Cal Men's basketball just released two new highlight videos on youtube from their recent Eurotrip. With Harper Kamp limited due to a balky knee, Jorge Gutierrez recovering from a sprained ankle, and Richard Solomon forced to sit the final two games with a scratched cornea, the youngsters got a chance to play significant minutes and show what they could do. In particular, Robert Thurman and David Kravish took advantage of their opportunities. Thurman was a consistent presence on the glass and in the post. He struggled a bit against Uppsala's physical defense, but was otherwise one of Cal's steadiest players on the trip. Kravish showed off a reliable jumper and a nice touch around the basket. He's wiry, but clearly knows where to be on the court and should contribute sooner rather than later. After the jump, quick summaries of each highlight vid.
Cal vs. Uppsala and Norway Highlights:
Cal vs. Denmark Highlights:
Crabbe: Unconscious from deep. Might have violated the Geneva convention by being able to fire from so far away.
Solomon: Very active. Absolutely deadly in the open floor. Better footwork and moves around the post.
Smith: Assertive taking the ball all the way to the hoop and showing an improved ability to finish. Looks very confident taking the pull-up jumper.
Cal vs. Norway:
Against man, Smith initiated great ball movement in the half-court and on the break.
Cobbs showed off his speed and athleticism with a drive and dunk as well getting back to make a spectacular block.
*Cal ran out to an early 1st quarter lead. Then, Norway switched to a 1-2-2 zone and the Bears went cold from the outside. This was the only game that Cal lost on their road trip.
Cal vs. Denmark (ie, The Robert Thurman Highlight Reel)
Thurman showed great footwork in and around the hoop. He was particularly adept at freeing himself up and getting open off of a variety of pick and roll types of action. If this can carry over to the regular season, he'll provide some much needed size and depth in the post.
Jorge returned to action and continued to show off an improved jumper to go with a variety of finishing moves.
Kravish was very active on the glass and has a knack for hitting the open shot.
In terms of team bonding and getting a chance to evaluate the younger players, this trip would have to be considered a success. The long-term health of Harper Kamp's knee is a bit of a concern as is Jorge Gutierrez's overall health due to his all-out style of play. It looks like Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon are ready to take the next step in their development. Justin Cobbs has a lot to learn about running a Montgomery offense, but you can see that he has physical tools we're not used to seeing at the point guard position. People will continue to underrate Brandon Smith, but he'll be rock-solid. The biggest news looks to be Robert Thurman's development as a viable contributor off the bench. If he can continue to play with confidence, it would really shore up our post rotation. David Kravish also looks like he may very well be ready to play in the event of injury or foul-trouble.