First day of Cal basketball practice features several positional batles

BERKELEY -- California head coach Cuonzo Martin talks about his two new point guards and the competition for playing time at the other post spot, opposite Ivan Rabb.

BERKELEY -- California head coach Cuonzo Martin has quite a conundrum on his hands, when it comes to the post. At the four, one of the top players -- regardless of position -- in the nation, Ivan Rabb, is set to compete for Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, while the other -- the true center -- is perhaps still a bit up in the air.

On the one hand, Kingsley Okoroh is an elite shot blocker, with 33 total stops (second on the team) and averaged 1.1 block per game. Though he shot 60.6% from the floor, the 7-foot-2 center from Great Britain was very much a work-in-progress on offense, turning the ball over 19 times. Okoroh is expected to take a big leap this year by some pundits

On the other hand is Kameron Rooks, who started 10 games last year, and came into his own over the final third of the season. Over the final 12 games before the start of the NCAA Tournament, Rooks averaged 6.7 rebounds, 4.8 points and 0.91 block per game, well above his season averages of 4.9, 3.6 and 0.8. Rooks is cited by CBS Sports as being a player who should break out in a big way in 2016-17, which would be a big lift for the seven-footer, after his father passed away suddenly this summer.

Also up for grabs is the point guard spot vacated by NBA Draft pick Tyrone Wallace, who has spent time around the program over the offseason, and with possible heir Sam Singer. Singer filled in ably for Wallace during his lengthy absence -- missing nearly a month in 2016 -- and said he's worked harder this summer than he has in his entire career.

He'll have to contend with freshman Charlie Moore out of Chicago (Ill.) Morgan Park, who's speed and quickness have been drawing rave reviews from those who have seen offseason workouts.

Martin said that it's not out of the question for Singer, Moore, and graduate transfer Grant Mullins to be on the floor at the same time. Mullins can run the point, as well as provide an option off the ball in the back court.

null Top Stories