Although the 2020-21 season has yet to start, the Bears are already planning ahead with their stacked 2021 signing class of Jadyn Bush, Jayda Curry and Mia Mastrov.
Here’s a brief overview of the Haas Pavilion newcomers.
Whether it be a sports team or a company, leadership and experience are huge determinants of success. A 5’11” forward and graduate transfer from Harvard, Bush has plenty of both: Head coach Charmin Smith cites Bush’s “veteran leadership” and “competitive drive” as reasons why the Bears are lucky to have her.
While Bush brings plenty of intangibles, she has also shown that she can stuff the stat sheet. In the 2018-19 season, Bush started 28 games for the Crimson and put up impressive averages of 10.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. More importantly, she was extremely efficient with a team-leading 0.531 field goal percentage and was also a double-double machine, racking up 13 double-doubles throughout the season.
To complement her noteworthy statistics, Bush has shown she is a winner: She earned an Ivy League Player of the Week honor for impressive performances against La Salle and Siena. Bush also led the Crimson to the second round of the 2018 Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Although Bush has plenty of significant college accomplishments, her high school career is also nothing to scoff at. She was a 2017 Associated Press Washington state Player of the Year, a three-time all-state tournament first-team honoree and a two-time Metro League title winner. Bush’s basketball accomplishments, coupled with her intangibles, demonstrate why she will be an important piece to Cal’s success.
Curry is a dynamic guard who will certainly pack a scoring punch for the Golden Bears. While it is clear to the common fan that Curry is a “bucket,” her future coach also acknowledges this: Smith said Curry can score in a variety of ways, whether that be “the three point shot or getting to the basket.”
The 5’6” point guard from Corona, California, averaged 22.4 points and 5.2 rebounds her junior year and holds Centennial High School’s single-game scoring record with a whopping 43 points. But Curry has proven that she is more than a scorer — although she already has 1,627 points to her name, she boasts career totals of 401 rebounds, 267 assists and 274 steals, and she still has one year of her high school campaign to go.
Curry also embodies what it means to be a student-athlete. She has earned a 4.5 cumulative GPA with multiple academic honors along the way, and she is a three-time member of the all-league academic team. In addition to her impressive academic achievements, Curry was named the Riverside County and Press-Enterprise Player of the Year and was named to the Cal-Hi Sports all-state first team and the CIF Southern Section open division first team.
Mastrov, a local product of Miramonte High School, may not have played in Haas Pavilion just yet, but she certainly has strong ties to Cal. Her grandfather played for the Bears in the 1950s, and Mastrov said she “grew up a Cal Bear.”
A highly coveted prospect, Mastrov chose Cal over other elite programs such as Duke and Washington. Her versatility as a scorer and a rebounder could prove valuable to Cal, as she has already crossed the 1,000-point threshold and averaged an impressive 16.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game her sophomore year.
Like her fellow recruits, Mastrov has the accolades to back her stats. She is a three-time all-state team honoree and was a 2018 West Coast Jamboree tournament MVP. In addition, Mastrov has been selected twice to the all-league first team and the All-Northern California first team.
Smith cites Mastrov’s “exceptional length,” which is exemplified in her ability to get her hands on the ball defensively, as a trait that makes her a “nuisance to her opponent.”
Justin Kim covers women’s basketball. Contact him at [email protected].