LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: Richard Solomon #25 of the California Golden Bears lays the ball up in front of Marcus Simmons #43 of the USC Trojans in the first half of the quarterfinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
When it rains, it pours.
Coach Montgomery in a statement, "Academics are a priority, we hope that Richard can get his grades right, & rejoin the team, next year."— John Breech (@johnbreech) January 18, 2012
Solomon out means that Cal will have to rely on a big man rotation of Harper Kamp, David Kravish, Robert Thurman and Bak Bak the rest of the season. Only Thurman is a true center, which means Kamp and Kravish will have to be relied on more heavily than ever. They're warriors, but they're going to wear down now, just like every Monty team with a short rotation has done the past three years.
This is a real disappointment. Solomon was needed for Cal, and his absence is a huge loss, particularly against Pac-12 teams with true centers. His rebounding on both sides of the court, his ability to get to the free throw line, his improved defense, all of this made us a dynamo team that could have really made us a tough team to go against. We're still tough (we've proven we can play without him), but it's going to be hard to expect consistent effort from our team game in, game out. It'll tax every one of our starting players.
Here's hoping Jorge, Allen, Justin, Harper and David use this as a rallying cry. And here's hoping some of our bench players can step up and meet the challenge, because we need all of them now.
The good news? We can still win the Pac-12. It's just going to get a lot tougher.