Big game tonight at Haas. After splitting two games up in Oregon, Cal returns home to take on the newcomers to the Pac-12. Tonight we have Colorado and then Utah during the weekend. So, to help learn more about the Buffs, we talked with the people over at Ralphie Report.
Cal needs each and every win it can get in the Pac-12 this year. Due to a weak Pac-12 and a lack of notable OOC wins for Cal, we're fighting on the bubble from almost the start! The Pac-12 Champ doesn't look to be getting a great seed this year and there might not be too many Pac-12 teams in the tourney. This means that Cal needs to win this one more than ever.
They were happy enough to answer a bunch of questions for us about their team. Their answers are after the jump. And our answers to their questions are found here. Thanks to Jon Woods at Ralphie Report! Good luck to the Bears tonight. GO BEARS!
1. What Colorado player on offense should Cal fans be afraid of?
Senior Carlon Brown (transferred from Utah a year ago) had a bit of a swoon in non-conference play, but he has really turned up his game now that the Pac-12 schedule has begun. He was named the Pac-12's Player of the Week last week thanks to 18 and 28 against the Washington schools and prior to that he contributed 10 points in only 24 minutes against the Utes. He seems to be getting better and more confident over the last few games and his play and experience will be a huge factor in Berkeley.
2. What Colorado player on defense should Cal fans be afraid of?
The team has been playing very well on the defensive end of the ball over the last month or so, but we haven't seen what they will do away from home in conference play yet. Andre Roberson can dominate the boards on both ends of the court and helps the Buffs not allow a whole lot of second chance points. If Cal isn't shooting the ball well, he becomes an even bigger factor.
3. What are Colorado MBB fans' views on the move to the Pac-12?
We love it. For us, it's almost a good thing that the conference is having a down year. It is allowing the Buffs to stay very competitive and hopefully will enable the team to stay near the top of the rankings. The better the perception is of the Colorado basketball program in this first season, the better Tad Boyle and his staff will be able to tap into California, Arizona and Northwest for recruiting purposes. I personally, love the scheduling. It's great to keep the trips grouped like they are and it's easy to know who is playing who each week.
4. Andre Roberson isn't particularly tall - what makes him such an effective rebounder?
His number one asset (in terms of rebounding) is probably his length, but Roberson is a student of the game who seems to understand the fundamentals of rebounding better than most. He is excellent at boxing out and he's very good at tipping the ball if it's in a location where he can't get both hands on it. Like any good rebounder, he always hustles when the ball is in the air and puts himself in position to make a play on the ball.
5. Colorado this year is starting to remind me of Cal last year - a rebuilding team that is much more competitive than anybody expected. What has happened to seemingly accelerate the Buff rebuild?
The Buffaloes have a great a mix of senior leadership from Carlon Brown, Austin Dufault and Nate Tomlinson and youthful energy and talent from sophomore Andre Roberson and freshmen Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker. This team has had to learn how to score after the losses of Alec Burks and Cory Higgins to the NBA and graduation respectively, but Tad Boyle has done a great job of leading them to get better from game to game.
6. Predict A Score. Show your work!
While I think this Colorado squad will be improved over last season's this is still a team that will struggle at times away from Boulder. The road wins will come, but I don't see it coming against a Cal team that should still be the favorite to win the Pac-12. Cal 62 - CU 56