Cal Basketball Video: Paris Austin Says Motivation is High for New Season – Sports Illustrated

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Paris Austin played high school basketball with Ivan Rabb at Oakland powerhouse Bishop O’Dowd.

Rabb came to Cal then made his way to the NBA.

Austin played two seasons at Boise State before finding his way home to join the Golden Bears.

This couldn’t have been what Austin had in mind. The Bears were 8-24 in 2017-18 as he redshirted per NCAA transfer rules, then went 9-23 last season in Austin’s first season of eligibility.

Austin averaged 11.6 points and posted a career-best 4.3 assists. But Cal won just three Pac-12 games, leading to the ouster of second-year coach Wyking Jones.

Enter new coach Mark Fox and his staff, and six new players.

Three veterans — Justice Sueing, Darius McNeill and Connor Vanover — transferred to new schools.

Austin remained at Cal, joined by five other holdovers. He is home and he wasn’t going anywhere.

At Pac-12 media day, Austin talked about the motivation he and his teammates are carrying into the new season.

“Our motivation comes from within each individual,” he said. “Being underdogs, we all have something to prove.

“The goal is always to win, and I don’t think it changes.”

Cal opens its season Wednesday, Oct. 30 at home with an exhibition game against St. Martin’s of Washington.

The Bears then dive into their non-conference schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 5 against Pepperdine.

The pre-conference schedule is plenty challenging, with home games against UNLV, Fresno State and Saint Mary’s, which is expected to earn a preseason Top-25 ranking. 

The Bears trek across the Bay Area for games against Santa Clara and USF in early December, and will face their most severe test on Nov. 21 at Madison Square Garden against Duke in the 2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.

Cal then faces either Texas or Georgetown the next night as the event concludes.

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