Ruey Yen: The schedule is not exactly that kind for the Bears for these final 4 games. Even if the Bears are playing fairly well, they could still easily lose all 4 games when they host the Oregon schools and visit the Arizona schools. With that said, the Bears also have nothing to lose and these remaining games could be viewed as great opportunities for us to improve our chance to make the NIT.
There are basically two objectives for the rest of the season. As much as we are all a bit disappointed that he took a step back this season, David Kravish deserves a nice swan song this week at Haas for his solid career at Cal. Dwight Tarwater also has his moment in his lone season. The other objective is all about the young Bears team getting more time playing together so they can improve even more for next year.
What is most encouraging right now, the main Cal stars have played well in the recent two losses. Against Utah, Tyrone Wallace and Jabari Bird had amazing games. David Kravish posted a career high 23 points on Stanford (when Wallace and Bird were shooting poorly). If the three of them can put it all together and all be making shots efficiently, Bears can really burst Oregon's bubble or put the nail in the coffin for the slim chances for Oregon State or Arizona State.
On the negative side, the Bears miss having a healthy Jordan Mathews. Mathews just have not been that effective since the ankle injury other than the Colorado game. His injury does provide opportunities for fellow young guys like Sam Singer or Brandon Chauca to step up.
LeonPowe: I think what's discouraging is the inability of this team to really put it all together for one well played game from start to finish - but that's a pretty high standard. Even the best teams will go through many bad games (see Kentucky's inability to put away LSU or other close calls). So, I don't know if discouraging is the right word. I think it's really a recognition of the ceiling of the talent on this specific team. Wallace + Bird are only going to be so good. Kravish, for some reason, hasn't shown as much as we would've liked from a very solid four year player. Injuries have hurt - a lot - Bird missing the middle part of the season. Mathews' ankle. Behrens knee.Moute a Bidas' knee. It's difficult to expect more than we've gotten from Okorah, Chauca, Maybe we could get more offense from Singer.
I'm rambling here - but I'm not sure how much more we could expect from this team in terms of W-L. Sure, more consistent effort and defense would be nice - but consistency is difficult at the collegiate level.
I'd rather talk about what's encouraging. This team hasn't packed it in - even after a certain blog called the season over. They fought hard. They're having fun. They're in it for their teammates. Down the stretch, this team has been fun to follow - and what is the reason for following sports, if not fun?