NBA Lord's NBA Blog

NBA Lord's NBA Blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bear Territory Tuesday: Will Jordan Mathews have room to "breakout"?

     One of the more interesting things to think about when it comes to the 2015-16 Cal men's basketball team is how much room there is for all the players to showcase their abilities. Tyrone Wallace is the senior point guard trying to prove he's worthy of a first round pick in the 2016 NBA draft, Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb both are hoping to be lottery picks in the 2016 NBA draft, Jabari Bird is hoping to prove that he still belongs in the NBA discussion, etc. 

     With all of these players looking to shine while simultaneously having to play together, it stands to reason that somebody is going to have to make a sacrifice or at least not produce as much as they could.    Out of all the players on the team, that "somebody" projects to be Jordan Mathews, a junior shooting guard who averaged 13.6 points per game last season. If it wasn't for the amazing recruiting class that Cal has had, it would stand to reason that Jordan Mathews would take a big step forward and become the next star of the team in the 2015-16 season.

     But with Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown coming to Berkeley, that is longer realistic. As a matter of fact, it's not even clear if Jordan Mathews is in the starting lineup depending on how things shake out in the frontcourt. Going back to my opening paragraph, with all of these big name players suiting up for Cal, there are only so many shots and possessions to go around for each player. Tyrone Wallace is still the leader of the team and Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb are the most talented. The unfortunate reality for Jordan Mathews is that he isn't likely to have as a big of a role as he probably anticipated and that could be somewhat disheartening for him. 

     On the flip side, Mathews is still going to be a key part of the team and thanks to this monster recruiting class, he gets a chance to be on a team that gets a lot of national attention. If Mathews has the right attitude, as I'm sure he will, this could all work to his benefit in terms of his NBA draft stock. NBA scouts do value players who have the humility to be role players and in the NBA, a role player is what Jordan Mathews projects to be at best. 

     So, while it's unlikely that Jordan Mathews has a "breakout" season in terms of leading the team in scoring, he still has a great opportunity to showcase his abilities in the 2015-16 season. It's just that he won't be showcasing his abilities in the way that he probably was expecting before the signings of Rabb and Brown.

---Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord for Cal basketball news 


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