Just as the optimism and buzz surrounding Cal basketball was beginning to build up as the season quickly approaches, we have some bad news. As many of you have probably heard, Missouri transfer and projected Golden Bear starter, sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow, underwent surgery on his right foot to treat a stress reaction and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
So how does this affect Cal's projected lineup? It appears as though Mike Montgomery will either start senior Brandon Smith at the PG position and slide Justin Cobbs over, or start freshman guard Tyrone Wallace. Either way, the Bears will be putting out two players capable of running the point on the floor at one time, an interesting situation.
The injury results in some undeniable question marks in the Golden Bear backcourt. While Smith showed two seasons ago that he is capable of solid play as a floor general, his performance really declined last season. Wallace is undoubtedly a talented young player, but he is an unknown at the college level. Kreklow has size and shooting ability that Smith and Wallace both lack, and appeared to be ready to take the reins from Jorge Gutierrez as the next great hustle player in the blue and gold.
Looking for some silver lining? If Kreklow's recovery follows its predictable timeline, he should be more than ready to play major minutes by the beginning of the conference slate. If Smith and/or Wallace prove to be solid contributors, Mike Montgomery will find himself with some nice depth in his backcourt once Kreklow returns.