Basketball Preview: Catching The BC Basketball Wave
Four Freshmen From California Ride A Wave Of Enthusiasm
Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
"Kyle was actually like the pioneer, because he was the first one to commit," Jackson explained. "He led the way."
"I started the movement eastward," Caudill said with a grin.
Now, the four Californians are all relieved to be coming together this year as one team. They followed different paths, but they've played against the others enough to know their tendencies, and that experience may prove to be vital on such a young team.
"We all played each other before, we've been around each other, so we know how each other plays," Jackson said. "It's just fun to be out there and play with people you know."
This factor of familiarity, however, is not one that Donahue took into account when recruiting the four.
"Not really," Donahue said. "We saw California as a state that has a ton of players, and there's not a lot of great options out there for kids who want good academics and a great league.
"Once we started going in and looking around, I don't necessarily think we even thought about, ‘Hey, they know each other.' Because it's more critical that they fit BC and what we're trying to do. And then the last one was Jordan. And it really had nothing to do with the other guys, it didn't. It's great when it all ends up like that, but that's not how we went about it."
While the four Californians have similar backgrounds, they have distinct personalities on and off the court. Like waves, they come from the same location, but differ in shape and size, and in their style of play.
Anderson describes himself as a "versatile forward," who likes to play inside and out. Standing tall at 6-foot-8, Anderson is not afraid to play off the pick and cites defensive rebounding as an area in which he could improve this year.
Off the court Anderson labels himself as goofy (without hesitation), often cracking jokes, much to the chagrin of his teammates.
"Ryan's a comedian in his own mind," Daniels quipped.
Caudill is an intimidating presence, measuring in at 6-foot-10 and 279 pounds. The Brea native has two distinct personalities: one he brings onto the court, and the other he exudes in everyday settings.
"I'm basically just like a big body," Caudill said of his on-court presence. "I like to get in there and hit people. I can score too, make good post moves."
While Anderson called Caudill an "enforcer," and Caudill himself summed up his game as "painful," his demeanor around campus is quite different. His personality summed up in one word?
"Yours is, like, philosophical," Anderson told Caudill, inciting the laughs of the group.
While his California counterparts partake in their daily Super Smash Bros. games, Caudill can be found with a book in his hands, and he will be the first to admit that.
The 5-foot-8 Daniels may not look like a typical basketball player, but he is able to use his size to his advantage.
"I'm a smaller guy, so I'm not as much of a big body, but my game is more quickness and speed," Daniels said. "I like to get up and down the floor, which my teammates know about me. I like to set people up, but if the defense falls asleep, I can make them pay also."
His character selection in Smash mirrors his style of play: Daniels, who claims to be the champ among the freshmen in the Nintendo 64 game, always plays as Pikachu. Crafty and quick like his video game counterpart, Daniels' agility proves key on the hardwood.
Finally, Jackson sees himself as a "competitor at heart," and a versatile player.
"I like shooting the ball, like a spot-up, hit open shots," Jackson said. "I also like to get into the defense, set up my teammates. I like getting into players on the defensive end. I like just talking on defense and really getting after it on the defensive end. I feel like I'm a defensive player and a shooter."
While Anderson and Caudill chose other characteristics to describe their off-court personality, Daniels and Jackson were not afraid to embrace their inner California stereotypes.
"Yeah, I feel like that's a big stereotype," Jackson said of the laid-back attitude. "Like, John Carney on the team was trying to be like us, he was like, ‘I've got to be more patient.' I feel like that's the California stereotype."
Though it may be a stereotype, the idea of patience and going with the flow will be key for these four California natives. They understand that their success is not going to come overnight, and they are invested in resurrecting the program. Their excitement has been building up for a year, and it is ready to spill onto the court.
"Oh man, we're very excited," Daniels said. "But we've got to take that excitement and turn it into positive energy. You can't be too excited, in the sense when things get hectic, we've just got to be controlled and do things the right way."