Cal Basketball: Pac-12 Tournament Strengths and Weaknesses

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

What are the strengths for the Cal men's basketball team going into the Pac-12 tournament? What are the weaknesses?

Based on our potential opponents, what are the biggest strengths we have going for us? What will be our biggest weaknesses?

norcalnick: Our biggest strength should be our confidence about matchups with the other teams. We finished a combined 7-1 against teams on our side of the bracket, a surprising stroke of luck. In the case of Utah and Washington State I'm not sure if it's really that Cal has a matchup advantage as much as it's just that Cal is a better team. But in Oregon's case Monty knows how to scheme to shut them down. We know how to slow down Singler and we have the bigs inside to prevent Dotson, Woods and Kazemi from getting easy baskets.
Our weakness? Depth depth depth. We rely on a player who plays 37.5 minutes per game to score the bulk of our points. Allen Crabbe is the focal point of our offense, and he needs to be on the floor if only to take defensive attention away from everybody else. How effective will he be on short rest?

LEastCoastBears: I don't think I have much to add to what norcalnick says. Monty has dominated Dana Altman and Oregon, so that is a big plus. Having UCLA/Arizona/Colorado (the three best team in the conference via RPI) battling it out on the other side of the bracket is very fortunate for the Bears. I do worry a little bit about Washington, who have always played well late in the season, but I also welcome the opportunity to get revenge on them for embarrassing us at Haas. But other than a nice schedule, the biggest asset for the Bears in the Pac-12 conference is Mike Montgomery and his in game strategy. Monty has a clear edge in this aspect of his coaching over the rest of the conference that I like Cal chances a bit more during close games.

While depth is a clear issue, I am not as concerned about our guys being tired comes Sunday. What worries me more is potential foul trouble if the Pac-12 tournament refs decide to call games really tight.

atomsareenough: The strengths are that A) Utah's not very good, B) it looks like USC will have players suspended, and C) ours/Oregon's side of the bracket is easier overall. The weaknesses? We're not deep, obviously, so multiple games in a few days will be tough. If Kreklow is back and effective, that obviously helps a lot. Beating Oregon a third time might be a challenge. Washington may not be a great matchup for us. Those aren't really major concerns though. I think we should be favorites to at least make it to the final.

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