First thing's first: BIG, big props to CaliforniaCMB for his great work above. If you want to submit a (mens or womens) Cal bball photoshop/MS Paint to be featured in this space, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A couple of football notes before we get to bball:
TwistNHook had the line of the night about the Neuheisel/Carroll D-bag competition: "dude, I bet Neuheezy is happy, because you know that dude bet the fucking over." Well put, Twist
I turned on the Stanford/Notre Dame game just in time to see Condi Rice administer the coin flip as this week's Stanfurd honorary captain. I'm hoping they drag out Donny Rumsfeld for the Emerald Bowl
And to basketball: About 40 minutes into one of our podcasts (so nobody heard it), Ragnarok predicted that Jamal Boykin would have a 20 point game sometime this season. I was skeptical, because I didn't think there'd be enough points to go around with Randle, Christopher, and Robertson. On Sunday, Roberston was not in the lineup due to his mysterious foot injury and Christopher continued his uneven play, chipping in only 5 points. It was the perfect opportunity for Boykin to contribute, and he matched his career high with 22 points. Ragnarok 1, CBKWit 0.
I saw only one Cal game last week, owing to Thanksgiving in the great state of Washington. The women's game against Ohio State was broadcast on Big10 TV, but sadly CBKParents didn't spring for channel 412 in their cable package.
So Cal versus Jacksonville at Haas last Tuesday was it, and there isn't too much to say about this one. Cal jumped out to a big lead early and dominated the game, winning it by 32. It was the biggest crowd by far this year but not noticeably louder than prior games; the crowd was relaxed with a four day weekend on the horizon and a blowout on the floor.
Patrick Christopher had has best game of the year, going for 23 points. He didn't have much in the first half and struggled as he has for much of the year, missing two three pointers and scoring only a few points (though he did have a spectacular two-handed put-back jam, getting up way above the rim). Then, early in the second half, he came up with a steal and breakaway for an easy bucket. He was lights out after that, hitting four threes on four attempts from the left arc. The performance was yet another indicator that Christopher's play is, for better or for worse, influenced by his mental state. He wasn't much of a factor in the first half; once he came up with the steal and breakaway, perhaps boosting his confidence, he was the most dominant player on the floor.
Omondi Amoke continued his strong play with 15 points and 8 boards. He's a good leaper and persistent on the offensive glass, though he isn't a great finisher around the rim. He is going to play a huge role for the Bears this year, with the not too surprising news that Harper Kamp will likely redshirt and with Theo still out with his foot injury. I wouldn't be surprised if Amoke plays 20 minutes a game at the 3 and 4.
Bak Bak had two block blocks.
Yes, that's all I remember from this game.
WSU won the Great Alaska Shootout over the weekend, which, amazingly, is not a harbinger of greatness. Cal won it three years ago with the DeVon Hardin/Ryan Anderson/Ayinde Ubaka team, propelling the bears to an 8th place, 6-12 finish in the Pac-10. WSU looks to finish, at least, in the middle of the conference this year. Klay Thompson, a 6-6 sophomore guard, is my pick for conference player of the year. He's an incredible shooter and is going to score a ton of points this year (he set the Great Alaska Shootout single game scoring record with 43 in the final; Glenn Big Dog Robinson had the previous record, 41).
To end on a happy note, ucla lost all three of its games in the 76 Classic, held in ANAHEIM. Yes, the bruins went 0-3 in a tournament held an hour from their campus. Butler is #10 in the country and the bruins almost pulled it out in the end, but losing to Long Beach State by 10 in the 7th place game? Portland has also beaten Minnesota and Oregon, but they didn't win those games by 27, as they did against ucla. To make matters worse for the small ________ bears, their starting forward Drew Gordon has left the team and is transferring out. Ben Braun went after him hard (Gordon is from San Jose), but I believe there's a two year penalty for transferring within the conference so I doubt we'll see him end up at Cal. Not that we need him with Max Zhang patrolling the paint. So yes, we are almost definitely without Harper for the year, Theo's already missed four games, and we lost big, twice, on national TV. But it could have been three times, in Oakland, to lesser teams, with Boykin leaving the team, and with the entire Stanfurd football team mocking us as they run up the score in the last minute. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: at least we're not ucla.