Dec. 8, 1999
BERKELEY, CA - Brian Wethers, a 6-5, 205 pound freshman guard from Murietta, CA, is one of five Cal freshmen who will be a key to a successful 1999-00 season for the Bears. Below is a question and answer session with one of coach Ben Braun's top newcomers.
What attracted you to Cal after being recruited by the likes of Michigan, USC, Clemson and Notre Dame?
"I think it was the overall package that Cal had to offer. I was very pleased with the coaching staff, the players I would be playing with and the fact that I got to come in with two guys who I have been playing with for so long, Shantay Legans and Nick Vander Laan. And, it is close enough to home that I knew I would have family close by. It just felt comfortable and I know that the education I'm going to get here is definitely going to be worth something in the future."
"No, not really. I knew walking in here we would be a hard working program and we were going to be young. I think we are getting the results we were looking for. We worked pretty hard in the off-season. I really haven't had any surprises, but it is still kind of a shock to me because I am a freshman and it is all pretty new. I actually anticipated school to be a little more difficult than it is. I have found that as long as you stay on track and use your time wisely, it is not really that hard. When you have something assigned to you, you have to get it done. I am enjoying my classes, it is a lot different than high school, they let you explore a lot more things and I'm having a good time with that."
You mentioned playing together with Shantay Legans and Nick Vander Laan with the Los Angeles Rockfish AAU team for the past three summers. Is that a reason why you look so comfortable playing together?
"It is just that much easier with all the workouts, practices and game situations we have been through. Being on the road together we have a good feeling about who we are as people and when we bring that to the court with us, it makes it that much easier for us to kind of settle in. Besides them (Shantay and Nick) being outstanding players, they are also good friends on mine. So, it made it a lot much more comfortable for all of us to walk in to that type of situation.
Have you enjoyed playing at Haas Pavilion? Was it a factor in you coming to Cal?
"It wasn't a huge factor, but I do consider it a plus. It is a brand new facility and we are the first class to be able to open up and play in it. It is beautiful. It gets loud in there and we have great crowd support. I just consider it a huge plus. It definitely has been fun.
It has to be fun to play on a team, as a freshman, that utilizes such a large group of freshmen?
"We know now that since we are such a young team, that if we have success early, we will continue to have success later on. This is going to help us down the road. No matter how far we get this year, we just want to compete hard in every game. And, down the line we will be that team that will be in the Final Four and contending for a national championship. So, as long as we work hard, listen to what the coaches have to say and have a strong work ethic, we'll be okay."