Stanford @ Cal: One More Q & A

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

One more game: Stanford @ California. One more Q & A with Rule of Tree. One more chance to see Bak Bak, Brandon Smith, and Robert Thurman in California livery. One more moment for the magical 2012-2013 team to shine at home. One more swan song for FrankCohen, JABear, and Co.: the heart and soul of The Bench. One more Berkeley. Represent. One more time: Go Bears!

1. What was Dwight Powell thinking at the end of the Colorado game? Was he just not aware of the time left or does he think he is a lot faster than he truly is?

Jack Blanchat: Pictured: Dwight Powell's inner monologue with 2.4 seconds left in the Colorado game:

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via i.imgur.com

Jacob Jaffe: I highly doubt Dwight Powell was thinking anything at the end of the game. There's no excuse.

Scott Allen: "As long as I'm in the air by the time the buzzer sounds, the shot counts, right?"

2. Stanfurd has a chance to be the first back to back NIT champions since South Carolina in 2005-06, how do you like their chances?

Jack Blanchat: Reading this question makes me feel like the guy who works at the liquor store in "Superbad."

Jacob Jaffe: I would never have expected Stanford to go all the way in the NIT last year, so I guess it's possible, but this team just doesn't have the drive to win, even in a consolation tournament.

Scott Allen: That probably depends on Ray Lewis' availability.

3. Of course, Stanfurd still can make the NCAA tournament by winning the Pac-12 Conference. Does anyone actually believe that is plausible?

Jack Blanchat: Not anyone rational.

Jacob Jaffe: It is plausible in the sense that any team can beat any other in the Pac-12 this year. It's not plausible to expect Stanford to win four games away from home in four days.

Scott Allen: Dwight Powell, perhaps, in the same way he believed it was plausible to catch, pivot, take two dribbles, take two steps and dunk a ball in 2.4 seconds.

4. Johnny Dawkins, will he ever take the Cardinals to the NCAA tournament? How much of a leash does he have before having to deliver a NCAA berth?

Jack Blanchat: No. And about five to eight more games. And really he shouldn't even get that.

Jacob Jaffe: Stanford's not making the Big Dance this year, and I don't expect to see Dawkins coaching next year. So no.

Scott Allen: No. I hope he's gone after this year, but I'm not convinced Bernard Muir will make that happen.

Cal Men's Basketball: One More Game (via calathletics)

5. If there's a player that will really give Cal trouble, it'll be _______ because ________.

Jack Blanchat: Josh Huestis because of his ability on the boards. He pulled down 12 last time against Cal and leads the team in rebounding with 9.4 per game. He's the Robin to Dwight Powell's Batman, and if Huestis gets a double-double, Stanford has a much better chance of winning.

Jacob Jaffe: Dwight Powell, because he's the only player for Stanford that can really control a game and carry the team for an extended period of time.

Scott Allen: Huestis, because he's a rebounding machine whose offensive game has improved dramatically this season. As Jack mentioned, he had a big game against Cal in the teams' first matchup.

6. If you're worried about one player matching up against Cal, it'll be ___________ because _________.

Jack Blanchat: I'll expand this to the backcourt - Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright. If they are outplayed by Crabbe and Cobbs by a wide margin (and Crabbe and Cobbs are playing quite well), this game could get lopsided.

Jacob Jaffe: Aaron Bright, because he's been unable to score of late (5 ppg in his last three) and against Cal (9-28 shooting in his career).

Scott Allen: Bright, because he and Randle have tough matchups defensively and his offensive game has been pretty bad this year.

7. Who is the #1 player on offense for the Trees?

Jack Blanchat: Dwight Powell. He's the guy that paces this team - the trunk - and everyone else is a branch emanating from his central presence. (He's also the team's leading scorer.)

Jacob Jaffe: Nobody on the team has been consistent offensively, but Powell is as close as Stanford has to a go-to offensive player.

Scott Allen: Powell. He's the only consistently good offensive player on the team and had 17 and 9 against the Bears in the first meeting.

8. Who is the #1 player on defense for the Trees?

Jack Blanchat: Huestis. As I alluded to earlier, he can be unstoppable on the boards at times. (He also averages 2 blocks a game.)

Jacob Jaffe: Josh Huestis, while struggling offensively, has maintained his high level of play on the defensive end, and his blocks and rebounds are crucial to Stanford's success.

Scott Allen: What Jack and Jacob said.

9. What does Stanford need to do to win this game?

Jack Blanchat: (Scene: Roscoe Maples Pavilion. Night. The Stanford basketball team sits in the locker room with downtrodden looks on their faces.)

Chasson Randle: What are we gonna do, guys? Coach Dawkins has come down with a stomach bug and won't be able to coach this game. Coach Madsden is going to have to take over on the sideline.

Dwight Powell (to Josh Huestis): Hey, do you think I should see a doctor about this bug bite on my hand? It's starting to look pretty weird.

(Scene: The Stanford Chemistry Building)

Chem student #1: Hey, Blake?

Chem student #2: Yeah?

Chem student #1: Did you put the top back on the cage for that spider we exposed to radiation?

Chem student #2: ............yeah.

Jacob Jaffe: Stanford needs to forget everything it knows about basketball, because all of that isn't working. Also Mike Montgomery needs to forget what year it is and coach Stanford instead.

Scott Allen: Hope Cobbs and Crabbe get into early foul trouble and get some offensive contributions from the entire starting five.

10. What does Cal need to do to beat Stanford?

Jack Blanchat: Show up. Then finish. Stanford's basketball team can hang for about 30-36 minutes, but consistently wilts at the end. One of the few times they did that this year was against Cal in the last meeting.

Jacob Jaffe: The beautiful thing about playing Stanford is that, with five or so minutes left, you don't even need to be winning. As long as Cal is hanging around, Stanford will find a way to hand the Bears the game.

Scott Allen: Not suck.

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