As Cal continues to prepare for a season that promises to be unlike any other, the Bears are constantly looking for silver linings. On Thursday morning, they didn’t find silver but rather gold as standout junior Matt Bradley was named to the 2020-21 Pac-12 men’s basketball preseason media all-conference first team.
The 6’4’’ guard from San Bernardino finished last season with All-Pac-12 second-team honors, so the Bears are hoping Bradley continues along his upward trajectory. Last season, Bradley averaged a team-high 17.5 points per game, shooting 43.7% from the field.
Bradley secured his spot alongside nine other Pac-12 rivals named to the first team. No other Cal players garnered first-team, second-team or honorable mention preseason recognitions.
But Bradley isn’t only turning heads in the Pac-12.
Last week, Bradley was named among the 20 players on the 2021 Jerry West Award preseason watch list. The annual award, named after the NBA legend and class of 1980 Hall of Famer, commemorates the top shooting guards in Division I men’s basketball. After three rounds of fan voting, finalists will be presented to West and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame before a winner is announced April 9, 2021.
Notable previous winners of the Jerry West Award include NBA standouts D’Angelo Russell, Buddy Hield, Malik Monk and RJ Barrett. Those are certainly big shoes to fill, but as the only Pac-12 player selected to the award’s watch list, Bradley is already lacing up.
Kabir Rao covers men’s basketball and is a deputy sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].