While the new California basketball staff has been looking statewide and nationwide for prospects in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes, they are also putting a premium on putting a fence around their own backyard, and on Wednesday, the Bears hosted one of the top young Bay Area ballers in 2017 point guard Damari Milstead.
MIlstead and his father Jules paid a visit to the campus specifically to have a sit-down talk with the staff, and the Cal crew didn't disappoint, with every single coach – from recently-hired strength and conditioning coach Nicodemus Christopher to head man Cuonzo Martin.
"All five of them were in the room, and we talked about what they liked in me, we talked about what I'm looking for in college, we talked about how they want me to come to Cal," Milstead said.
The Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic guard had spoken once before to assistant Tracy Webster, but got a face full of Martin during his trip to Cal, and both he and his father came away impressed.
"They're very down to earth," Milstead said. "They really relate to the kids. I had a conversation with them, and it was very easy to hold a conversation. They talked a lot, and they were very warm.
"Coach Cuonzo Martin, he was telling me that he really emphasizes defense, and that's very important. He also lets kids play. He runs a motion system that runs off of ball screens. The way he was explaining his offense, it's very similar to Moreau's, with a lot of motion and ball screens, so that's very good."
Milstead had been on the Cal campus twice before, once for a team camp a year ago, and once to watch the Bears down then-No. 1 Arizona during the season, but he had never had a long sit-down with the previous staff.
"These guys, they're a little bit more talkative and warm than the other coaching staff," said Milstead, who was recently offered by former Cal assistant and current Montana head coach Travis DeCuire recently. "Both coaching staffs are great coaching staff. This coaching staff talks to you a little bit more, and really reaches out to me."
One coach who also stuck out was Yanni Hufnagel, who, Milstead remarked "has lots of energy, and so does the whole coaching staff."
"He's a great coach," Milstead said. "I talked to him for about 15, 20 minutes. He's great. I really liked him."
Milstead has a busy few weeks ahead, with the Elite 100 camp next week, and the Stanford camp on Saturday. If the Bears go through with their camp in late June, Milstead said that he'll definitely be there.
Milstead Pays a Visit
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