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Golden Nuggets: Lack of Depth Hurts Cal in Loss to San Diego State

Faraudo's post-game impressions highlight some of the biggest issues the Bears faced against San Diego State, as well as some problems that could continue through Pac-10 play.  The Bears have a couple weeks to try to get things sorted out before Kansas comes to town.

– Cal’s transition defense was the worst we’ve seen all year. I counted eight fastbreak baskets by the Aztecs — four each off turnovers and missed Cal shots. That had Montgomery more upset than anything. "When you let the ball get thrown over the top of you for layups on the break, it just doesn’t work," Montgomery said. "It’s basic basketball 1-A. You’ve got to protect your basket."
– In particular, it’s a concern that Montgomery cannot afford to take Gutierrez out of the game. "We’ve had a hard time when Jorge’s been out. They had two runs when he was out," Montgomery said. "He plays so hard he gets tired and when he’s tired he’s liable to get a foul. We need to find some guys off the bench who give us similar type play, and we don’t always get that."

– Sanders-Frison’s health has to be regarded as a major concern. A podiatrist told him Tuesday he has plantar fasciitis in both feet. He had a career-high 12 rebounds against SDSU, but went out for about five minutes midway through the second half in excruciating pain. "The guy’s a trooper," Montgomery said, "He’s playing with a lot of pain. He deserves to be healthy — he’s worked his butt off. We’ve got to find a way to get rid of this pain. If someone were to tell me sit him for 10 days and it goes away, a no-brainer. But like most injuries, it doesn’t work that way."
– Poor Gary Franklin is turned inside out right now. On his 20th birthday, the freshman guard shot 0 for 4 and committed three turnovers. Montgomery is trying to let him play through it, partly because Franklin will eventually be a good player and partly because he doesn’t have anyone better. But the guy looks a bit shellshocked on the floor, apparently playing with none of the confidence he had early. His shooting percentage has plummeted to 28 percent.


After the jump Mike Mohamed earns the Pac-10 Scholar Athlete award, swimming coach Teri McKeever is chosen to coach the women's Olympic team in 2012, and JO continues his end-of-year position reviews.