by Morris Phillips and Michael Duca
BERKELEY–When Cal had to play Washington State at Pullman last Wednesday for a four point 80-76 win over the Cougars it was not an easy win. They had to fly and drive through some tough weather to get to Washington State and take the long bus ride from the Spokane airport to get there. Richard Solomon in that game had 12 points and nine rebouds to help lead the Golden Bears to the win.
Cal has such a balanced team that it’s hard to point to any one guy, but if you did its the Bears Justin Cobbs he’s a senior he’s moving up the all time scoring list at Cal. Solomon has been a barometer when they beat number one Arizona at Cal when they pulled off the big upset. Cobbs was 6-6 and four nights after that against Stanford he goes 0-6 and they lose. So here’s somebody that is a barometer of winning and losing.
The game against Washington State Cobbs had a fine game, the Bears hurt the Cougars in Pullman with the inside production Cobbs and David Kravish had big games. The Bears went onto Seattle and deomoed the Washington Huskies 72-59 and the Bears who were not playing consistent basketball when they lost games to teams like Arizona State and Stanford and turned it around and won both games in Washington is consistent basketball.
The wins comes on the heels of the four loses in five games and luckily the team has done enough so their in the picture. The Bears are in the hunt for a post season bid, an NCAA bid, if they continue to play well they’ve got six games left and they’ve been anything but consistent but if they can win down the stretch four out of six they should have an NCAA bid waiting for them.
From the coaching aspect Cal head coach Mike Montgomery has got his team to respond and if anything a kid would criticize that he’s serious all the time but that’s his job. Montgomery is a guy whose suppose to provide leadership and the team spirit at half time when he speaks to the players at half time. He expects the guys to come out and respond.
They follow the scouting reports which are always detailed and most of the time it works out and in this particular case the trip to Washington was sparked by the end of half runs. 19-2 against Washington on Saturday and then 14-2 against Washington State on Wednesday.
Right before half time the Bears were able to make up some deficits and take some leads to the half so if it’s before half time or after half time coach Montgomery gets his players to respond. Right now the Bears have to keep winning and if they want a post season bid they’ve got to keep winning. Cal has enough marquee wins so UCLA steps right out and facing them this Wednesday at Haas and should give Cal a chance to get a marquee win.
Michael Duca and Morris Phillips are filling in for Michelle Richardson this week for the NCAA commentary both also cover the Cal Bears