Cal men's basketball: What are the positives from Coppin State?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have a lot to look forward to this season on the hardwood, with Jabari Bird and Tyrone Wallace joining Justin Cobbs to form a lethal backcourt.

What were the biggest positives to take from Cal's victory over Coppin State?

Ruey Yen: Tyrone Wallace's play was the biggest bright spot. You also hope for players to improve during the offseason and it did appear that Wallace improved his shooting after one game (small sample size alert). Ricky Kreklow and freshman Jabari Bird also knocked down a couple of 3's each, so maybe we do have some okay outside shooting this year. Although fellow freshman Jordan Mathews did not shoot particularly well (only 1 for 5 from 3 point land), he did appear to be a bona fide rotation player this year. I don't think we will have the 3 point drought spanning multiple weeks this year like the last.

atomsareenough: The biggest positives for me, besides the fact that basketball season is here and it's something nicer to think about, were the emergence of Tyrone Wallace, and the fact that this team seems like the deepest and most balanced Cal team in a long time. First of all, Ty was fantastic. He was already a good athlete, but he's gotten bigger and stronger, his shooting seems improved, he consistently plays great defense, and he can distribute the ball well too. He seems like the total package. I don't think he's going to shoot close to 50% from 3-point range all year as he did against Coppin State, but if he picks his perimeter shots carefully and hits a decent percentage, along with his ability to drive to the basket, he will be incredibly valuable for us.

Jabari Bird also showed flashes of his immense talent, but he wasn't quite as composed and steady yet, which was understandable in his first official collegiate game. It was quite apparent though that Jabari is incredibly athletic, and he flew around a lot trying to grab rebounds, drive to the basket, and block shots. He needlessly collided with Coppin State players a couple of times trying to do too much I think, and wasn't always focused on the defensive end of the floor, but you can clearly see why he was such a heralded recruit. He has a nice jumper and can really elevate above smaller players to get an open look.

Anyway, those guys, along with the two seniors Cobbs and Solomon, give us 4 very good, potentially all-conference kind of talents. I also think Kravish, Mathews, Kreklow, and Singer (though he didn't play much) can be quite solid role players this year as well. That's 8 guys who should see plenty of time in the rotation, which is a luxury Cal hasn't had in many years.


Avinash Kunnath: I liked the fact that Justin Cobbs racked up 16 and 6 and it's about the fourth or fifth biggest positive we're talking about because of how strong many of our other contributors played. Cobbs (and the departed Crabbe) were practically the lone constants left from last season, and he often had to play 2-on-5 for long stretches. This year he won't be asked to shoulder such a load, which I think will improve his overall efficiency and help the team move better offensively.

With the talent we have in our top seven, Cal should go through plenty of blowouts. Monty can go deep into his rotation and play guys like Singer, Rooks and Moute a lot in non-conference play and get them some seasoning; we'll probably need a few contributions from them down the line so hopefully we can do some good things.

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