Jabari Bird is still not close to returning for an ankle injury, head coach Mike Montgomery announced at his Monday press conference. That means Bird will not be available for this week's contests against Oregon and Oregon State, and we'd have to guess he's doubtful for next week's games against Washington and Washington State barring a quick recovery.
Although Cal was able to overcome the loss of Bird and Ricky Kreklow (who will probably be out the rest of the month) to beat Stanfurd last weekend, it will be more difficult to keep the momentum going much longer. Cal does play four of their five easiest opponents on the schedule in Oregon State, Washington, Washington State and USC, but after that the teeth of the schedule arrives in a brutal UCLA-Arizona-ASU-Stanfurd stretch that will probably define their season. Having no wing depth lessens the margin for error the next five games as the Bears could be more prone to upset.
Cal needs more from Jordan Matthews and will need to continue to rely on Tyrone Wallace for added offensive contributions. A lot hinges on the development of the youngster wings to keep the Bears winning early in 2014.