Cal Men's Basketball vs. the Humboldt State Lumberjacks Preview and Open Thread

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For most years, this is the worst so-called holiday in the history of mankind. But instead of sensationalizing diabetic comas and all manner of poor choices, this year is different. Tonight, we celebrate the return of Cal men's basketball. I cannot confirm nor deny rumors that Monty and his staff are dressing up as the scariest of horrors: the Cal offensive line.(too soon?)

The game will be streamed live at pac-12.com!

The Humboldt State Lumberjacks are in town and they're okay. In the past two seasons, Coach Kinder has gone 26-4 and 22-8. This includes a regular season CCAA title, a CCAA tournament title, and back to back NCAA Div-II tournament berths.

However, this season it's practically a whole new team with only six players returning from last year's roster. To re-load, Coach Kinder has brought in four JC transfers, two of whom have had experience playing for Div-I programs.

Projected Starters:

F Alec Williams(Sr), 6'7, 250 lbs
F Darren Turpin(Sr), 6'4, 205 lbs
F Deaudray Robinson(Jr), 6'5, 185 lbs
G Allen Guei(Jr), 5'9, 163 lbs
G Cody Kale(Jr), 6'3, 190 lbs

Bench

G Ethan Dillard(So), 6'4, 195 lbs
G Nathan Hentley(So), 6'1, 170 lbs
F Andrew Torres(So), 6'4, 205 lbs
C Greg Leslie(Jr), 6'9, 235 lbs
G Austin Bryan(Jr), 6'4, 200 lbs (*knee injury*)
G Jordan Mackie(Fr), 6'6, 190 lbs

Their best returning player, Austin Bryan, is still recovering from a knee injury. Guard Allen Guei has experience playing at CS-Northridge while forward Alec Williams is a former part-time starter from San Diego State. Deaudray Robinson is a defense and rebounding specialist from Yuba City College. Cody Kale was 2nd time all JC last season. Soph Ethan Dillard is one of their top returning three point specialists from last year.

The Lumberjacks are known for their full-court press and like to push the ball whenever possible. This frenetic style could actually suit Cal's athletic newcomers very well. I'd expect both coaches to go deep into their benches for this one. Although Cobbs and Kreklow have been practicing without limitations, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Monty limit their minutes. It'll be a good test for our young backup point guards, Wallace and Singer, to see if their handles will hold up in the face of Humboldt State's press. If our guys can make good decisions, this one could be high-scoring and involve plenty of dunk opportunities.

Reader Boggb sums up the questions facing our Golden Bears better than I could:

-Can Cobbs come back 100%?
-Can Kreklow's foot hold up?
-Can Wallace improve his shot to at least not be an offensive liability? (He could alternatively decrease his shots from 3rd most on the team to the least of the starters.)
-Can Kravish and Solomon build on or at least continue their improved play down the stretch of last season?
-Can another big man step up to provide depth and allow Monty to play small for strategic rather than personnel reasons?
-Will the freshman live up to the hype and be solid contributors?
-Can Cal's offense generate enough of a 3-point threat to keep the other team honest defensively?
If the answer to a majority of those questions is yes, then this could be a special season. (Actually getting out of the first weekend of the tournament)

There's no television or radio coverage listed for this exhibition. However, there might be some twitter updates. Use the comments as your open thread and please post updates when you see them.

Go Bears!

CGB's MBB Preview Series:
The Bigs
The Wings
The Guards

More from California Golden Blogs:


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