Cal basketball needs Jabari Bird back soon

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What are the biggest concerns to take from the Stanfurd win? Which player concerns you the most?

Nick Kranz: For me, the win confirms how slim our margin of error is until Bird and/or Kreklow get healthy. Cal got excellent contributions from Cobbs, Solomon and Wallace plus unexpected contributions from the bench and still had to sweat out a tough win against probably the 6th or 7th best team in the conference.

The simple reality is that with the current depth on the roster, it's very very difficult for Cal to overcome either an off night from one of their key contributors, or rough calls from the refs. Thursday's win gives me cautious optimism that Monty can keep this team above water in the standings until Jabari and Ricky are back, but they are still very, very vulnerable.

Avinash Kunnath: Until Jabari Bird comes back, we are prone to dropping any game on this schedule. At times last night, Cal ran lineups where maybe one player could create his own shot. We got just enough offense last night from Wallace to make up for the struggles of Jordan Matthews, but Cal is on a slippery slope here.

Ruey Yen: Yeah, Jordan Mathews took a step backward (too anxious about the rivalry game and/or the start of conference play?) but Tyrone Wallace was able to inspire hope in a similar way like the very first game of the season (let's just hope that he is able to sustain that this time). Going forward, even with the eventual return of both Jabari Bird and Rickey Kreklow, what would really determine how good this Cal team can be is the consistency of both Wallace and Mathews. You can almost guarantee what you are going to get from Justin Cobbs, David Kravish, and Richard Solomon (the post-boy of inconsistency back in the day). Given the lack of depth even when everyone is healthy, we really need just about everyone contributing in every game to win in pretty much every game of this improved Pac-12 conference.

As great as it was to beat 'Furd on Thursday, they are simply not that great of a team. In some ways, they are like us in that they are also veteran laden, but not the most athletic nor deep team in the conference. You would think that another team could probably take advantage of a Jeff Powers' at best adequate defense.
So in summary, this is basically the same thing that we have written about Cal Men's Basketball in recent years, the biggest concern is still depth (or the lack of it). Bears were able to withstood the injury and the foul trouble issues, but can they do that consistently? In the more short term, can at least one of Wallace or Mathews replicate the offense of Jabari Bird and defense of Ricky Kreklow?

Scott Chong: The offense will come and go because we're still relying on some very young players on the wing. I'm not concerned with any single player specifically; underclassmen will have good and bad nights because that's just the nature of adjusting to Pac-12 play. I'm most concerned that Bird and/or Kreklow have lingering injury issues.


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