Last season, everything finally went right for the California Golden Bears men's basketball team. Until it didn't.
Coming into the season, they were picked near the top of the Pac-12, as they had a nice mix of returning players to go along with super freshmen Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb.
For most, it wasn't a question of if Cal would make their first NCAA tournament since 2013, it was a question of how far they'd advance in the tournament.
And then. March came and everything went belly up. In the span of three days, Cal had an assistant coach fired amidst sexual harassment allegations, and then Tyrone Wallace broke his hand in practice two days before the #4 seed Bears were set to face Hawaii in first round of the tournament.
Hawaii upset Cal by a 77-66 margin. The Warriors led for the final 31 minutes of the game.
With that ugly loss (hopefully) behind them, Cal will have a different look this year. Gone are Brown and Wallace. Those departures will loom large for Cal, as Brown and Wallace were responsible for 29.9 of Cal's 66.0 points per game (45.3%) last season. However, Rabb will be returning. That announcement, made in late April, came as a surprise to many. Rabb was projected to be a lottery pick in the NBA Draft.
Cal's class of 2016 is unique right now, in that they don't have any true freshmen coming in (NOTE: That could change, as they have one scholarship remaining as of May 5.). Cal's two players in the class of 2016 are: Columbia graduate transfer guard Grant Mullins, and JuCo guard Don Coleman.
As noted above, Mullins comes to Cal from Columbia as a graduate transfer. He finished just outside of the top 10 in the Ivy League in scoring last season (13.1 PPG, 11th), and his .441 three-point shooting percentage was top 50 in the nation. While it is unknown if Mullins' scoring ability will be able to carry over to the tougher competition in the Pac-12, you certainly like the odds of a graduate transfer making an immediate impact rather than a freshman.
Cal's second recruit in this class comes to them from Birmingham, Alabama's Lawson State Community College. Point guard Dontae Coleman was originally committed to Florida Atlantic before deciding to decommit and spend a year at Lawson State. The decision worked out for Coleman, as he's now headed to Cal.
Most JuCo players play two years at their school and have two remaining at the school they transfer to. In Coleman's case, he only played one year at Lawson but will have three remaining at Cal. He is immediately eligible.
Coleman averaged 19.9 PPG last season.
The final scholarship
As noted above, Cal has only used 12 of their 13 scholarships. Where might they turn with the final one?
Cal hosted Drake transfer Dominik Olejniczak on Wednesday afternoon. He would have to sit out a year but have three remaining. If Cuonzo Martin decides he's fine with the current roster as is, Olejniczak will probably be the guy. If not, Martin may look towards another immediately eligible transfer.