scoring attack, and they can hit you from everywhere. And so it is different than most teams because very few teams offer the firepower across the board that they do.
On difference from the UCLA game a month ago: Juzang is basically replaced Smith, you know, Juzang didn't play in the first game and Smith, unfortunately, is injured. But. But so, you know, I think that you know, they're a better team than they were a month ago. You know, I think that, you know, hopefully, we're a better team when we're whole, I think we you know, our lack of continuity is probably affected our, our growth but I do think they're a better team, I think they as much attention as their offense is getting this year they can beat you with their defense too. I mean, there is complete of a team, as we have in the league right now. And they can they can win on both ends.
On Joel Brown’s recent play: Well, I think I think that that, you know, in fairness to Joel, I think he's, I think Joel has had some, some really good moments, but I think we've, we've asked him to do so much in the face of all these injuries, you know, that, that, you know, he's had to play about three different positions, he's had to, he's had, he's been the one guy that that, that we've tried to ask to play multiple spots, because he's the only one of the point guards that's returning, he's had to defend multiple positions. So in light of all of that, he's still, I think, been able to play pretty well. And we need him to play well, but, you know, to Tyger Campbell's an important part of their team. And, you know, it's not like you can just cut the head off the snake. I mean, he's just too good to let that happen. And but Joel, Joel's play is going to be important, you know, and whoever he matches with, it's going to be important that he plays well, but know, back to the original question, they just have such a balance, you know, and, and they, and they, and they can get a lot of, they can get a lot of, they can get a lot of offense off their defense to you know, because their, their, their ability to get stops, and, and play in the open quarters is also impressive.
On Andre Kelly’s recent surge: I've really been pleased with Andre, I think that, you know, it's really, and I think we may have talked about it before, but it's really about Andre playing himself into great shape, you know, and not having the spring not having the summer having abbreviated fall. You know, the hardest thing for the big guys to do is to get in elite shape. And we knew they would have to practice themselves into shape play their way in to shape you know, the eight day shut down to the big guys did no favors in the fall. And so then we started playing games when you're when you don't practice as much. You're trying to be fresh for games. And so it's taken a while but Andre's Andre's is in good physical shape. And when he's in good shape, he's really productive. And he's been. He's been very consistent. And I think he's, he's very confident and comfortable and in how we're playing offensively and where he can get his looks from and I think, the more the more he continues to, to have success, I think he'll be able to build on his performance because he has been really consistent, but I think he's, I think he can be a guy that can even take it up another notch.