Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham point guard Deschon Winston has committed to Cal

Wyking Jones has landed his first commitment as Cal head coach, with Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham point guard Deschon Winston pulling the trigger.

New California head men's basketball coach Wyking Jones got his first commit on the job on Wednesday, mere hours after he extended a scholarship offer to 2017 Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham point guard Deschon Winston.

"He's got to call Wyking and tell him he's going to take it, but the offer was made today, and he's going to commit to Cal," said Laurian Watkins, Deschon's step-father.

Winston fills an immediate need for the Bears, who lost backup point guard Sam Singer to graduation, and starting point guard, freshman Charlie Moore, who decided to transfer to Kansas, in order to be closer to his ailing father in his hometown of Chicago. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Winston averaged 17.6 points this season for the Patriots, pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game, and dishing out 3.8 assists while adding 2.2 steals.

"He pretty much can do it all," said Birmingham head coach Nick Halic. "He can score the ball, he's a very good ball handler, he's very intelligent. He's a really smart player, and he's going to be able to do pretty much whatever coach Jones asks him."

Jones has had his eye on Winston since a breakout January performance against Northridge (Calif.) Heritage Christian, when Winston poured in 43 points on 17-of-22 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three-point range.

"Coach Jones contacted me about him earlier in the year, when we were playing against Heritage Christian," Halic said. "It was a showcase game at Redondo, and Deschon had 43 points, and an efficient 43. It was an amazing game for him, and he contacted us after that. He was around for a while, so I'm just really happy for him. I'm excited for him, and I'm excited for coach Jones.

"He can score at all three levels. He can get to the rim, he's got a great pull-up, mid-range game, and he can shoot the three. You're getting a kid who can provide what you need. Since he's been here, our program's completely turned around. He's definitely been a big, key part of that. He's got great leadership skills, he's a great student. He's going to be a great guy to have on a team, to have in the program, especially during a time of transition, like they're going to go through. Overall, he can really fill it up. He can score it."

Winston's 43-point game isn't the only difference-making performance he's had. Halic cited Winston's 19-point game against La Verne (Calif.) Damien in the first round of the Open Division state playoffs in 2016, when he helped the Patriots to an 81-78 win as another of Winston's signature moments.

"He shot lights-out, and attacked the rim," Halic said. "He does what we need him to do. Whatever we needed him to do that game, for us to win, he did it. That's what's most important."

Winston was about to take trips to Princeton and Dartmouth (he has a current grade point average of 4.0 this year), but instead took the offer extended by Jones on Wednesday. He's also taken junior college courses, so he'll come in with college credits already under his belt.

"Cal's closer, it's a quality education, so we liked Cal all along," Watkins said. "We liked Cal all along. Juhwan Harris-Dyson is one of his closest friends. They went to school together in ninth grade, so it ended up being a good situation."

Winston is a teammate of Devonaire Doutrive, a 2018 Cal target. Top Stories