Cal basketball: Who is our most important contributor?

It's not James Harden. - Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Finishing up our non-conference schedule, which player do you think has been the most important or largest contributor?

Vlad Belo: There are multiple players who could fit this description, but I'll go with Richard Solomon. Solo is averaging a double double. And we were shown how important he was when he was absent for those two games in Maui. We could have used his presence.

TwistNHook: I would have to agree regarding Tricky Dick Solo. Cal has always struggled with its inside presence ever since Leon Powe left lo those many years ago. Solomon was to be the guy. He's shown flashes in the past, but never been truly consistent. It appears like he's rounding into form this year, which is great! Plus, as Vlad Belo noted, when we didn't have him in Maui, this team seemed totally different.

Ruey Yen: Given the lack of depth (ugh, this again) for Cal Men's Basketball, everybody in the rotation is very very important for the team's success. Bears have only have 7 players averaging 10+ minutes per game (and they have all averaged at least 15+), and can't really afford to have anyone out (like during the Maui Invitational). Of course, the Bears are the thinnest in the middle with two great bigs in David Kravish and Richard Solomon, follow by a work in progress (but better than what I would have expected) Kameron Rooks.

While the big guys are going to be key for the Bears in many games, I would argue that an even more important contribution for the Bears' upcoming conference success would be the 3 point shooting from Jabari Bird and Ricky Kreklow. Currently, both of those guys are hitting 3's at an about 39% rate. Since Bird is a freshmen and Kreklow has been hurt, this is their first showcase of what they can do for the Bears. Despite last year's success and a similar lack of bigs, the Bears were not a good (or even great) 3 point shooting team (remember that long 3 point shooting drought around this time last year that included the home loss to Harvard?). To potentially pull off another upset of Arizona or another really solid teams (plenty of them in the Pac this year, on paper), the Bears would likely need the outside game to carry them.

LeonPowe: This is where I differ from my -esteemed- fellow nerds and disagree. Well, slightly. Richard Solomon has been our largest contributor - with his improved post game, and increasing consistency, both he and Kravish have solidified a front line which is capable of dominating opponents (but for the depth . . . ) however, my disagreement is this - our most important contributor will be Justin Cobbs. Cobbs is the engine which makes Cal go - and he will determine how far we go in the Pac-12 and in any post-season tournament in which we might find ourselves.

Sam Fielder: While not the flashiest, most athletic, or highly heralded, I'd say that David Kravish has been the largest contributor. Solomon may be more important as far as how far this team goes, and Cobbs may be the unquestioned leader, but when looking at the stats, Kravish has done a remarkable job at putting himself near the top of most of the columns. He's averaging 30 minutes a game while scoring over 12 points per game. He's averaged 8.7 rebounds per game and has 2 blocks per game while shooting 58% from the field and 85% from the free throw line. He's been solid in each game and you pretty much know what you're getting from him at this point.

Nick Kranz: How dare some of you try to take over my presidency of the Richard Solomon fan club! USURPERS!

Honestly, what has been impressive this year is the balance on offense. We've talked about it from the eye-test point of view, but the stats back it up. Here's Cal's usage percentages:

Cobbs: 24% of possessions
Solomon: 23.9%
Mathews: 23.5%
Bird: 22.4%
Wallace: 20.8%
Kravish: 18.2%

Only about a 3% difference between our top 4 highest usage players, and Ty and David aren't too far behind. Ricky Kreklow is about the only player who gets consistent minutes who isn't a major offensive factor.

Aaaaaanyway, I love Richard Solomon too much to not pick a guy with the 18th best defensive rebound percentage in the nation. SOLO FAN CLUB 4 LIFE!
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