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Tag:California
Posted on: October 17, 2008 7:51 pm
 

California Golden Bears '08-'09 Preview

California Golden Bears


Head Coach: Mike Montgomery
Last Season’s Results: Conf 7-13 (9th), Overall 17-16. Post Season: None.

Roster

Backcourt: Unless Montgomery wants to shake things up, Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Marquise Kately will start this year. Randle, Christopher, and Kately averaged over 10 ppg each while providing 52% of the Bears scoring last season.

Similar to last season, Christopher, Kately, and Randle will likely have relatively similar scoring numbers. Though, it looks as if Patrick Christopher will be t the go-to guy and leading scorer for the team.

Kately will be the lone senior starting for the Gold Bears who feature two seniors, and nine juniors. Their experience should not be underestimated even if they have underperformed in past years.


Frontcourt: Jamal Boykin, Jordan Wilkes  provide the one-two punch for Cal‘s frontcourt. While Boykin is serviceable, he is not a force underneath. Wilkes only received scrub minutes last year, but with  the lack of big men, his role could increase dramatically. The Boykin-Wilkes one-two combo is about as effective as a 5-year-old throwing punches at his dad.

If Wilkes is incapable of performing, or is out performed in the practice, Harper Kamp will take the starting spot.

Bench: D.J. Seeley, Theo Kately, Harper Kamp, Nikola Knezevic

Key Departures: Ryan Anderson  turned pro, while DeVon Hardin and Eric Verneisel graduated. The three players are a huge loss for the Golden Bears as the accounted for 46% of the Bears scoring and 52% of the rebounding. That’s a lot of production to make up for.

Key Recruits:
SG-D.J. Seeley - Seeley has good range and ankle-breaking moves, but he will likely be the sixth man until he can improve his decision making skills. Don’t be surprised if he has a few games where he goes off, and if he can learn to make the smart play he might wind up in the starting lineup by season’s end.

SG-Jorge Gutierrez - He is athletic and quick, but lacks talent and speed on the defensive end. Gutierrez isn’t talented enough to be a star at the D-1 level, but his hustle and energy help him contribute in unmeasured areas.

*Click recruit names with a link for their highlight video.

Strengths: The Bears compile one of the deepest backcourts in the PAC-10 this year. They have a lot of players who have underperformed under the old coach. With Montgomery at the helm, expect a lot of growth. Look for this team to push the tempo and apply a lot of pressure on the perimeter.

Weaknesses: CAL’s losses of Hardin and Verneisel will have a huge impact considering they weren’t able to recruit another big man as a replacement. Jamal Boykin is serviceable at best, but beyond that CAL is in trouble. Montgomery may be forced to experiment with a four-guard lineup due to the lack of post players. Look for teams to exploit CAL’s front court.

Key Dates:
Nov 28 @ UNLV
Jan 17 @ Stanford
Jan 24 vs. Oregon

Outlook: The Golden Bears will be hard pressed with the loss of Ryan Anderson, but should still be more competitive thanks to having Montgomery on the sidelines. CAL will need to force the tempo this year to be competitive. Their depth at guard will allow them to force the tempo and be competitive in a lot of games, but will ultimately be undone by their lack of frontcourt players.  Since this can be considered a transition year for the Golden Bears, as long as they make strides as a team and improve upon their placement in the conference standings it will be considered a successful season.

Projected Finish: Seventh in the PAC-10. No post-season appearance.

Posted on: February 7, 2008 4:23 pm
 

PAC-10 Preview 02/07/2008

Arizona & Arizona State: Rivalry matchup!!! ASU continues to spiral downward, desperately looking for a win. At this point, where they've dropped 5 straight, I think even an emotional win would be warmly welcomed as they try to salvage the rest of their season in anyway possible. They have to travel to Tucson to face the Wildcats, who prior to their matchup with UCLA were the hottest team in the conference shooting over 50% from the field over a 4 game stretch. After being embarrassed on national television Arizona will be looking to make someone pay. They've likely found the next best candidate, to Oregon State, in ASU. Last month it took ASU a come from behind OT to get a meager 5 point win in Tempe without Bayless on the floor for Arizona. I expect to see this one get ugly quick and Arizona will run away with a big win over the stumbling Sun Devils.

California: After coming off a road trip where they swept the Washington schools, CAL has to feel pretty confident as they host the Oregon schools this week. They should make short work of Oregon State on Thursday night before having to face the Ducks on Saturday. The second game of the week will prove to be a high-flyin' uptempo shoot out as CAL and OU are both primarily offense-minded teams. Should be a great matchup, but Oregon has too many weapons to be slowed down. Being the worst defensive team in the conference, CAL better hope for an off night by OU.

Oregon: Coming off a big win against their rivals Oregon has a tough week ahead. They'll have to travel to the Bay area to face Stanford and CAL. Stanford is a clear-cut #2 in the conference, and are a force on both ends of the floor. Oregon is going to have to look to run if they want to win this one. Just like last time they'll have to get the score into the low 70's. The slow-down game will favor Stanford tremendously. They'll go from a tough defeinsive team to facing a great offensive team fueled by Ryan Anderson in CAL. Both games will ultimately come down to Oregon's ability to force the tempo and get a lot of production out of Malik Hairston.

Oregon State: They'll face the Bay area schools this weekend as well while hunting for their first conference win. Doubt they'll get it this weekend. Can't we just replace these guys with the Harlem Globetrotters or something?!

Southern Cal: USC has come to life recently having snapped out of their early conference schedule slump. They should have an easy time with inconsistent, and short handed Washington. The real match-up will be a defensive battle with Washington State. WSU has been struggling lately, so USC has the opportunity to pull off a big upset this week to keep competetive for the #2 spot in the conference. Should be interesting, but it's going to depend on whether or not WSU can snap out of their funk. If they do, USC doesn't stand much of a chance.

Stanford: They'll play host to the Oregon schools this week, and look to win 6 and 7 straight. Stanford is the most consistent team in the conference so far this season, and the only team to notch 5 straight conference wins. They'll be challenged this week by Oregon, who beat them in their previous show down. Stanford will need to slow the game down and force it inside to Brook Lopez. Stanford should continue their winning streak with a sweep this weekend.

UCLA: They made short order of the Arizona schools last week, and they are the standout team in the conference. They'll look to protect their 1 game conference lead as they face off with Washington and Washington State this week. They'll get WSU at a great time because they're looking to rebound from their recent struggles against the rest of the conference. UCLA just needs to continue to play with the desire they've shown the last couple of games and they ought to be fine.

Washington: Their lack of a talented, athletic guard continues to haunt them. Brockman is a true beast inside, but without a guard that can cut to the basket their offense will continue to struggle. I love the match-up of Love vs. Brockman this week, but that's the only area that Washington stands any chance. They'll get torn up by both SoCal schools defenses and won't be able to handle the athleticism of their opponents this week. Not an easy week to face when you're looking at pulling yourself out of the 9th spot in the conference.

Washington State: They've been struggling fiercely lately. Their only win recently is against the hapless Sun Devils which was by the skin of their teeth. Their defense better show up with fury if they want to even stay with seven against the surging UCLA team. WSU needs to at least pick up a split this weekend with USC and UCLA, but with the rising momentum of the SoCal schools, and the recent stumblings of their own it's going to be tough.

The Conference race is really starting to shape up this week. UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, and USC will be looking to extend their seperation from the bottom half of the conference. WSU will look to regain their confidence as they're a shell of their early season demeanor. And everyone else is looking to turn things around in an uphill battle. This week will either provide more seperation in the conference, or muddle everyone together even further... should be interesting!

Posted on: January 20, 2008 11:05 pm
 

PAC-10 Power Rankings - 01/21/2008

1. (+1) WSU (4-1):  Looked impressive coming from behind against Oregon, completely man-handled Oregon State.

2. (-1) UCLA (4-1): That home loss to USC hurts, but they’re still top of the PAC.

3. (+1) Stanford (4-2): They weren’t impressive in either of their wins, but they got the job done and protected their home floor.

4. (+2) UofA (2-3): That road loss to Stanford was close, especially considering how poorly they shot. Put up a great team effort against CAL and showed that they can win on the road even when over-matched down low.

5. (-2) OU (3-3): The loss against WSU was expected, until they started the game 12-2 but couldn’t keep it up. A loss to Washington hurts, even if it is on the road.

6. (+2) USC (2-3): I had a hard time not putting them in the 5 spot because that win over UCLA was impressive. Until they can show that it’s not a one game occurrence they don’t belong in the top half of the conference.

7. (-2) ASU (4-1): Tied for first in the standings, but have gotten there by fortunate timing to face UA and OU, and it took double-overtime to beat CAL, and they were worthless without Pendergraph against Stanford. They began to unravel this week and soon enough will prove that they are the most overrated team in the country.

8. (+1) UW (2-3): Looked impressive holding home court over Oregon by tripping up the streaky Ducks, but they got lucky against Oregon State. Fortunately for them CAL did worse than they did, otherwise they’d still hold the #9 spot.

9. (-2) CAL (2-4): Getting swept by the Arizona schools on their home court is no way to stay competitive in the PAC-10. They’re fighting for one of the last spots in the conference tournament.

10. (0) OSU (0-6): No surprise they lost two more. That game against Washington was a heart breaker. Gives you the idea that at one point they’ll pull of a huge upset in Corvallis.

Previous Week.

Posted on: January 16, 2008 2:21 am
 

Pac-10 Power Rankings: 01/15/08

  1. UCLA - Clearly the favorite to win the PAC-10 this year, and their utter dominance over Washington State makes me wonder if they'll sweep the conference.
  2. Washington State - With only one loss this season, and the great defense this team plays they'll stay right on UCLA's heels. They aren't a team to overpower everyone with their offensive output, but make no mistake about it they won't lose many games this year.
  3. Oregon - They lost to Arizona State, but since then they've put it all together, including a come from behind win against Stanford. They're an extremely high-octane offensive team that likes to get out and run. They're troubles for the season, barring injury.
  4. Stanford - The Lopez twins are an imposing force down low and can carry this team far. Though their guard play outside of Goods leave a lot to be wanted.
  5. Arizona State - Probably over-rated for now because of their fortunate timing for facing Arizona without Bayless and Oregon before they snapped out of their slump. ASU will quickly fall two spots within the next few weeks. They've got a nice trio of Pendergraph, Harden, and Abbot that propel the team. These kids just aren't experienced enough to stay in the top half of the conference for long.
  6. Arizona - The team on the rise in the PAC-10. They've suffered a recent rough spot in their year while dealing with injuries to Bayless and Brielmaier. Bayless is back with a vengeance, and the entire team plays better with him on the floor. They'll face a tough, but winnable matchup this week against Stanford.
  7. California - Present a very balanced attack and can hang with just about anyone. They aren't a dominant team, but they're good enough to keep teams, even UCLA, from running away with the game.
  8. USC - O.J. Mayo may be a future NBA great, but he's not good enough to carry this team to a winning record in the PAC-10. It's going to be a long season for this spot light seeker and his teammates at the bottom of the conference.
  9. Washington - A good team gone bad. For whatever reason these guys still can't get it together. On a positive note they will get their first win this week against Oregon State. Teams need to be careful not to overlook UW because they are still talented team that has known success as recently as last year. If UW can pull it together they can quickly move up a few spots in just weeks.
  10. Oregon State - Do these guys really belong in the PAC-10? For all the other good teams in the conference, Oregon State seems devistatingly out of place. They'd be more at home in a conference like the "Big Sky." They'll be lucky to tally 1 win this year.
 
 
 
 
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