What did the Utah loss expose about the Bears? What players need to step up to make any March noise?
LEastCoastBears: The Bears did get a little bit lucky during the amazing 7 game run, maybe this Utah game is a little bit the universe trying to even things out? The Bears basically lacked that killer instinct on Thursday night. I don't know how much of that was due to the potential comfort that they felt with the NCAA tournament berth pretty much a lock. Crabbe missing a free throw with 30 seconds to go and Wallace's foul of a guy shooting 3's who was having a bad night shooting were the main culprit for the end of regulation collapse. What was more concerning was the total lack of energy and execution in OT. With the performance in the last two games, I do wonder if the Bears are playing a bit tight, being a favorite. If anything, this loss will likely ensure that the Bears will be the underdog in the tournament. Maybe that is a role that we can embrace.
Norcalnick: I'm still of the opinion that Thursday's game says more about how much Utah has improved and didn't tell us much that we didn't already know about the Bears.
Somebody other than Crabbe and Cobbs need to step up. Cobbs had an excellent game, and Crabbe will always get his points, but against Utah he wasn't able to do it efficiently, and without anybody else adding much, the Bears lost. Cal can win games when their backcourt duo does the bulk of the scoring. But their chances are much greater when somebody, anybody, contributes. Solomon, Wallace, Kravish, Kreklow . . . our role players will make the difference in March, one way or the other. You know, assuming we get there.
Kodiak: Nothing new. This team is capable of playing very well defensively when focused. Not so much when we have mental lapses. Despite the fact that Cobbs/Crabbe are both capable scorers, the offense comes and goes. To really have a chance at a run, we need a third source of points, even if it's a group effort from Solo/Kravish/Wallace. When none of them are producing, our half court sets tend to bog down. Quite honestly, if we just bring defensive intensity throughout the entire game, it should be enough to keep us close enough to make things interesting.