Bear Insider Video: Wyking Jones


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By Jim McGill, Staff Writer
Posted Jun 29, 2015
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2015

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Cal assistant coach Wyking Jones
After former Cal assistant Jon Harris returned to his hometown when he was named head coach at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in April, the Bears made a big move by bringing in Louisville assistant coach Wyking Jones as an assistant coach at Cal to take his place.
By the looks of things, the move is working out well for everyone involved.
"Everything's been great," said Jones. "From day one, the first day I walked in this office, I felt completely comfortable.
"That's a credit to the coaching staff. Tracy Webster, Coach Martin, Coach Yanni (Hugnagel), Marco (Harris), Nicodemus (Christopher) -all those guys are great guys.
"They're all hard workers. And we all have the same agenda, which is ultimately for the program to be successful, all doing our part. Everybody comes to the office every day, working hard, just trying to make sure we can get the most out of the talent we have and just hoping for a great season."
Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin prides himself on the family atmosphere he sets with his team and with his staff and that's one of the first messages that sunk in for Jones as he began his next coaching adventure after stints at New Mexico and Louisville before Cal. 
"Absolutely," said Jones. "And that's what I speak about when I say I'm feeling comfortable/ You walk in here and you just feel that the energy in this place is like a brotherhood and that everyone has each other's back.
"it's very much a family atmosphere. My son comes here. He's in a program here on campus -kind of a prep program for high school. So he's in here every day, hanging out, doing homework. We work out a little bit.
"Coach Martin's son Chase is in here pretty much every day, so it's very much a family-oriented feel around here and it's wonderful."
Many staffs that work as hard as Cal's does, always on the recruiting trail, the atmosphere can be fairly stifling but Martin's staff has seemingly been able to find that perfect balance between work and fun. 
"We have a nice blend of working hard, really getting after it, pushing ourselves and pushing our players, but at the same time, we all know how to have a good time. We joke, we laugh, we clown on each other.
"At the end of the day, it's basketball. It's not a cure for cancer. It's not rocket science. It's basketball. At the end of the day, we understand that. So when we come to the office, it doesn't need to be serious all the time. We know how to have a good time and keep it light. But when you get out on the court, now it's business time. It's time to really get after it and push each other, push our players and get the most out of everybody's abilities -us as coaches, as well as players."
Though Jones had a good situation at Louisville, winning the national championship and reaching a final four while he was there, the situation he's inheriting at Cal is shaping up to potentially be every bit as good at Cal with the number two recruiting class in the nation with power forward Ivan Rabb, small forward Jaylen Brown and shooting guard Tyson Jolly, along with the return of center Kameron Rooks from injury and the eligibility of Georgetown transfer Stephen Domingo after sitting out his transfer year.
What was recently a paper-thin level of depth has suddenly turned to multiple strong scoring options and potential matchup advantages, depending on th opponent. 
Jones took to the court with the team for the first time this week and was excited about what he sees at Cal. 
"We have all the pieces to be really good," said Jones. "We have depth at every position. You could go a bunch of different ways with the starting lineup. Nobody will know what direction Coach Martin is going to go because there's a lot of options.
"You could go big. You could go small. You could go quick. You could go traditional. We have the pieces to be creative in that aspect and that's a wonderful problem to have.
"We feel like it could be a great season, but at this time, it's time to put in the work. It's time to put in the hours. It's time to put in the sweat and make it a reality."
To hear more from Jones about the impetus for moving from Louisville to Cal, his future aspirations, his first day on the court with the team today and more, use the embedded viewer below:

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