2022 Record: 3-29 (2-18)

Head Coach: Mark Madsen (Career Record 70-51) (1st season at Cal)

Projected Rotation:

PG: Jalen Cone (Northern Arizona 17.6 Pts, 2.8 Reb, 2.5 Ast)

SG: Keonte Kennedy (Memphis 9.2 Pts, 2.6 Reb, 0.8 Ast)

SF: Jaylon Tyson (Texas Tech 10.7 Pts, 6.1 Reb, 1.3 Ast) (Double Transfer, Waiver TBA)

PF: Grant Newell (8.0 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 0.7 Ast)

C: Fardaws Aimaq (Texas Tech 11.1 Pts, 7.9 Reb, 1.5 Ast)

6: PG Devin Askew (15.5 Pts, 3.4 Reb, 3.0 Ast)

7: SF Jalen Celestine (2021-22 7.5 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 0.9 Ast)

8: PF ND Okafor (3.7 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 0.3 Ast)

9: SF Monty Bowser (3.8 Pts, 1.3 Reb, 0.4 Ast)

10: C Devin Curtis

11: SG Rodney Brown

12: PG Vladimir Pavlovic

13: C Gus Larson (Penn 0.6 Pts, 1.2 Reb, 0.0 Ast)

Mark Madsen has his work cut out for him as he attempts to rebuild a team that went 3-29 last season. Madsen was aggressive in the portal to try and rebuild the team as quickly as possible fielding a competitive team for next season. Cal signed 2 transfers from Texas Tech this offseason. SF Jaylon Tyson is a two time transfer and will need a waiver to be able to play. Waivers have been hard to come by with the new NCAA rules so it’s unlikely he would play next season. Tyson is a very athletic wing that can score from all levels. He’s a great three point shooter as he shot 41% from three this past season. He’s also an incredible defender and would be an instant contributor on both sides of the ball if he’s able to play. The other former Red Raider that Cal signed is big man Fardaws Aimaq. He is a force on the interior who is mainly known for his incredible rebounding ability and post moves. Aimaq was battling injuries all of last season at Texas Tech which only caused him to play in 11 games. He previously played for Mercer and Utah Valley. At Utah Valley, he played for Coach Mark Madsen so he is already familiar with the system.

Some returners for Cal are PF Grant Newell, PF ND Okafor, and SF Monty Bowser. Newell is a projected starter for the Golden Bears this upcoming season. Newell was a freshman last season and shot 40% from the floor and 27% from 3. He should improve drastically this upcoming season as he’s in a more thriving system now. Monty Bowser is a rising junior who improved dramatically from his freshman to sophomore season. He struggled from the field at times but showed flashes of potential as well. ND Okafor was also only a freshman last season. The Irish forward played in 30 games and had a season high of 11 points. He’s another player that could see a rise in action this upcoming season.

The remaining returner for the Golden Bears next season are SF Jalen Celestine and PG Devin Askew. Celestine missed all of last season after having knee surgery. As a sophomore in the 2021-22 season he showed flashes of potential and averaged nearly 8PPG shooting 41% from the field. He could also have an elevated role this season if Jaylon Tyson is deemed ineligible by the NCAA. Devin Askew saw his season cut short due to injury last season. He was an inconsistent player at times who averaged nearly as many turnovers as assists. He’s a former 4 star and Top 40 player who still has the talent and athleticism necessary to compete at the high major level. Now that he’s in a new system with a coach that is used to winning, he could be much more successful.

Cal also signed guard transfer Jalen Cone from Northern Arizona and Keonte Kennedy from Memphis this offseason. Both players are going into their 5th seasons and will bring a ton of experience to Berkeley this season. Cone has been a high volume scorer at Northern Arizona the past 2 seasons. He’s averaged over 17PPG in both his years with the Lumberjacks. He also has prior high major experience playing at Virginia Tech. He has a chance to be the leading scorer on Cal this season. Keonte Kennedy is another guard who is a very talented experienced player. Kennedy is a very good three point shooter who shot 38% from beyond the arc at Memphis last season. He’s also a great defensive player who could be the best perimeter defender for Cal next season. Cal also signed Penn transfer big man Gus Larson who adds to the frontcourt depth. Cal received commitments in the 2023 class from SG Rodney Brown ranked #177 in 247 sports rankings, C Devin Curtis ranked #232, and unranked PG Vladimir Pavlovic.

Cal could be the most improved team in all of college basketball next season. After a 3-28 year, the only way to go is up. Cal could be the team that has the biggest increase in wins from the 2022-23 season to the 2023-24 season. The additions that they made will have them competitive in the Pac-12 this season. Mark Madsen should have this team in tournament contention within a couple seasons. Cal should be towards the middle of the standings in the Pac-12 this upcoming season with a potential trip to the NIT within reach.