This season has gone about as I expected. Next season the Bears could very well be an NCAA type team but will need a couple of things to happen for that to be realistic. First off Cobbs must be able to run the team. Brandon Smith is a nice player, but lacks the playmaking ability a good team needs from its PG. He a steward type player. He will be steady and play hard but good teams get plays from their PG. Cobbs must be able to do that.
Richard Soloman looks like he will be the starter next season taking over MSF. He will need to make big improvements. He is a good athlete and has some length, but will need to become a consistent 10 to12 pt 7 rebound type guy. Crabbe, Kamp and Jorge will make up a strong trio but those other 2 spots need solid play.
Soloman and Cobbs have the ability to be good players next season. It simply must happen. If it does the Bears could be good. Smith, Bak, Murray and even Powers should be a decent bench. But Cobbs and Soloman are the guys the Bears will need to become difference making players. I am hopeful the Bears can add depth with recruiting this Spring, but really the answer for next year falls on Soloman and Cobbs.
Monty is an excellent coach and really knows what players need to work on to make an impact. The team could be pretty good next year. How good IMO will be how good Soloman and Cobbs become. If the answer is positive the team will be a NCAA team and a strong upper division team with an outside shot at challenging for the championship again.
as much as i have been disappointed by smith at times this year, it's hard to discount how much he's improved. If he improves as much as he did this year, next year, then we will contend for the conference championship. As far as Solomon goes, he's probably avging more pts/blks per mins played compared to MSG, so 12/7 next year will be a shoe inif he starts. This was our reloading year....and we know we have good bullets to work with. Imagine if Zhang came back, much improved.......the possibilities would be endless
Don't get too caught up in per-minute stats or assume that anyone is an automatic 12/7. Richard certainly has the potential to do that, but we're going to miss Sanders-Frison's toughness on offense and defense - he doesn't back down from anyone. Solomon is going to have to get stronger and learn how to keep opposing players off the block, and work hard for 30 minutes plus rather than 15.
Originally Posted by sheki
It's a bit unfair to put next year's success all on two guys. Good performance by Cobbs and Solomon would be a boost, no doubt, but it's as important to have the depth to put together a good rotation with good backups for every position. As things stand right now we don't have that inside unless a freshman steps up. That's about my only concern.
Still, I'm pretty optimistic. I expect Crabbe to be improved, the PG spot to be more solid if for no other reason than depth, Kamp to be steady, Jorge to be Jorge, and I also expect our outside shooting to be much better.
True Blue Golden Bear
We need muscle in the post. Otherwise we cannot compete with the big boys.
True Blue Golden Bear
Count me in with you bluesaxe. 12/7 would be great from Solomon next year, but it is unlikely and not needed for Cal to be a solid tourney team next year. At least that much will be needed from Solomon plus Bak though. A post rotation of Kamp, Solomon and Bak will be one of the better ones in the league next year.
i second your motion. big post man needed. will take a dead eye shooter also.
True Blue Golden Bear
[QUOTE=6956bear;475606]This season has gone about as I expected...../QUOTE]
Until Crabbe pulled up lame, this team far exceeded any expectations I had. As much as I detested Franklin's game from minute one of his first game, I had no idea that unplugging him from the machine would so intensely solidify team spirit and accelerate Crabbe towards his potential so rapidly. Very easy team to route for.
I expected Crabbe to be this good. I expected Kamp and MSF to be pretty solid. I knew Jorge would make clutch plays. I was concerned about depth and PG play. Smith while much improved is not a great athlete or playmaker. Soloman has been about what I thought. I was hoping for more from Murray and Bak. Monty is a terrific college coach. He gets the most out of teams and players. This team is limited, but plays hard and smart mostly.
The Pac 10 is still down as a league, so the Bears can compete each and every game. It is interesting to note that this team has only 1 real upset to their credit. Temple. USC on the road maybe, but otherwise they have beaten those they should and lost to those they should. If that continues the Bears finish 9-9 in conference and 16-14 overall. That will equate to a NIT bid. About where this teams belongs.
Next year there will be better depth, but without MSF I expect there will be another shift as far as style of play. Having two low post threats this year can't be discounted when assessing how this team has exceeded expectations on offense. MSF has had a big impact on post production, ball movement, and open looks for Jorge and Crabbe. While Solomon and Bak can impact the game in some ways that MSF can't, Monty no doubt will have to adjust his schemes, and perhaps more in the direction of 09-10.
It's not that Bak/Solomon can't reproduce MSF's production, but neither are likely to open things up on the perimeter the way MSF does now. MSF is also an underrated passer and has had a beneficial effect on overall ball movement -- his strength allows him to kick out/reverse the ball even when off-balance. He has a good feel for team defense principles and is a good communicator/leader on the defensive end.
Richard can get there, but he's got a ways to go before he has MSF's feel for the game on both ends of the court. Some of it is the lack of experience. We'll see...with more work in the weight room and work on his game over the summer Richard could make a big leap.
Braeden Anderson, if he comes, sounds like he has the athleticism to possibly defend multiple positions, including opposing small forwards, but from what little I've seen and read it seems his skill level needs a lot of development. Still, he could be an Amoke-like (though taller) rebounder and defender.
Cal's team defense has statistically not been very good in Pac-10 play. Lots of factors there -- lack of depth, the shift to zone, and some strong individual efforts by opponents. That will need to improve. Jorge and Kamp are already there, but I think Cobbs, Crabbe (soph), and Solomon (soph) should be an upgrade over Smith, Crabbe (fr), and Solomon (fr).
Last edited by smokeyrover; 02-13-2011 at 10:15 AM.
there have been several pleasant surprises:
I expected Harper to be solid, but after his injuries, I wasn't necessarily expecting the kind of offensive and rebounding production we have gotten.
Similarly, I have always loved Jorge's game, but his offensive improvement both in finishing in the lane and shooting the 3 has been surprising to me.
Smith, while never more than a serviceable pg has been solid.
For next year: to compete for the Pac-10 title, we need:
Solomon to really hit the weight room. He also needs to improve his FT shooting. He's going to get to the line a lot, and 50% is disastrous.
Rossi to be the outside shooter he's been advertised as.
Cobb to be the pg we need.
We're still going to struggle against very athletic teams, but with Monty's defense and the above improvements, we can hold our own.
We have one.....
Rossi's role on the team will be to knock down 3's...he was one of the best Shooters in the class of 2010. I'm guessing he'll be the main back up for Jorge and Crabbe next year with Smith backing up Cobbs.
Originally Posted by calgo430
I'll be shocked if Solomon doesn't start next year with Anderson being the wild card for some serious minutes (if we get him). Nothing I've seen or heard about Kravish says that he'll contribute a ton next year.....I hope I'm wrong on that.
Originally Posted by UrsaMajor
I couldn't agree more with everything you said. IMHO this assessment is dead on about next yearís team and about the surprises from this year (Jorge's O and Kampís overall play).
We have to get a JC Center (or European) to fill the void or else next year will be only marginally better than this. Big centers just kill us.
I thought Kamp would be solid coming back. I had no idea he would be this good. With his work and Jorge's work ethic those 2 could be two of the best in the league next year!!! That is a huge starting point.
Smith continues to improve and has played very solidly this season. If Cobbs is better then we are looking good there. Crabbe coming off of a freshman of the year season should continue to move forward in his development, I would think. PG, Jorge, Crabbe and Kamp? Four positions pretty well handled. Bulk in the low post is a bit of a worry. Powers will be very interesting to watch develop as will Murray.
I don't understand why people think we need huge size next season. Williams and MBA are both leaving. Cal has shown they can handle Nelson, Vucevic, and Casto pretty well. The X-factor is Powell at the Farm, and if Smith at UCLA can get it together.
But Cal should compete with every team.