Will Allen Crabbe lead the Bears to an opener win? - Jeff Gross
And so it begins. The MBB season officially kick off later today against the visiting Cal State Bakersfield. Here is a quick look at both team. Are the Bears smarter than Wile E Coyote and capable of catching the Roadrunners?
When and where: 7 PM PT at Haas Pavilion (pretty sure there are still greatly discounted tickets available)
On TV: Pac-12 Networks (JB Long on the play by play, Ernie Kent with the analysis)
The bad thing about doing a preview for the season opener is that there are no stats to back anything up.
The 2012 Cal Bears:
In short, despite losing Jorge and Harper to graduation, the Bears returned an experience team lead by Wooden Award watch list entrant SG/SF Allen Crabbe and PG Justin Cobbs. Bears did win the exhibition game over San Francisco State 89-80 earlier in the week.
The big news out of that game was the injury to senior PG Brandon Smith. Smith is listed as being day-to-day with a left shoulder injury but the Cal Basketball beat writer Jeff Farudo's guess is that he will not play.
Some insight into the rotation can be gleamed from the exhibition box score (this game was not televised so tonight will be my first view of the team this season). Only 7 Bears recorded double digit in minutes: led by 34 minutes for Justin Cobbs and 33 minutes for David Kravish. One can argue also that senior PF/C Robert Thurman only got 13 minutes due to the foul trouble of Richard Solomon (fouled out in 23 minutes). So the lineup for the Bears this season may again be a very short rotation consisting of the starting five (Crabbe, Cobbs, Solomon, Kravish, and Smith) followed by the freshman Tyrone Wallace (19 minutes in the exhibition), at least until transfer sophomore Ricky Kreklow is healthy.
About the CSUB Roadrunners:
The Roadrunners are currently an independent school that is awaiting to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) next year. The Runners did make a post season last year in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (this is the first time that I have heard of this tournament which is of course not the NCAA or the NIT, nor is it the third tier CBI which has saw quite a bit of Pac-12 dominance with Wazzu finished as the runner up) after posting a 16-15 record. CSUB is coached by Rod Barnes in his second season with the school. This will actually be the 2nd regular season game for the Runners as they dropped a 62-60 decision at home to UT Arlington where they shot a terrible 26% from the field.
Series: Not much history between the two schools. Bears won 91-75 in the 77-78 season when CSUB was still in Division II.
Potential Starting Lineup:
Stephon Carter (359 points from the CSUB all time point record)
See you back here at 7 PM for the game. GO BEARS!