Everyone seems to have a moment or two in their lives that comes full circle. That happened to former UC Riverside center Callum McRae over the last couple of weeks. After putting his name in the transfer portal, he will be taking his talents to Sacramento State. The head coach of that program was the same one he committed to in his first recruitment, David Patrick.
“I know exactly what I’m going to get, and he knows exactly what he’s going to get from me,” McRae told The Portal Report, “I just think that we can help each other be successful.”
They were successful in the one season that Patrick was his head coach, tying the school record for wins in a division 1 season. A young McRae was a key piece to that team, scoring 7.6 points and picking up 4.8 rebounds per game in just under 20 minutes per game.
Then COVID happened and Patrick would move on to become an assistant at Oklahoma. McRae stayed in California, playing under one of Patrick’s assistants in Mike Magpayo. He only continued to grow, especially on the defensive end.
“I have nothing but respect for UC Riverside and Coach Magpayo,” McRae said, “That’s something (defense) that I’ve been working on every day.”
During his first season, he averaged 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. After coming back from an injury in 2020-21, he averaged 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game, finishing 86th in the country in defensive rating.
Coach Patrick might not be playing but he worked on his defense too. During his first season at Riverside, his team was ranked 331st in the country in defensive efficiency. He would instantly up that to 118 in his second season. In his two years as an assistant coach, those numbers moved to 51st and 11th in the country. With 7-1 McRae and 6-9 Hunter Marks coming in, you have to think those numbers will stay around there.
McRae believes so, choosing Patrick’s program over the likes of Missouri, Washington State, and Wisconsin.
It all comes down to relationships and that initial relationship at UCR has carried into an absolute steal at Sac State.